Hey everyone, it's been a long hasn't it? The month of April was filled with lots of work, but we are back and better than ever. We have three amazing student volunteers joining us and this is there first post of Matcha Powder. Matcha appreciation for all of the love and support.
What is matcha?
In the word matcha, ma means “rub or ground,” and “cha” means tea. Matcha is a fine powder made from green tea leaves grown in the shade, increasing their chlorophyll and L-theanine content. Matcha powder is made by briefly steaming and drying the leaves before the stems and veins are removed, and then it is ground into a fine powder.
When having matcha powder, you are consuming the whole leaf, unlike regular green tea, where the leaves are steeped in water, removed and ultimately, nutrients are lost.
The History of matcha
Use of match began around 1000 years ago, during the early Chinese Dynasties and Japanese Shogun Rule. Tea leaves were steamed and shaped into bricks, which made them easier to transport and trade. The bricks were then crushed into a power, and prepared with water and salt to produce a refreshing tea.
It was around the time of the Song Dynasty that a Japanese Bhuddist carried and planted tea seeds in Japan, where they became known for producing high-quality tea.
At that time, since the seeds were only grown at the temple ground in small quantities, the tea made with matcha became a symbol representing great wealth or royalty.
Because of its association with the temple, its calming effects, and that monks drank it to improve their meditation, it became perceived as a means of enlightenment. Subsequently, people started to sacrifice bowls of matcha in temple rituals and this eventually lead to the formation of the Japanese tea ceremony (known as chado) .
Chado, which translates to “The way of the tea”, is a ceremony that involves preparing and drinking green tea, typically done in traditional outfits and tearoom.
There are 4 basic principles on the Japanese Tea Ceremony:
Over time, the tea ceremony grew and became an integral part of the Japanese culture
Where can you find matcha powder?
Who loves a good Starbucks matcha latte? Matcha can also be added into smoothies, baked goods, and ice cream.
What does the evidence say?
Are there any Negative Side-Effects?
Despite the benefits, drinking too much green tea can cause some negative health effects. One risk associated with too much tea is excessive caffeine, which can lead to nervousness, restlessness, loose stools, and other gastrointestinal issues.
Too much caffeine can also increase acid formation in the stomach and lead to conditions such as heartburn, acid reflux, and bloating.
Caffeine intake should be leveled at around 400 milligrams. Any more than this can cause side effects. It also helps to drink tea after meals or with food/protein (milk).
If you aren't drinking matcha tea, are you even cool?
There has definitely been a marked increase in the promotion of Matcha, even chocolate brands like Kit Kat have matcha flavoured bars. Since gaining popularity China and Taiwan have made cheaper and lower grade matcha so be careful when searching for it at supermarkets. Authentic matcha powder will only be made in Japan.
Okay, but I saw something about Blue Matcha Powder...
Blue matcha powder is made from blue butterfly pea flowers. The connection to matcha is linked to the processing of tea leaves! Both are ground into very fine powders that results in a smooth product. But they are not the same and have different nutritional effects and benefits!
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Gerard, B. (2018). Blue Matcha Is Taking Over Instagram-But There's a Catch. Health. https://www.health.com/food/blue-matcha-health-benefits.
Gordon, B. (2020). The Health Benefits of Tea. EatRight. https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/preventing-illness/the-health-benefits-of-tea.
India Times. (2019). 7 Side effects of drinking too much tea. The Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/7-side-effects-of-drinking-too-much-tea/photostory/72294602.cms.
Kochman, J., Jakubczyk, K., Antoniewicz, J., Mruk, H., & Janda, K. (2020). Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules, 26(1), 85. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010085
Matchaful. (n.d.). The History of Matcha. Matchaful. https://www.matchaful.com/pages/the-history-of-matcha#:~:text=The%20origins%20of%20matcha%20can,to%20transport%20and%20subsequently%20trade.
Zanteson, L. (2021). The “Magic” of Matcha. Today's Dietitian. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0421p38.shtml.