The Astonishing Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
So, you’re still having coffee in 2021…
By Runa Sanna
Photo Courtesy of Runa Sanna
Let me introduce matcha to you: the trendy green drink with an astonishing list of health benefits that made me break up with coffee. Matcha dates back to 7th century China, the golden ages of the Tang dynasty. So, whoever says matcha is a new thing really has it wrong. Matcha powder is produced by grinding green tea leaves. The screening process for matcha is, however, stricter than that of traditional green tea leaves. Thus fewer pesticides and heavy metals find their way into the tea. Drinking green tea as a powder also means that you absorb 100% of its nutrients and not 5-10% like in regular green tea.
Furthermore, studies have found that matcha provides three times the amount of catechins (natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage) than the highest quality green tea. When people talk about foods that are high in antioxidants you’ve probably heard of blueberries or goji berries. Matcha is up to 15 times higher in antioxidants than those two and the ellagic acid in matcha also has anti-inflammatory properties.
It also contains L-theanine. While there is very little research on the effects of L-theanine in humans, preliminary research suggests that it might increase cognitive benefits. Conclusive research has proven that the unique combination of EGCG, caffeine, (and L-theanine) found in matcha results in improved attention, alertness and general focus. One teaspoon of matcha powder is said to increase energy and endurance by up to six hours.
Further benefits of matcha tea include: decreased risk of cancer, improved immunity, lowered blood pressure, and men who drink matcha are 11% less likely to develop heart disease.
Thus, all of the benefits that coffee has so far given you, can easily be superseded by matcha. Only one teaspoon of matcha contains approximately 70mg of caffeine, which is almost double the caffeine content of black tea. The form of caffeine found in matcha, called theophylline, doesn’t have the side effects that coffee has such as acid reflux and jitters - but you’re still able to maintain energy levels.
Perhaps you’re still not sold on matcha because, well, it can be very bitter. It took me a while to figure out the perfect matcha recipe, and I’d like to share it with you below. I realise, looking back, that what I loved about coffee wasn’t the coffee itself but the luxurious feeling of adding ice, milk, and sometimes even maple syrup or vanilla. I loved experimenting with it. Black coffee was never my jam.
Runa’s Matcha Recipe:
Ingredients: Ice, Oatly Barista Edition oat milk (it’s super frothy), matcha powder, a whisk, and maple syrup.
In a bowl, combine a teaspoon of matcha powder with water and stir until all clumps have dissolved. For the pro’s out there: get yourself a bamboo whisk. It looks cute and makes your matcha extra frothy.
Put a tonne of ice in a tall glass, shake your oat milk and fill ¾ of the glass.
Mix a teaspoon of maple syrup with the matcha and dump it into your glass. Yes, dump. It’s my morning drink and I don’t tend to have the energy to make this super aesthetically pleasing. It always turns out beautiful regardless.
Add a reusable straw and enjoy.
Where to get the best matcha and matcha kits:
That’s a gift idea for a matcha lover or someone interested in trying it: https://moyamatcha.co.uk/product/moya-matcha-traditonal-starter-set/
Matcha powder option 1: https://moyamatcha.co.uk/product/moya-matcha-premium-organic-green-tea/
Matcha powder Option 2: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Matcha-Powder-PureChimp-Ceremonial-Pesticide-Free/dp/B00HNDSOCI/ref=sxts_rp_s1_0?cv_ct_cx=matcha&dchild=1&keywords=matcha&pd_rd_i=B00HNDSOCI&pd_rd_r=17525add-fbf7-4820-9f57-947e837ce4cd&pd_rd_w=kBKQ1&pd_rd_wg=jvYs0&pf_rd_p=fe40704c-3a7a-44fc-a7c4-3a8b30be4a84&pf_rd_r=CZXB51956JH6HT2BD8MX&psc=1&qid=1633535462&sr=1-1-2c0bf358-2714-4126-8e35-e94f3e9a30e0
Matcha set with whisk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Matcha-Starter-Set-PureChimp/dp/B07S9N6F78/ref=mp_s_a_1_7_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=bamboo+whisk&qid=1633535515&sr=8-7-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFTS1BBUkZSNkJESyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRJZD1BMDY1MTIwNjg5MllOQlQ2QjM2UCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMzkzODk5M0VFV1JBQ0ZFMVFPTiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX3Bob25lX3NlYXJjaF9tdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl