Matcha green tea! The word “Matcha” has been trending among consumers for quite some time now. I remember the time a decade ago, when health enthusiasts were speaking all about green tea and its benefits. However, Matcha green tea has become a popular choice in the recent years. Ever wondered why it is called Japanese Matcha green tea when we know that tea actually originated from China? Is there a difference between Matcha green tea and the other green teas? Let’s have a look!
It all started in China, when the Song dynasty (960-1279) developed powdered tea. Ground tea powder was molded into cakes, hardened under the sun and baked to form tea cakes. It is said that Zen monks from Japan traveled to China during this period. On their way back, they brought back tea cakes and seeds to Japan and started cultivating tea on their own. However, the introduction of Matcha green tea in Japan (in the 11th century) is credited to Eisai, a Zen priest. It became popular in Japan and was also used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. At present, Matcha green tea is traditionally cultivated only in Japan whereas the other green teas are grown throughout the world. (1)
Matcha green tea is similar to other green teas and is derived from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. However, the cultivation process is what makes Matcha green tea different from the other green teas. It is also important to note that Matcha green tea can be made very quickly and easily, by just mixing the powdered tea in hot water.
Generally, green tea is rich in Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). (2) Matcha green tea however, has the highest amount of EGCG in comparison with other green teas. (1) EGCG has the power to inhibit growth of cancer cells and also destroy cancer cells without affecting any healthy tissue. EGCG is effective in preventing abnormal formation of blood clots, which is associated with heart attacks. (2) EGCG in Matcha green tea also reduces levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and hepatic glucose in diabetic individuals. (1) Green tea is popular due its effects on weight. As stated already, Matcha green tea has high amounts of EGCG which is the main bio-active compound promoting oxidation of fats. A study published in 2018 in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism stated that in healthy females, fat oxidation during brisk walking (for 30 minutes) was increased by drinking 4 cups of Matcha green tea in 24 hours. (3) Matcha green tea also has a high L-theanine content, which has been linked to inducing relaxation. A study published in 2018 in Nutrients proved that Matcha green tea had a stress-reducing effect in individuals who consumed it for a period of 15 days. (4) The health benefits of green tea in general, are not very different from those of Matcha green tea but the latter can definitely be considered as being nutritionally superior.
Over the years, the usage of Matcha green tea has extended beyond a cup of tea. The recent trends in food product development and innovation have led to the utilization of Matcha green tea in a variety of consumer-friendly products. The versatility of Matcha green tea has enabled its incorporation into various foods and has in turn led to expansion of the market. Nowadays, Matcha green tea is being used in smoothies, cakes, pastries, biscuits, bars and whatnot!
At Laumière Gourmet Fruits, “Matcha Quinoa Energy Bites” of their Superfood Parfait Collection is one such innovative product which uses Japanese Matcha green tea, along with Quinoa, Pistachio and Fig. The other “superfood” ingredients incorporated in this collection are Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Acai and Agave. Try it out and experience the burst of nutrition and flavour in one perfect parfait!
You will surely be left chanting the popular saying “I love it so… matcha!”
The above guest post is written by Krithika Raj. If you would like to share one, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would want to do so too.