If you’re not familiar with matcha, it’s a finely ground powder from dried green tea leaves. Because the matcha leaves grow in shaded bushes, they have increased levels of chlorophyll so they can absorb as much sunlight as possible. This gives the leaves and the drink their eye-catching color. The highest quality matcha comes from Japan, where it is the main feature of traditional tea ceremonies.
What does matcha taste like?
As with all food and drink, quality matters. “A good quality matcha is bright green and smooth. Average matcha will be yellow and grainy to touch,” says Louise Cheadle, co-author of The Book of Matcha. “A good matcha will not taste bitter at all; there will be a slightly sweet taste.”
How do I prepare matcha tea?
Simply whisk matcha powder into hot water and voila! You have a delicious matcha tea. Traditionally, this is done with a bamboo whisk called a chasen, and it creates a light and foamy texture. Little tip: sieve the matcha into your cup or bowl with a tea strainer before adding the water to avoid clumps.
There are many different ways to enjoy matcha. Some people enjoy their matcha whisked into some hot milk to create a bright green latte. Some mix it into smoothies, and some even bake it into vibrant breads and pastries.
What are the benefits of matcha?
As matcha powder is mixed directly with water, more nutrients are packed into your drink compared to brewed tea leaves. Cheadle explains how drinking brewed tea “is a bit like boiling spinach, throwing away the spinach and just drinking the water. You will get some of the nutrients, but you’re throwing away the best bit.”
Matcha is high in epigallocatechin gallate or EGGG, a type of antioxidant with anti-cancer properties. Green tea has been linked to the prevention of numerous other health conditions, such as liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. However, research is still underway to concretely confirm these findings.
Be aware that matcha does contain caffeine. So, if you’re sensitive to caffeine or are just trying to cut down, this is a good thing to keep in mind.
Is there lead in matcha tea?
Green tea is like a sponge for lead, and there have been worries in the past of ingesting this harmful chemical via tea. However, a test of six popular brands of matcha powder, carried out by ConsumerLab.com, showed no contamination of lead, other metals, or pesticides.