By Georgia Taylor
Matcha tea or green tea? We all know about green tea, I am sure we have all been told at one point we should drink it and let's face it, although the taste is not always delicious we do our best. (We think the Valley Tea Organic Green is nice!) But now Matcha is here. The sister tea of green tea and everywhere is selling it but which should you be drinking?
In my opinion and the eyes of naturopaths, both are great. I have never felt guilty drinking either of them, but I do feel a little trendier asking for a large matcha latte with almond milk and a bit of honey than when I ask for a regular green tea. I often, well, always get a matcha latte when it is on the menu but it has come to the point when I am beginning to think, how much better for me, is it? Is there a point to having the extra calories of milk and honey, when I could be having nutritious warm, soothing water? When it comes to the green powder not only do I love a latte, but I also do my best to get creative in the kitchen, making all sorts of matcha creations: matcha slice, matcha cake and matcha pancakes are the perfect treats, even matcha in my protein shakes. To be honest I have found matcha can be added to almost anything for extra flair. Have your sweets and receive nutrients too, am I right? Well, I hope. It is time to find out.
Firstly, how is matcha made? Matcha is made from green tea leaves, hence the comparison. Matcha is made by stone-grinding the young leaves into a fine powder. The process happens in the dark to preserve the nutrients and takes around an hour to complete.
Matcha, much like green tea, is believed to assist in weight loss and management by enhancing metabolism. Brain stimulation and improved mental focus are also an added benefit to both the teas due to the levels of L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid found in teas, mainly green teas but is rather high in matcha. The amino acid is responsible for focusing your mind and increasing energy levels and happens over a matter of hours, this is called a slow realise, the feeling of energy and focus feels natural rather than a caffeine-like effect that hits you at once.
Fighting infections and sickness is an added bonus; this is done by building the immune system. Research shows that matcha contains high levels of antioxidants—approximately 1300 units per gram (1tspn = 1.5/2 grams), 60 times more than spinach. The green powder is now considered an antioxidant powerhouse. Matcha is also a good source of fibre, anti-inflammatory, a potential anti-ageing remedy and is believed to assist in preventing or fighting cancers and heart disease. Please do not think that one cup will have instant results but just keep in mind that one cup can do a lot.
Now we know a little about its benefits, how much should we be consuming to feel it? Well, regular cups throughout the week are recommended to feel its benefits. Like all good things, they take time, so one cup will not improve your brain function and build your immune system by itself, and one latte at brunch with your friends won’t keep you young, but one cup of matcha is believed to be the equivalent to ten cups of green tea. How? Well, I'm glad you continued to read, let me explain. When making green tea we brew the leaves that hold all the nutrients and antioxidants, infusing our water with its goodness. Once it has brewed for the desired amount of time we remove the leaves, strain them and then throw away. Matcha, however, is made from the green tea leaves being ground down, so when we drink our matcha, as weird as it sounds, we are drinking the leaves and well, the leaves are where all the nutrients and antioxidants are contained. Meaning with the correct amount of powder, one cup is ten times more nutritional than one cup of green tea.
The Japanese have been drinking matcha tea for years and it is a traditional part of tea ceremonies. Buddhist monks have been drinking matcha teas long before it was trending, using it for body and mind wellness and overall health. The Japanese culture has long been using the tea for not only its benefits but flavour too. But now matcha as gone beyond the shores of Japan and out of the Buddhist monasteries, extending its reach to many countries as tea companies take advantage of its catchy name and many benefits. It has made its way into clothing and lifestyle brands, weight loss and pharmaceutical companies, cafes and restaurants, with some focusing their entire menu around the green goodness.
It’s safe to say matcha is here to stay and for good reasons: not only is it tasty but it is very good for our bodies. The choice now is, do you go with traditional green tea, which you can purchase off the Valley Tea shop in two sizes by clicking here, or venture into the new age of matcha, where choices are wide. Matcha lattes, cakes, pancakes, slices, icecreams and chocolate. Perhaps you would like it in your facemask, night creams and moisturisers or profess your love of matcha on your shirt, pyjamas or maybe on a pair of socks. Take your pick! If you can't make up your mind go ahead purchase a bag of Valley Tea Matcha Powder today and let the inspiration come to you (click here to buy now). Try getting creative in the kitchen or make your very own lattes. Or come and drink its deliciousness in latte form at the Swan Valley Café, where you can also buy Valley Tea Matcha Powder.
Whatever you decide, I know you'll love it so matcha!!
*Our tea is not designed to be a weight loss method or a cure for any medical conditions a person may have. If any serious medical conditions have occurred or continue, please seek medical advice. Results may be varied*