What Is Matcha?
Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. The powder from these leaves is far stronger than the regular tea. This form of green tea is being enjoyed in China and Japan for hundreds of years.
Making of Matcha
Matcha is unique in two aspects of farming and processing:
While farming it is shade-grown before harvest. Farmers build structures around the plants to shade them, about 2 weeks before harvest, which leaves them almost in the dark. This process makes the leaves softer, sweeter, and brighter.
During processing the tea leaves are quickly steamed, then dried and put into heated ovens for about 20 minutes. After that stems, twigs and other unneeded parts are removed, and the leaves are grind into powder.
Matcha is known for its sweet taste and creamier texture than regular green tea. However, we may notice a “grassiness” to the smell and taste if we use the powder a lot more.
Different Ways To Have Matcha
1. Matcha Tea
Whisking 2 to 4 ounces of boiling water with 1 to 2 teaspoons of matcha powder makes it frothy and ready to drink. More water can be added as per the taste.
2. Matcha Latte
Matcha powder with any kind of milk warmed or even foamed with a bit of sweeter like honey or sugar will work. Drink it hot, or pour it over ice for a summer treat.
3. Add It to Your Smoothie
Just a teaspoon or two should be enough else we are over-caffeinated for the day. Different mixtures can be tried to find the one that works best with that matcha taste.
4. Sprinkle It on Oatmeal
Add matcha to your favorite breakfast in a bowl. Just add 1 or 2 teaspoons to your current recipe and see how it works.
5. Mix it with Yogurt
Sift 2 teaspoons of matcha powder into half a cup of Greek yogurt and mix well. Adding some fruits, nuts, seeds, and a bit of honey forms a healthy treat.
Health Benefits of Matcha
Matcha is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage. Some of the health benefits of matcha include:
1. Lowering Blood Pressure
Catechins, a type of antioxidant present in matcha, help in reducing blood pressure. It is known that this tea more effective with systolic blood pressure when the upper number is 130 or higher. Higher systolic pressure may raise the risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, among other issues.
2. Lowering Cholesterol
Catechins also help with the LDL or bad cholesterol and total cholesterol numbers. High levels of cholesterol can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
3. Defense against Cancer
Polyphenols and other antioxidants in matcha help protect cells against cancer.
4. Better Dental Health
A cup of matcha tea helps to keep a healthy level of acid in the mouth, thereby preserving the teeth in good shape.
5. Staying Alert
Matcha consists of caffeine, which can help us stay awake and focused whenever we need to be. However, too much can make us jittery and nervous and mess with our sleep.
6. Help with Inflammation
Polyphenols, a kind of antioxidants in matcha help to ease inflammation caused by conditions like arthritis. Matcha can also slow the breakdown of cartilage that arthritis can cause.
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