History Of Matcha
Before there were teapots to steep tea leaves. Early Chinese custom was to grind tea leaves into a powder then whip or beat the ground tea in a bowl with hot water.
While “beaten tea” was later abandoned by the Chinese in favor of steeped tea leaves, the Japanese went on to popularize the method.
One of Japan’s own Zen priests studying in China’s Buddhist monasteries returned to Japan in the early 12th century with tea plant seeds and bushes.
The young priest, called Eisai, used his experience in China growing and drinking “beaten tea” to popularize what he called “the way of tea” as a meditation ritual within his community of Japanese Buddhist monks.
Eventually, he spread the tea drinking custom throughout the rest of Japan.
This ceremonial tea drinking was taken up with a fervor by Japan’s samurai class.
The samurai were fearsome warriors yet cultured and high ranking members of Japanese caste society.
The samurai identity was built on Zen Buddhism, practicing principles like discipline, ritual, and purification.
It is said the samurai developed the Japanese tea ceremony into an art form and cultural tradition by adding hundreds of detailed steps to the practice.
Including specific hand movements, the proper design of the tea room. And instructions for how to sit and how to prepare and sip the tea.
It is also said the tea ceremony was integral to samurai training. Helping the warriors sharpen their focus, concentration, and patience in preparation for battle.
The Japanese tea ceremony, still called The Way of Tea. Is a revered practice in Japan and is centered around the art of preparing and presenting matcha in an almost meditative fashion.
It was originally developed as a spiritual practice and the principals of the practice—harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility—are still central to tea ceremony today.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha is a high-grade green tea ground into powdered form. The green tea powder is whisked into hot water, instead of steeped, to form a frothy drink.
The meditative act of preparing, presenting, and sipping matcha is the backbone of the Japanese tea ceremony.
While matcha’s origins are ceremonial, the green tea powder is widely popular around the world in beverages like tea lattes or boba tea.
And as a cooking ingredient in everything from ice cream to salad dressing.
Health Benefits Of Matcha
Matcha can help with weight loss
Here’s the deal: If you’re regularly drink soda, juice and sugary beverages, making the switch to unsweetened matcha will absolutely help!
That’s because the number one source of added sugar (and therefore added calories) in the American diet is sugar-sweetened beverages.
So opting for a calorie-free alternative is always best.
Memory and concentration aid
L-Theanine doesn’t improve brain waves and aids in meditation; there is much more to it than meets the eye.
This well-known amino acid does wonders in enhancing memory capacity and concentration abilities.
Some supplements are inclusive of it. But, it’s always best to reach for the natural source.
You can get all possible benefits. By drinking one cup every two days, your mental capacities will increase.
Bring out the best in you using Matcha tea. Studying and work will never be so fun.
Helps control Type-2 diabetes
Matcha tea has proven valuable for maintaining healthy metabolism in diabetic individuals.
Matcha tea is rich in antioxidants which help in reducing the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and hepatic glucose content in diabetic individuals.
Research has shown that regular consumption of matcha tea exerts inhibitory action against renal and hepatic damage by restraining the accumulation of advanced glycation end products in the kidneys.
It’s good for your blood sugar
As long as you’re sipping unsweetened versions, matcha is certainly a smart choice.
But be warned: Matcha also appears in sugary juices, frozen yogurt, ice cream, pasta sauces, salad dressings and “tonics” and “elixirs.”
These can contain loads of added sugar (among other saturated fat-filled ingredients!), leading to blood sugar spikes and subsequent crashes.
Always read the ingredients list and check labels for sneaky sweeteners if you’re unsure.
Full body detox
During its production, before picking the leaves, the plants are completely deprived of sunlight.
A sudden decrease in their main food source causes chlorophyll production. It goes through the roof.
Not only does this take the green color of the leaves to the next level, but it also aids the body in cleaning itself.
Heavy metals and chemical toxins will be a thing of the past with just one cup per day.
You’ll see your mental and physical capabilities enhanced immediately.
How to store your tea
Yes, matcha can go bad and quite quickly. If the powder is left in an unopened container, it will oxidize. The result…
- It will taste bad, creating a bitter and less potent flavor.
- The antioxidant content will be reduced.
The best way to store matcha is in an airtight container, preferably one which is opaque to minimize light exposure.
Both air and light will degrade the phytonutrients.
Refrigeration is not required, but a lower temperature will prolong how long it’s good for.
While the shelf life expires a year out or further. After opening and being exposed to air, it will normally go bad within 2 to 4 weeks at room temperature.
Side-Effects & Allergies of Matcha Tea
While matcha tea is a very healthy beverage and has a lot of beneficial effects on the human body, it has a few side effects too.
Matcha tea contains a high amount of caffeine, which may cause side effects such as nervousness, irritability, dizzinessand anxiety.
Consumption of matcha tea in large doses may cause digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, or diarrhea.
Matcha tea has also been seen to have a few other side effects such as sleeping disorders and cardiac arrhythmia.