Posted by Sarah on 29th April 2016
These days everyone is talking about matcha - it's without doubt the hottest bright green powder out there, but what is it exactly, and why is it the best thing since gluten free, fat free, vegan sliced bread!?
In a nutshell
Matcha is 100% natural, organic green tea leaves which have been carefully ground down to form a fine powder.
What are the benefits?
Matcha is essentially a very concentrated form of green tea. The way it's grown and consumed means that it's packed full of essential vitamins and minerals.
To make matcha, the green tea bushes are grown under shade – this increases the chlorophyll (the bit that contains the nutrients and flavonoids) so you start off with a very nutrient rich leaf.
As it’s a powder diffused in liquid, you actually ingest the whole leaf, consuming every little bit of lovely green tea good stuff. (Rather than throwing it away!)
Like all green tea our little superhero contains flavonoids (just loads more of them). Studies have shown flavanoids to have an antioxidant effect on the body. To be even more precise the real gem in matcha is known as epigallocatechin gallate or EPCG to its friends.
It is thought that regular consumption of foods and drinks containing flavonoids might help to protect our bodies from harmful free radicals so there is ongoing research across the world looking into the potential positive health benefits of flavonoids such as EGCG.
…What do I do with it?
It can be daunting to know what to do with a tin of bright green powder – but the options really are endless. The key thing to remember, is that the powder doesn’t dissolve – you’ll need to blend or whisk it into your liquid/food of choice to irradicate any lumps!
Our favourite way to enjoy matcha is simply as a hot tea – but you can try a matcha latte (iced or hot), add it to your smoothies, juices, or even sprinkle it on top of your porridge!
How much do I need?
1g per day is all you need to reap the benefits of matcha – this equates to roughly ten cups of regular green tea in terms of the health benefits….we don’t call it our super hero green tea for nothing!
Why is it so green??
The tea leaves are grown under cover for the last two weeks of cultivation to produce lots and lots of chlorophyll (the bright green good stuff).
They are then dried and slowly ground between two granite rocks to a very fine powder. This is then packed immediately in a vacuum sealed tin, to lock in all the nutrients.
Does it contain caffeine?
Yes! All green teas naturally contain a small amount of caffeine.
Will I be bouncing off the walls?
No! All green tea, but matcha even more so, contains a very special naturally occurring amino acid called L-Theanine. The combination of this and caffeine appears to increase alertness and improve concentration – and releases energy slowly throughout the day, meaning you won’t get that 4pm crash!
I don’t like tea….
Well, firstly, we feel sorry for the amount of amazing drinks you’re missing out on – HOWEVER, the fab thing about matcha, is that if you still want to get in on the health benefits, but really struggle with the taste of green tea (we know there’s a few of you out there!) you can mix your matcha powder with a whole host of other things and find the perfect balance to suit you!
Adding a teaspoon of matcha to your smoothies or juices is our top tip, as this will disguise the taste completely.
Why is it so pricey?
Our matcha is 100% premium grade, organic green tea leaves - meaning it really is the best of the best. The sad fact is, if you pay a tenner for something that’s claiming to be ‘premium grade’ matcha …it most likely isn’t, or even worse, there’s probably very little matcha in there to start with.
Like our whole leaf teas - the quality and time taken to produce it, is reflected in the price – and we will always provide the best quality possible.
However the good news is, if you are new to the world of matcha - We now stock our on-the-go sachets for £11.40 which are perfect if you don’t want to splash out on a full tin until you’ve given it a fair trial first!
Discover more about why teapigs matcha is the best on the market.
Visit our matcha shop and try some for yourself!