Much Ado About Matcha: Why This Green Tea Is Here To Stay

This traditional Japanese green tea is now a sought-after beverage across the world

Mohini Mehrotra Published Jun 12, 2020 19:19:13 IST
Much Ado About Matcha: Why This Green Tea Is Here To Stay Photo: Shutterstock

The origin

A popular green tea in Japan, the origin of matcha can be traced all the way back to the Tang Dynasty in China, around 7th century. Many believe it was a Buddhist monk, Myoan Eisai, who brought matcha to Japan in the year 1191 and it soon became a popular drink. Matcha is a special type of green tea wherein the young leaves are dried and then ground into a bright green powder. Harvested primarily in the Kyoto region of Japan, this green tea is said to improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and promote tranquillity.

All for the tea

Unlike regular tea which requires straining or dipping the bag in hot water, matcha tea can be made by just dissolving the green powder in hot water. A good quality matcha is bright green in colour, and is smooth and slightly sweet in taste.

This super-tea has gained such global popularity that it’s getting hardcore coffee and tea lovers to switch to this green brew of health. With dedicated matcha cafés popping up in many big cities, from New York to London, matcha has become more accessible to people outside Japan. You can find it on many restaurant and café menus across the country. From classic hot brewed matcha tea, creamy matcha ice-cream, café latte to matcha pudding, there’s a matcha to match all kinds of tastes.

Go green for health

Since you consume the entire leaf (ground and powdered) instead of just steeping a teabag in water, matcha has way more fibre and antioxidants than regular green tea. However, it also has relatively high caffeine content than regular green tea. “Matcha powder contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to reduce stress,” nutritionist Jenna Gorham, founder of Jenna Gorham Nutrition Consulting in Bozeman, Montana, tells Women’s Health.

It is also known to calm nerves. “People say that when they drink matcha, they have a smooth alertness and don’t experience a ‘caffeine crash’, which could have to do with the L-theanine component,” Gorham says.

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