Spilling the Tea: Meet Your Matcha
Matcha-maker matcha-maker, make me a match! What's so special about this grassy, green powder, anyway?
Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea traditionally used in Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies. The green tea plants are shade-grown and in their processing, the stems and veins are usually removed. Outside of being steeped into a steamy mug for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up, matcha is used in flavoring and dyeing of certain foods such as green tea ice cream, Japanese rice cakes called mochi, and Japanese buckwheat or 'soba' noodles.
Many factors help determine the grade of matcha powder.; tea color, texture, quality, density, fineness of the ground powder are just a few, as well as how it was ground up and treatment prior to processing. Like any other green tea, matcha is packed with antioxidants, particularly a groupd of phytochemicals known as catechins, which play a potent antioxidant role in our bodies. A catechin called epigallocatechin gallate makes up the majority of the antioxidants in matcha green tea, and has been scientifically studied for its cancer fighting properties. Matcha also contains the amino acid L-Theanine, which many claim to promote a feeling of wakeful relaxation, improved mood, memory, creativity and concentration.
Want to experience matcha outside of the mug? Try tossing the powder with freshly seared chicken breast for a flavor experience that's delicate yet hearty and satisfying. Plus, it's an easy way to enjoy a potent superfood - no kettle required!
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