Swap your morning cup for a mug of wellbeing-boosting matcha tea.
By now you’ve probably heard lots about matcha tea. In recent years, matcha has popped up in lattes, ice-cream and even food supplements in extract form. But what is it about this plant-based food that we love so much? We’ll explain below. Likewise, if you already know what you’re looking for, skip ahead and check out our range of matcha tea products from Pukka and more.
What is matcha tea?
Matcha is a product of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is the same plant we get green tea from. So is matcha simply another word for green tea? Not quite. The two may come from the same source, but they’re grown and harvested differently.
With matcha, farmers cover plants up to a month before they’re ready to be harvested. With no direct sunlight, the plants speed up their chlorophyll production and turn a deeper shade of green. The benefit of this is an increase in amino acids and nutrients when matcha is ground up to make tea.
Does matcha have caffeine?
Yes, it does, and that’s also thanks to the way it’s grown. And while you may think caffeine is bad for you.
Matcha health benefits – Is matcha good for you?
Compared to sugary coffee or tea, which is commonly drunk with milk or cream, matcha is a great alternative that can give you a gentle lift. As with many superfoods or, super teas in this case, matcha has been the subject of numerous studies, leading scientists to claim matcha may have an array of benefits thanks to a class of plant compounds called catechins.
As with everything, balance is key to a healthy diet. Drinking ten cups a day isn’t recommended, for instance. But when enjoyed in moderation, there are plenty of matcha green tea and all-round matcha benefits.
So far, you’ve read why nutritionists believe matcha tea is a match made in heaven for your body, so how can you make your own?
Matcha made easy
You don’t need to go to an artisan cafe to enjoy matcha tea – not with a wide range of products available at Holland & Barrett, including matcha green tea powder, matcha powder and organic and plastic-free matcha tea bags from carefully-selected brands including but not limited to:
Heath & Heather
As for preparing matcha tea, there are two main methods depending on which products you buy. The first is to use matcha tea bags, which you can just brew in hot water and stir like you would a regular cup of tea. As with all tea, leaving the teabag in for longer will obviously give you a stronger flavour.
The other option is to buy matcha powder, which is just as popular. Making matcha tea with powder is easy. In the case of OMGTea’s AAA+ organic matcha, you simply need to stir a few drops of hot water with half a teaspoon of matcha to make a paste, and then add hot water and stir.
If you’re looking for an alternative way to start your day matcha tea’s floral and fresh taste is a winner. Take a look at our range and discover your new favourite hot drink.
Although matcha green tea comes from the very same plant as regular tea – camellia sinensis – it is actually a very different thing.
Plants destined for matcha are covered for three weeks to a month before harvesting, to ensure that no direct sunlight reaches them.
This ups the plant’s levels of chlorophyll, increases its amino acid profile and results in a darker green leaf.
Containing the whole leaf, ground into a fine matcha tea powder, this tea is richer in antioxidants and higher in caffeine than traditional green tea. It also has a range of potential benefits all of its own.
Matcha green tea appears to have a number of possible benefits, chief among them its use as a weight loss supplement.
According to studies, matcha may increase the rate at which the body burns calories by up to 43% of daily energy expenditure.
There are three chief ingredients in matcha, L-theanine, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine each have a positive impact on cognitive performance.
Arguably, yes. Packed with antioxidants, matcha green tea has been linked to heart health when taken in certain quantities.
Which matcha you choose is dependant on how you intend to use it.
While some powders are ideal for use in cookery, others make a perfect drink.
If you are just starting out on your matcha journey you might choose a matcha kit, complete with bowl and brush for a traditional treat inspired by the thousands of years old Japanese tea ceremony.
If you are short on time, a matcha tea bag is a simple alternative to green tea powder, making getting your daily dose of matcha a breeze.
Cold brew and flavoured versions are also available.
To enjoy a traditional matcha tea, simply sift one to two teaspoons of your matcha green tea powder into a bowl.
Pour in just-boiled water and whisk vigorously in a zig-zag pattern using a hand whisk. The matcha tea is ready to drink once smoothly blended, with a rich foam on top.
Alternative ways to use your matcha include using hot milk for a green tea latte, blending the powder into smoothies or adding to pancake mixes or ice cream.
Matcha powder can also be used in any number of baking recipes too, giving brownies, cakes and biscuits an earthy flavour.