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What You Need to Know About Matcha Green Tea Powder
Matcha green tea powder is one of the most popular superfood health products on the market these days! Not only does it offer an amazing antioxidant boost, but you’ll find that it can provide a whole host of benefits and nutrients that your body needs. If you want to know more about it, read on to find out all the important facts about matcha powder.
What is Matcha Green Tea Powder?
Matcha green tea powder is a product made by grinding young green tea leaves into a powder. Green tea plants are covered with shade cloths before harvesting, increasing the flavor of the leaves and concentrating the beneficial properties inherent in the leaves. They are then harvested, steamed to prevent fermentation, and stored and aged in a cold location in order to deepen the flavor. Only after they have been aged are they stone-ground and made into a fine powder.
How to Make Matcha Green Tea from Powder
To make your own matcha green tea, you won’t need any tea leaves, simply the powdered green tea. Scoop a spoonful of the powder into a cup of hot water, then mix it vigorously with a bamboo brush until it becomes frothy and bright green. You’ll find that it has a slightly grassier flavor than regular green tea, but that’s due to the fact that you’re actually ingesting the leaves.
Does Matcha Green Tea Contain Caffeine?
Like regular green tea, matcha does contain caffeine. In fact, you’ll get about three times as much caffeine in a single cup of matcha as you would with a regular cup of green tea. Matcha contains almost as much caffeine as you’d get from coffee. However, rather than a very strong “buzz” common to coffee, the matcha’s energy boost is gentler, creating what’s called an “alert calm”. This is due to the fact that green tea contains l-theanine, a compound that relaxes you.
Matcha is Loaded with Antioxidants and Polyphenols
The extra time the green tea leaves spend in the shade and aging in cold storage helps to concentrate and raise the antioxidant content of the leaves. This means that matcha contains even more vital antioxidants than regular green tea. The polyphenols in the matcha green tea will do wonders to protect your body against cancer, heart disease, and aging, while the catechins (like EGCG) will encourage weight loss, detoxification, and reduced cancer cell growth.
Beware of Sweetened Matcha Powders
Matcha has a very strong flavor, often compared to spinach or fresh-cut grass, though some people like to claim that it has a strong umami taste. The fact that it has such a strong flavor means that some matcha powder manufacturers will add sweeteners to try and soften the taste and make it more enjoyable. Some “matcha powders” contain more sugar than you’d like, and it ends up doing more harm than good. Your best bet is always to find a pure matcha green tea powder that contains absolutely no sugar.
Beware of Lead Contamination
All green tea leaves, even those harvested from organically grown plants, run the risk of being contaminated by the groundwater and rainwater. A lot of green tea from plants grown in China have been proven to have lead contamination. The fact that matcha is made by grinding up the leaves means that your risk of ingesting lead is much higher than it would be with tea leaves that you steep and discard. It’s recommended that you stick with one cup of matcha green tea per day to reduce your risk of accidental lead ingestion.