What is Matcha Powder and Should We Be Consuming It?
We’ve been hearing about green tea and its benefits for a while now. But have you heard all of the craze about matcha? Matcha is a specialized powder form of green tea, and is grown in the shade instead of full sun like regular green tea plant. Matcha leaves are made into green tea as well, but the leaves are ground into a fine powder instead of loose leaves. This is to let you ingest the leaves themselves as part of your tea beverage, giving you all the benefits from the plant. And if you’re super cool & hip, you can drink it in the form of a matcha latte. *cue additional latte puns*
"So what are the benefits?"
- CATECHINS: Matcha contains these cool little things called catechins….aka a compound that provides super antioxidant and (sometimes) chemo-protective powers.
o Antioxidant power of matcha also helps prevent oxidative stress in the body and therefore helps prevent many chronic diseases. Now sure why we need to “decrease oxidative stress” in our bodies? Check out my video all about inflammation here.
o The compounds found in matcha have been loosely linked to chemo-protective effects, although this one study does not mean that it’s a guaranteed outcome...stay tuned for more research
o Matcha can also protect the skin from damage, and provide an immune boost to your body.
- CAFFEINE: compared to green tea, matcha has about double the caffeine. But compared to coffee, matcha has slightly less caffeine (about 50 mg vs 95-200 mg in coffee...depending on how strong you brew)
"Is matcha better for me than green tea?"
Remember those antioxidant and anti-cancer effects I just talked about? Those are present at a much greater concentration in matcha than in green tea alone. Sometimes about 100 times greater than green tea leaves! So yes, the beneficial compounds in matcha are much greater than what’s found in green tea, although nothing is a “silver bullet” to health.
"How do I make a matcha latte?"
A typical amount of matcha to consume is around 2 grams (~1 tsp of matcha powder). Consuming matcha in excess (think 3-4 cups/day) may be harmful due to its strong chemical properties, so let’s try not to consume too much in one day.
I made my matcha latte with…
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup water
1.5 grams (almost 1 tsp) matcha powder
1-2 tsp honey
a dash of cinnamon
Bring coconut milk and water to a simmer on the stove. Add in cinnamon and matcha powder and stir for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients to a blender or blender ball mixing cup (I also use a hand held milk brother to stir mine when I don’t want to clean a blender). Pour the tea into the blender and mix together for 45 seconds-1 minute. *if using a blender ball cup, let the steam out after 15 seconds or it will become too pressurized...*