Health Benefits of Matcha

Discovering the Health Benefits of Matcha: More Than Just a Green Tea

 Matcha is a powdered form of green tea that has been consumed for centuries in Japan, and its popularity is spreading worldwide. This vibrant green beverage is made by grinding high-quality tea leaves into a fine powder and then whisking it with hot water. Unlike traditional green tea, which is steeped in hot water and then discarded, with matcha, you're drinking the entire tea leaf. This means that you're getting all the health benefits of green tea, but in a more concentrated form. In this article, we'll explore the various benefits of matcha, including its health benefits, and why you should consider making it a part of your daily routine.

Matcha leaves

Table of Contents

  1. What is matcha?
  2. The history of matcha
  3. The difference between matcha and green tea
  4. Matcha's nutritional profile
  5. Health benefits of matcha tea
    • Boosts energy and focus
    • High in antioxidants
    • Promotes heart health
    • Supports weight loss
    • Aids in digestion
  6. Drinking Matcha vs. coffee
    • Caffeine content
    • L-Theanine content
    • Health benefits
  7. Matcha latte: the perfect healthy indulgence
    • Benefits of matcha latte
    • Recipe for matcha latte
  8. How to make matcha tea
    • Traditional method
    • Easy method
  9. Choosing the best matcha powder
    • Grades of matcha powder
    • Quality indicators
  10. Organic matcha: a better choice
    • Benefits of organic matcha
  11. Precautions and side effects
    • Caffeine sensitivity
    • Medication interactions
    • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  12. FAQs
  13. Conclusion

1. What is matcha?

Matcha is a type of green tea that originated in China and was later popularized in Japan. It is made from shade-grown tea leaves that are ground into a fine powder and whisked with hot water to create a frothy, vibrant green tea.

Matcha has a long history in Japan and is often used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, where it is prepared and served with great care and attention to detail.

Compared to other green teas, matcha has a higher concentration of certain nutrients and antioxidants, including green tea catechins and chlorophyll. This is due to the unique production process of matcha, which involves shading the tea plants before harvest to increase the chlorophyll content in the leaves.

In addition to its potential health benefits, matcha has also been shown to have positive effects on skin health. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in matcha may help to improve skin texture and reduce the signs of aging.

Overall, matcha is a unique and nutrient-dense type of green tea that offers numerous health benefits and is enjoyed by tea enthusiasts all over the world. Whether you prefer it as a traditional tea or in other culinary creations, incorporating matcha into your diet can be a delicious and healthy choice.

Yoko Matcha powders

2. The history of matcha

Matcha has a rich history that dates back to 9th century China. It was originally consumed by Buddhist monks as a way to stay alert and focused during long periods of meditation. Later, the practice of drinking matcha spread to Japan, where it became an integral part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

The cultivation of green tea leaves for matcha production was first introduced to Japan by the Buddhist monk Eisai in the 12th century. Eisai was also responsible for introducing Zen Buddhism to Japan and saw the potential of matcha to enhance the spiritual practice of Zen meditation.

The production of matcha involves growing green tea leaves in shaded conditions for several weeks before harvesting. The leaves are then steamed, dried, and ground into a fine powder using traditional stone mills. This powder is then whisked with hot water to create a frothy, vibrant green tea that is rich in flavor and nutrients.

Today, matcha is enjoyed all over the world and has gained popularity for its numerous health benefits. It is often used in cooking and baking, as well as in traditional tea ceremonies.

Yoko Matcha Master

3. The difference between matcha and green tea

While both matcha and green tea are made from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, there are some key differences between the two.

First, matcha is made from green tea leaves that have been shade-grown for several weeks before harvesting. This process increases the chlorophyll content in the leaves, giving matcha its vibrant green color and unique flavor profile.

Second, when you drink matcha, you consume the entire tea leaf, which is ground into a fine powder. This means that you get all the nutrients and antioxidants that are present in the tea leaves, including caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine.

On the other hand, when you drink loose leaf green tea, you are consuming an infusion of the tea leaves. While loose leaf green tea is still a good source of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, the concentration of these compounds is lower than in matcha.

Green tea extract is another popular way to consume green tea. Green tea extract is made by steeping green tea in alcohol or water to extract the active compounds, which are then concentrated into a supplement form.

While green tea extract can be a convenient way to consume the health benefits of green tea, it's important to note that the concentration of the active compounds can vary widely depending on the brand and manufacturing process.

When it comes to choosing between matcha, loose leaf green tea, and green tea extract, it's important to consider your individual needs and preferences. Matcha is a good choice if you want a concentrated source of antioxidants and caffeine, while loose leaf green tea may be a better option if you prefer a milder flavor and lower caffeine content. Green tea extract can be a convenient supplement for those who want to consume the health benefits of green tea in a concentrated form.

In summary, while matcha and green tea come from the same plant, they differ in their production methods and the way they are consumed. Green tea extract is another option for consuming the health benefits of green tea, but it's important to choose a high-quality product and follow recommended dosages. Ultimately, the choice between the three comes down to personal preference and individual health needs.

Green tea vs Matcha

4. Matcha's nutritional profile

Matcha is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, including:

  • Catechins: a type of antioxidant that is abundant in green tea and is known for its cancer-fighting properties.
  • Chlorophyll: a pigment that gives matcha its vibrant green color and is believed to have detoxifying effects on the body.
  • L-Theanine: an amino acid that promotes relaxation and Caffeine: a natural stimulant that can help to increase alertness and focus.
  • Vitamins and minerals: matcha is a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, potassium, and calcium.

Matcha profile

5. Health benefits of matcha tea

Matcha tea is not only delicious but also offers a range of health benefits, some of which are:

Boosts energy and focus

Matcha tea contains caffeine, which can help to increase alertness and focus. However, unlike coffee, matcha also contains L-theanine, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Together, caffeine and L-theanine work synergistically to provide a sustained energy boost without the jitters or crash that can come with coffee.

High in antioxidants

Matcha tea is a rich source of antioxidants, including catechins, which are known for their cancer-fighting properties. One specific type of catechin found in matcha is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Promotes heart health

Studies have shown that regular consumption of green tea, including matcha, can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is thought to be due to the high levels of catechins and other antioxidants in matcha, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow.

Supports weight loss

Matcha tea may help to boost weight loss by increasing metabolism and fat burning. One study found that consuming matcha increased thermogenesis (the body's rate of burning calories) by 8-10%, which can help to support weight loss efforts.

Aids in digestion

Matcha tea contains high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that can help to support digestive health. Additionally, the caffeine in matcha can help to stimulate the digestive system and promote regularity.

Yoko Matcha 

6. Drinking Matcha vs. coffee

Many people turn to coffee as a source of energy and focus, but matcha may offer some unique advantages over coffee.

One advantage of matcha is that it contains a higher concentration of green tea catechins, a type of antioxidant that has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart health.

Another advantage of matcha is that it contains the amino acid L-theanine, which has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress. L-theanine also works synergistically with caffeine to enhance focus and mental clarity, without the jitters or crash that can sometimes come with coffee.

Additionally, matcha has been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure, with some studies suggesting that regular consumption of matcha may help to lower blood pressure levels.

Overall, while both matcha and coffee can provide a boost of energy and focus, matcha offers unique health benefits that coffee does not. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to coffee that can still provide a pick-me-up, matcha may be a good choice.7. Matcha latte: the perfect healthy indulgence

Matcha lattes have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. A matcha latte is made by whisking matcha powder with steamed milk (or a non-dairy alternative) and a touch of sweetener. Not only is it delicious, but it's also a great way to incorporate matcha tea into your daily routine.

Benefits of matcha latte

  • Provides a boost of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds
  • Contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee
  • Can be customized to your taste preferences with different types of milk and sweeteners

Matcha powder and Bamboo Whisk

Recipe for matcha latte

Here's how to make a matcha latte:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup steamed milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • Sweetener of your choice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Sift the matcha powder into a small bowl.
  2. Add the hot water and whisk until the mixture is smooth and frothy.
  3. Add the steamed milk and sweetener (if using) to the matcha mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Pour the latte into a mug and enjoy!

Matcha Latte

8. How to make matcha tea

Making matcha tea is simple and can be done using either the traditional or easy method.

Traditional method

To make matcha using the traditional method, you will need:

  • A matcha bowl (or a small mixing bowl)
  • A bamboo whisk (or a regular whisk)
  • A small sieve
  • 1 tsp of matcha powder
  • 2 oz of hot water (not boiling)

Directions:

  1. Sift the matcha powder into the matcha bowl to remove any clumps.
  2. Add the hot water to the bowl and use the bamboo whisk to whisk the matcha powder and water together in a zigzag motion until the mixture is frothy and smooth.
  3. Enjoy your freshly made matcha tea!

Easy method

If you don't have a bamboo whisk or a matcha bowl, you can still make matcha using the easy method. You will need:

  • A mug
  • A small sieve
  • 1 tsp of matcha powder
  • 6 oz of hot water (not boiling)

Directions:

  1. Sift the matcha powder into the mug to remove any clumps.
  2. Add the hot water to the mug and use a spoon to stir the matcha powder and water together until the mixture is smooth and frothy.
  3. Enjoy your freshly made matcha tea!

9. Choosing the best matcha powder

When choosing matcha powder, it's important to select a high-quality product that is free from additives and contaminants. Here are some things to look for when choosing matcha powder:

Grades of matcha powder

There are three grades of matcha powder:

  • Ceremonial grade: the highest quality matcha, made from the youngest leaves and with a delicate, sweet flavor.
  • Premium grade: a high-quality matcha made from slightly older leaves with a slightly stronger flavor.
  • Culinary grade: a lower-quality matcha that is often used for cooking and baking.

Quality indicators

When selecting matcha powder, look for the following quality indicators:

  • Color: high-quality matcha should be a vibrant, bright green color.
  • Smell: matcha should have a fresh, grassy aroma.
  • Texture: high-quality matcha should be finely ground and have a smooth, silky texture.

10. Organic matcha: a better choice

Best Organic Matcha

Organic matcha is a better choice for several reasons. First, it is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals, which can have negative effects on both the environment and your health. Additionally, organic matcha is often of higher quality, as the farmers take extra care to ensure that the tea plants are healthy and produce high-quality leaves.

Benefits of organic matcha

Organic matcha is a better choice for several reasons. First, it is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals, which can have negative effects on both the environment and your health. Additionally, organic matcha is often of higher quality, as the farmers take extra care to ensure that the tea plants are healthy and produce high-quality leaves.

11. Precautions and side effects

While matcha is generally considered safe for most people, there are a few precautions and side effects to be aware of. Matcha contains caffeine, which can cause side effects such as insomnia, jitters, and anxiety in some people. Additionally, matcha may interact with certain medications, so it's important to speak with your healthcare provider before consuming it regularly if you are taking medication. Finally, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it's best to avoid consuming matcha or to limit your intake to a small amount.

12. FAQs

1. Is matcha better than regular green tea?

Matcha is more concentrated in nutrients and antioxidants than regular green tea, as you're consuming the whole tea leaf. It also has a higher caffeine content than green tea. However, both green tea and matcha have numerous health benefits and can be beneficial for overall health and wellness.

2. Does matcha help with weight loss?

Matcha may help to boost weight loss by increasing metabolism and fat burning. However, it's important to note that there is no magic bullet for weight loss, and matcha should be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise routine.

3. Is matcha high in caffeine?

Matcha does contain caffeine, but the amount varies depending on the type of matcha and how it is prepared. Generally, one cup of matcha contains around 70mg of caffeine, which is less than a cup of coffee.

4. Can I drink matcha if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

While matcha is generally considered safe for most people, it's best to avoid consuming it or to limit your intake to a small amount if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

5. How should I store matcha powder?

Matcha powder should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It's best to consume matcha within a few months of opening the package to ensure maximum freshness and flavor.

13. Conclusion of Matcha Benefits

Matcha is more than just a trendy drink - it's a nutrient-dense superfood with numerous health benefits. From boosting energy and focus to promoting heart health and aiding in digestion, matcha has a lot to offer. Whether you enjoy it as a traditional tea or in a latte, incorporating matcha into your daily routine can be a delicious and healthy choice. Just be sure to choose high-quality, organic matcha and consume it in moderation, taking into account any potential side effects and medication interactions.

 

See Yoko Matcha Matcha options: 
Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha (Tin)
Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Organic Daily Grade Matcha
Uji Culinary Grade Matcha

Back to blog