Matcha is a special form of green tea where premium green tea leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder. Traditionally used in Japanese Tea Ceremonies, matcha has seen a recent growth in popularity due to its health benefits, distinct taste and versatility in healthy recipes.
Matcha has a long history that dates back as far as the 11th century in Japan. It is thought that a Zen Monk by the name of Eisai brought green tea seeds from China and began planting the tea in monasteries. Believing the tea leaves had the ability to promote longevity and to cure certain ailments, Eisai would crush the leaves into a rough powder and drink them blended in water. This first form of matcha was considered a precious medicine and was only consumed by a select few.
By the late 12th century, matcha was incorporated into Buddhist ceremonies, and by the 13th century, Samurai warriors had begun preparing and drinking matcha before battle. The Samurai warriors' tea traditions evolved into what is today known as the Japanese tea ceremony.
Unlike other teas, which use tea bags or tea leaves that are removed from the hot water after steeping, matcha preparation involves consuming the ground tea leaves themselves. Because you are ingesting the entire green tea leaf, the caffeine content is much greater than green tea that is steeped.
The caffeine content in matcha varies depending on the quality of tea leaves and whether you are making thick (koicha) matcha or thin (usucha) matcha. On average, matcha contains less than half the amount of caffeine per cup than in a similar-sized cup of coffee.
Because matcha is prepared using the entire green tea leaf, it is thought to have as much as 10 times the antioxidants and health benefits of regular green tea. In addition, matcha is packed with catechin, or EGCg, which is one of the most powerful forms of antioxidants, known to help prevent and fight cancer. Other benefits of matcha include boosting metabolism, burning fat, and improving memory and concentration.*
How to Steep
Matcha is prepared by adding hot water to matcha green tea powder. To make your own matcha at home, we recommend adding about 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to a cup of hot, steaming water. Whisk vigorously with either a bamboo matcha whisk or electric frother until foamy on top. Matcha is traditionally served in a tea bowl. To make a matcha green tea latte, simply add some steamed milk and a drizzle of honey.
Matcha powder is versatile in that it can be used in various recipes including smoothies, muffins, energy balls, puddings and soups. For over a dozen ways to enjoy, see our matcha tea recipes.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.