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We are so excited to be introducing the organic Sunfoods Matcha Green Tea Powder to our store. While most of us are well versed in the numerous benefits of conventional green tea, Matcha is it’s less well known but much cooler cousin. So, let’s learn a little about how Matcha is made, it’s long history in North Asia, and then find out why it is so good for you.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a extra potent type of green tea, made from whole Japanese green tea leaves. Before harvesting, the best tea bushes are kept shaded from the sun for three weeks. This boosts their chlorophyll profile and gives the leaves their beautiful, vibrant emerald green color. Then, the best leaves are selected and ground by hand into a super fine powder. This process yields a higher concentration of nutrients, and a stronger flavor than regular green tea.
The History of Matcha
During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China, green tea was powdered and dried into bricks for easy use. People could then break off a small piece of the dried tea brick and stir into hot water. This provided a green tea that was easy to travel with and stayed fresh.
In the 1100s, a Japanese monk brought the idea of powdered tea to Japan, and this eventually evolved into the traditional chanoyu ceremony. Originally, Matcha was a drink reserved for royalty and Samurai warriors because it was so time consuming and expensive to produce. Now, however, it is now a popular drink throughout Japan and the rest of the world.
Why is it Good for Me?
Matcha is a fantastic alternative to coffee and energy drinks. Even when you choose Matcha over regular green tea, you receive 137 times more antioxidants, in fact you’d have to drink TEN cups of conventional green tea to receive the same nutritional benefit that you would from one cup of Matcha. Here are just some of the many reasons why Matcha is a great choice:
What is amazing about Matcha is its combination of theanine and caffeine, which work together as Yin and Yang to help us gain mental focus and energy. Coffee does not contain theanine and usually most teas contain very little, but because Matcha is grown in the shade for 3 weeks, the plant naturally increases its theanine count. It is this balance of theanine and caffeine that gives drinkers long lasting mental focus. Historically, Matcha was used by Japanese monks in their meditation practice. As they had to sit for long hours, the monks would drink Matcha so they could remain alert, but still enjoy the calming peace of meditation.
Drinking Matcha is a very effective way to treat your body to powerful antioxidants – catechins. This because you ingest 100% of the dissolved matcha powder, unlike throwing away brewed leaves if you use a loose green tea leaf infusion. Catechins belong to the family of flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants and exist in many plants, including blueberries, cacao and grapes. Catechins scavenge free radicals in our body, which is great news for us as it is these free radicals that oxidize and damage our body cells, causing aging and cancers.
Aids in Detoxification
Green truly is the color of health! Matcha helps us to safely cleanse and purge the body of toxic substances. Chlorophyll, the element that gives plants their signature green color is also a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body.
Immune System Fortifier
Matcha also has an anti-inflammatory effect on your immune system. The more Matcha you drink, or use in your food, the better allergic reactions are suppressed. The catechins and theanine in Matcha have an antiviral effect on the flu virus. The EGCG catechins have an antibacterial effect on different sickness-causing micro-bodies, including Candidiasis Albicans. Matcha also inhibits the growth of parasites and therefore curbs infections and protects the kidneys.
There are many ways to enjoy Matcha, and you are limited only by your imagination!
Here are a couple of great recipes to get you started:
Matcha Coconut Latte
½ – 1 teaspoon Sunfoods Matcha Green Tea Powder
¼ cup hot water
¼ cup warmed coconut milk
Yacón syrup – sweeten to your taste
- Spoon the matcha into a large mug.
- Add the hot water and coconut milk and whisk in an up and down motion, until frothy – about 30 seconds or so.
- Taste and add additional water, coconut milk, and/or sweetener to your liking.
Matcha Chia Seed Pudding (2 serves)
½ – 1 teaspoon Sunfoods Matcha Green Tea Powder
2 cups of Almond Milk
2 tablespoon of Yacón syrup
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
6 tablespoons of Chia Seeds
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of raspberries
- Blend the almond milk, syrup, vanilla, and Matcha together in a blender until smooth.
- Pour the liquid over the chia seeds and stir thoroughly.
- Stir again every few minutes for the next fifteen minutes.
- Then allow the mixture to sit for at least an hour (or overnight, in the fridge).
- Stir the mixture once more, and serve with fresh berries.