Unlike traditional green tea, matcha preparation involves covering the tea plants with shade cloths before they’re harvested. This triggers the growth of the leaves with better flavor and texture, which are hand-selected, steamed briefly to stop fermentation, then dried and aged in cold storage, which deepens the flavor even further. The dried leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder.
Matcha is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been ties to protection against heart disease and cancer as well as blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging. It has three times the amount of caffeine that a normal cup of green tea would have, about as much as a cup of coffee. However, matcha contains l-theanine, which induces relaxation without drowsiness, creating an “alert calm.”
The preparation of matcha is central to traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Use about a teaspoon per 8-ounce cup.
Add ⅓ cup hot water and whisk into a paste, then add remaining water and enjoy!
Origin: Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
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