Matcha

The Amazing Components Of Matcha Green Tea

The Amazing Components Of Matcha Green Tea

What makes Matcha what it is?  Here is a brief overview of the powerful components within Matcha Green tea.

L-TheanineL-Theanine is a unique amino acid found almost exclusively in the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and is the primary amino acid component of green tea. The shading of the tea plants before harvest, increases the L-Theanine content, giving Matcha its characteristically pleasant and sweet flavor.

The effects of L-Theanine are truly amazing. It has the unique ability to stimulate the production of alpha waves in the brain; a state otherwise mostly achieved by meditation and characterized by a calm alertness and relaxed mental clarity. This is one reason why the Zen monks appreciated a good cup of Matcha before their "lengthy" meditation sessions.

The relaxing effects of L-Theanine act antagonistically against the stimulatory effects of caffeine on the nervous system thus smoothing the body’s reaction and leading to an experience of dynamic bliss. Clinical studies have also shown L-Theanine to reduce stress, to lower blood pressure, to improve memory and learning abilities, to diminish PMS symptoms and to have a mild antioxidant activity. L-Theanine is fast acting, the desirable effects are generally noticeable within the first 30 minutes after enjoying a cup of Matcha and can last for up to 6 hours.

Thermogenics – Green tea has long been studied as a weight loss aid. Research now indicates that drinking green tea can boost metabolism by 35-40%, thus increasing fat burning capacity without any adverse side effects.

Anti-oxidants – The catechins found in green tea are some of the most powerful natural anti-oxidants, thereby having a strong anti-aging effect on the body. The anti-oxidants in green tea are 100 times stronger than Vitamin C, and 25 times stronger than Vitamin E.

Matcha green tea contains 70 times the anti-oxidant capacity of orange juice, and 9 times the beta carotene of spinach.

Chorophyll - Matcha contains extremely high levels of Chlorophyll, thus the brilliant emerald green color. Chlorophyll is one of the most powerful blood detoxifyers, as well as supporting a healthy blood alkalinity.

Polyphenols and Catechins – These phytonutrients are quickly becoming known as the most potent cancer fighting substances known to man. Matcha green tea contains the highest levels of these precious derivatives.

Adaptogenics – Green tea is an “adaptogen” which means it supports the adrenal glands by lowering levels of the “stress” hormone Cortisol.

Blood Pressure Lowering Catechins – Green Tea contains specific catechins that can lower blood pressure by preventing contraction of blood vessels through inhibition of Angiotensin.

Cholesterol Lowering agents – Green tea has been shown to decrease the levels of LDL (‘bad”) cholesterol while having no effect on HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Blood Sugar Stabilizers – The polysaccharides in green tea can protect against insulin spikes thus stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Anti-microbials – Green tea contains potent anti-biotics and anti-virals, lending itself to the prevention and treatment of many common ailments including flu, cold, food poisoning etc.

These anti-microbial catechins also prevent tooth decay and gum disease, as well as sweetening bad breath by balancing the gut microflora. 

Matcha and Exercise Go Hand in Hand

Matcha and Exercize

To reach and maintain your overall optimum energy, it is essential to not only eat well, but also to maintain a consistent level of physical activity.  This is where Matcha green tea can play an important role.  With your workouts, whether your goal is to increase endurance, increase metabolism and/or drop excess visceral fat (the fat stored in the abdominal area), Matcha green tea can assist the body with all three.

 

The key is to drink Matcha daily.  I have watched clients drink Matcha on occasion, only 1-2 cups per week before workouts not understanding why they aren’t experiencing the full potential.  You will always experience a boost of energy and endurance from one serving of Matcha before a workout but to see results in muscle toning and fat burning, this tea should be drunk on a regular basis.

It is ideal to drink Matcha regularly (2-3 times daily) and make sure that one of those cups is within ½ hour before exercising.  One serving, about 1 tsp of Matcha, consumed pre-workout will help fuel and maintain the body.  Keep in mind that your endurance will increase gradually over a couple months.  You will experience more energy on a daily basis along with your workouts by the time weeks 8-10 approach with drinking Matcha daily.  I have read various studies which found that physical endurance will improve as much as 20-25%.

If your goal is weight loss, next to a healthy diet Matcha is one of nature’s best and most natural aids, safe for almost every person.  Matcha naturally increases your body’s energy and heat production during cardio and resistance training which tells the body to burn more calories, specifically fat calories, resulting in weight loss.  Those using Matcha regularly can burn up to four times more calories per workout session.  I have found that your metabolism can increase as much as 30-40% simply through drinking matcha daily and incorporating it into your workout.

I have been drinking Matcha tea for over 10 years and it not only helps to keep our energy up but definitely it has helped to get rid of those last few post-pregnancy pounds that tend to be a bit stubborn.  I encourage all of my clients to drink Matcha regularly and they have not only been able to lose those pounds that love to store abdominally but experience everything else that Matcha has to offer including energy gain, focus, clarity, immunity and much more.  – Rebekah

Matcha and Diabetes

Matcha and Diabetes

After doing much research there is a lot of evidence that drinking green tea regularly, ideally 2 or more cups of tea daily, are less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes.  A research study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008 found after two studies were done, that regular consumption of green tea “can increase fat oxidation during moderate-intensity exercise and can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance”.

According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, “A high frequency of green tea consumption is associated with lower levels of body mass index and serum LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides levels [24], and fasting glucose”.  They found in the study that the caffeine and catechins in green tea have health benefits and that “the frequency of green tea consumption was inversely associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes”.

Obesity and insulin resistance are both large contributors to type 2 diabetes…this is where Matcha green tea can play an important preventative role.  The catechins in green tea have proven in many studies to “improve exercise performance, increase fat oxidation and prevent obesity”.  Matcha’s ability to aid in weight management and exercise, minimize fat storage, and improve insulin sensitivity make this superfood tea the perfect natural choice to help prevent diabetes.

Also remember that Matcha green tea is 10 times more potent compared to traditional green tea so Matcha will be that much more effective with helping to prevent and treat those with diabetes.  Matcha is one of the highest “foods” in antioxidants which is a major reason why this amazing superfood is linked to treating Type 2 Diabetes.

The Art of Matcha

The art of creating Matcha incorporates many facets of the growing process.  The location, the time, the growing conditions and shade, and the art of blending and harvesting at just the right time make creating organic Matcha truly an art. 

GotMatcha has sourced the world for the finest Matcha green tea. Quality Matcha is extremely rare, pure and exclusive and your finest Matcha tea is found harvested high in the mountains of Japan.


Yes, there are other Matcha teas from China, Korea and Thailand but none of them compare in
quality to what we have found from Japan. Matcha is the most exciting discovery of the 21st century's modern tea world. Enjoyed over 800 years ago by Buddhist monks, Matcha was consumed prior to their times of meditation as a tea which helped to enhance their focus and clarity. It was created as their "ceremonial" tea. And thus we call

Matcha, the Ceremonial tea of the ancients. Of course today we realize that Matcha has tremendous health benefits as well. Matcha is known today as the healthiest, rarest and most premium of all tea
in Japan.


The History of Matcha

The development and cultivation of green tea is thought to have begun sometime in the Tang Dynasty (7-10th century) where the tea was harvested and formed into tea bricks which were created for storage and for the efficient transportation of the tea over long distances. Read mor

Our Premium Organic is harvested from May to early June, a very short window of time,  compared to non-organic Matcha.  Organic production does not use any pesticides and relies on natural fertilizers only, therefore the organic fields are located in the valleys of the mountains away from civilization.  

Are all “powdered green teas” created equal?

No…..Not at all.

Their history parallels each other, for one is a derivative of the other; but that is where the similarity ends.

Although Matcha Green Tea has been around for well over 800 years, it is only now beginning to be recognized within the health community as a superfood that surpasses virtually every other anti-oxidant superfood today. Matcha’s roots go back to ancient China when it was used medicinally. However, as Matcha came to the mainland of Japan over 800 years ago, it grew into a traditional ceremonial beverage loved and revered by the Japanese. The nutritional benefits are really off-the-charts.

Matcha is the green tea used and developed by the ancient temple priests for their time of meditation. The process of developing this “ceremonial” tea involved changes in how the initial “sencha” or green tea plant was cultivated. Although there are literally thousands of varieties of green tea, Matcha is the finest grade available.

The main difference between Matcha and powdered green tea lies in the type of leaf used. Whereas regular powdered green tea is made from sun grown sencha leaves, Matcha is made instead from the same leaves but are shade-grown, called gyokuro.

Unlike Sencha, Gyokuro (or jade dew), spends a portion of its life in the shade under special tarps that are designed to keep the leaves out of direct sunlight. This results in leaves that turn out even darker than Sencha, and produce a cup that is slighter sweeter and with more of a fuller body.

Furthermore, the typical sencha leaf is grown entirely in the sun, and its growth cycle is much longer than Matcha, which is shade grown and harvested at a much earlier period.

During the processing of green tea, Matcha is not rolled like gyokuro but is instead processed so that only the soft, inner parts of the leaf are used. This results in a byproduct known as tencha. From here the leaves are then ground into powdered form.

Regular powdered sencha is the least expensive variety of powdered green tea, and does not compare to the full range of benefits and health properties of genuine Matcha powdered green tea. As well, most sencha powdered green teas often use the entire leaf, stems and all!

Matcha is the ceremonial tea of the temple high priests. To say “Ceremonial Matcha” is almost a redundant statement, for Matcha is the Ceremonial version of the green tea plant of Japan.

 

A Comparison of the Anti-Oxidant qualities of Matcha Green Tea

Anti Oxidant Levels

Comparison of anti-oxidents found in various foods. Source: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry

Tea-catechins are among the most researched and scientifically discussed antioxidants. A vast number of publications have already been published on these ingredients with high antioxidant effect results.

Analysis shows that Matcha contains higher antioxidant levels on a per gram basis compared to all natural fruits and vegetables known thus far. And ORAC test results prove that one gram of organic Matcha ceremonial green tea contains 1,384 ORAC units.

 When compared to other antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables as well as other leading superfoods, organic Matcha ceremonial green tea clearly stands out above the rest.

*ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity. This test method was developed by the USDA and Tufts University to assess the antioxidant potency of foods and beverages. Higher numbers contains more antioxidant affects to our body.

A Brief History of Matcha

The development and cultivation of green tea is thought to have begun sometime in the Tang Dynasty (7-10th century) where the tea was harvested and formed into tea bricks which were created for storage and for the efficient transportation of the tea over long distances.

Initially the tea was prepared by roasting and pulverizing, then followed by decocting the resulting tea powder in hot water, adding salt.  From these origins the process evolved until the grinding of steamed green tea became popular in the Song Dynsaty (10th–13th Century).  The method of making powdered tea from steam-prepared dried tea leaves, and preparing the beverage by whipping the tea powder and hot water together in a bowl became popular in the latter part of the 12th century.

Preparation and consumption of powdered tea was formed into a ritual by Zen Buddhists, who cultivated the green tea plant, called “sencha”, by growing it under shade conditions thus maximizing the therapeutic benefits of the green tea, or what became known as “Matcha”. 

What began as a “sencha” plant, evolved into what is known as “tencha”, the basis for this highly revered and carefully cultivated shade grown green tea plant.

The Zen Buddhists were very aware of the meditational benefits of this “Matcha” green tea, which brought to them a greater sense of clarity and well-being.  They found that in drinking this tea before their afternoon meditations that it enabled them to be much more “centered”, “focused”, and maintain a level of sustained energy throughout the afternoon which they had never experienced before.  This special green tea eventually became known as “Matcha, the Ceremonial tea of the temple high priests”.

Even the warriors, the ”Shogun,” saw the remarkable benefits of this “ceremonial” tea, for it gave them that extra sustained energy and mental acuity.  Whenever possible, this was their “ceremonial” drink prior to going into battle.

Zen Buddhism and along with it the Chinese methods of preparing powdered tea, were brought to Japan in 1191 by the monk,  Eisai.

Powdered tea was slowly forgotten in China, but in Japan it continued to be an important item at Zen monasteries.

Along with this development, tea plantation owners in Japan continued to perfect the process for developing and maximizing the most potent and therapeutically beneficial Matcha.

Matcha was extremely precious and was produced only in tiny quantities so that only the SHOGUN and nobility were able to drink Matcha.  However, in 1738, Sohen Nagatani came on the scene and invented the “uji” green tea processing method.  This method is still in practice and use today, and it enabled a much more efficient process to create this revered “Matcha”.  Matcha, the ceremonial tea of the shogun and nobility, now became more available to the public.

Prior to this groundbreaking process of creating Matcha tea, only a handful of merchants had been approved to process and create Matcha. Because of this the general populace at large drank only what was called, Bancha (Houjicha), which has a brown color, and which was much more bitter to taste and lacked that beautiful resilient green color of the precious Matcha tea.

Sohen Nagatani wanted the common people of Japan to be able to have access to not only brown but also this highly revered “ceremonial” or “matcha” green tea.  Nagatani began to teach the farmers the secret of this “uji” processing method which had a tremendous impact on the development of the entire Uji region of Kyoto; bringing this highly revered tea to the people.