- Matcha gives you a sense of calm alertness and is packed with important nutrients that promote wellness.
- Not all matcha is created equal! It’s important to know where yours comes from.
- There are several different types of matcha, and each has different uses. The best matcha powders taste smoother and provide more nutrients for fantastic health benefits.
Looking for a drink that provides the same energy boost as coffee, but with all the health benefits of a vitamin shot? Then look no further. Matcha, a type of green tea, is exactly what you’re looking for! Have a cup of matcha daily for powerful beauty and health benefits.
Primarily grown in Japan, matcha plants are shaded for three to four weeks before harvesting which enhances taste and flavor. Matcha powder is made up of green tea leaves that have been dried out and ground into a fine powder which produces a deliciously smooth and creamy drink when mixed with hot water. In addition to being a beautiful and tasty green color, matcha is also packed with nutrients. Chief among these are EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), L-theanine, polyphenols, and catechins. These nutrients deliver valuable health benefits, such as:
- EGCG is known to boost metabolism, and may slow or stop the growth of cancer cells in the body. The Wall Street Journal reports that on average, a cup of matcha contains 137 times the EGCG content of a cup of regular green tea. You can read more about all the ways EGCG helps your body in this study from the NIH.
- L-theanine is a natural amino acid that slows the release of caffeine in the body and helps create a sense of calm alertness. It is also being tested on its ability to help improve focus and help with cognitive brain function.
- Polyphenols and catechins help regulate blood sugar and promote healthy blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and can help with weight loss.
On top of these benefits, several in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that green team supplementation increases in collagen and elastin fiber content for a potential anti-wrinkle effect.
Additionally, when you drink matcha you are also consuming the ground up tea leaves themselves rather than just tea extract from steeping tea leaves in hot water, so you get added benefits like increased fiber consumption which aids digestion.
And finally, matcha continues to be researched for health benefits related to photoaging, neuroprotective qualities, and autophagy.
Yet, with so many options on the market, how do you know what to look for? Below are some of the important things to consider when choosing your drink.
Before you get started, it’s important to make the distinction between the three different types of matcha: ceremonial grade, latte grade, and culinary grade. Ceremonial grade matcha is used in traditionally Japanese tea ceremonies and is the highest quality matcha available. This can lead to it being much pricier. It’s meant to be consumed mixed solely with hot water, rather than being added to anything else, and provides a smooth, rich taste. Latte grade matcha provides consumers with a stronger, slightly bitter taste, making it the perfect pair for any type of milk. Culinary grade matcha is slightly lower quality, cheaper, and usually what is used to make delicious foods like matcha ice cream, matcha salad dressing and baked goods.
Before picking a matcha brand, there are some important facts to check. What are the ingredients? Where is it grown? How is it processed? All of these can factor into the tastiness, healthiness, and effectiveness of your matcha.
Firstly, it’s important to check the ingredients of your matcha. Some companies pack their powders with sugar or powdered milk to enhance taste and texture, but this can negate all the health benefits that matcha gives you and leave you worse off than where you started.
Next up is the origin of the matcha plants themselves. Some countries, like Japan, have very strict food safety laws that prevent farmers from using any unsafe products, leading to higher-quality matcha products. Other countries lack these stringent regulations, leading to lower quality products. Matcha has also been known to contain trace amounts of toxins. This occurs when plants are grown in polluted areas. Pollutants get into the plants through toxic soil and onto the leaves through toxic air, eventually making their way into your beverage. Again, certain countries have stricter rules to prevent this, while others are more lax. All the more reason to know where your matcha comes from.
Another important aspect of your product to consider is the post-harvest drying process. Some farmers will spray their matcha leaves with pesticides to speed up the drying process so that they can pump out more batches of matcha. This can be dangerous to consumers. It’s important to find a company that doesn’t take shortcuts when it comes to products you will be consuming.
So, where to find such a company? We’ve done our research and have two excellent choices: Got Matcha and Encha Tea. Here’s why!
Got Matcha, a female owned-and-operated company, is on a mission to educate the public on the health benefits of matcha and provide them with excellent, organic, and delicious matcha blends. These blends are created for people who prefer the flavors of other teas over matcha – say, Chai, Mint, or Lemon Ginger – but still crave the health benefits that matcha provides. They give consumers higher-than-average L-theanine content in their matcha powders.
Got Matcha’s Black Label Matcha contains 50-100% more L-theanine than any other matcha available on the market today. This is achieved through the company’s year-long drying period. After the tea leaves are harvested, they are laid to dry for an entire year before being ground into powder. This leads to higher quality matcha and a stronger nutrient profile in every batch. Each batch is also lab-tested to ensure the highest quality possible and guarantee the absence of any toxins. See all of the Got Matcha tea varieties that include different levels of quality and flavor profiles.
Encha Tea was founded in 2014 by an ex-Silicon Valley tech VP who, after tasting an incredible matcha from an organic farm in Japan, quit his job to show everyone that organic-only tea is possible, affordable, and enjoyable. Since then, the company has been on a mission to spread the word about organic matcha and its benefits. The company focuses on slow, meticulous care of its matcha plants to ensure the best possible quality. They offer all three grades of matcha: ceremonial, culinary, and latte.