Matcha: Instagram trend or healthy drink with a history?
Matcha was brought to Japan from China by monks. It became a traditional drink of Zen Buddhists firstly and then - a lifestyle of the whole society. So what is the phenomenon of Matcha and why should you definitely try it?
Matcha is considered the highest quality tea due to unique chemical composition and prized flavour, which sets it apart from other tea beverages.
Despite all the health benefits and natural source of vitamins, there is no secret ingredient in Matcha. It`s a powdered green tea leaves that have been shaded before harvest, dried and grinded (by machine or stone-milled). In the past all the processes were done by hands, nowadays due to industrial progress and high worldwide demand, many factories use machine work, therefore all the production processes are kept authentic.
Japanese Matcha has several gradations from Ceremonial to Culinary. On quality and price influences lots of factors: harvest season, leaves parts, manual or machine harvesting, grinding method, organic or chemical fertilizers etc.
Culinary Matcha is used for the bakery and very often for Matcha latte, due to lower price.
High grade ceremonial Matcha is made to be drinked in its pure way, in natural combination leaves and water, without sugar, milk, flavoring additives added. You can recognize quality grade tea powder by following steps:
- look at it - it should have a vivid bright green color;
- smell it - it should have a sweet almond aroma;
- rub between your fingers or draw a Matcha line - it should have a dense full color texture, without sandy feelings;
- brew it - quality matcha wont have bitterness, you may taste grassy notes, combined with light sweetness due to its chemical composition.
According to scientific research, Matcha is the best condensed source of catechins, theanine, natural caffeine, chlorophyll, and antioxidants among all green teas. Regular consumption may have a positive effect on both physical and mental health, preventing many diseases and supporting cognitive function.