Updated: May 21, 2020
My sister introduced me to Verdi Te, around the same time she started going on animal-cruelty marches with The Body Shop in her mid-teens. She had glorious selection of The Body Shop plant-powered products, including Green Tea Body Butter (moisturiser), now named, Fuji Green Tea and a little selection of Chinese herbal teas.
I recall thinking she was so much cooler than me because she was old enough to go on a protest and mature to buy her own cosmetics. Even now, the fresh, clean smell of these particular fragrances make me nostalgic.
The first cup of green tea my sister forced upon me in my teens tasted awful. It was super bitter. I recall experimenting with various brands and buying it lose. As you are probably aware, Matcha is a type of green tea that contains caffeine and much like, wheatgrass shots, pink beetroot latte or a thick black paleo latte Matcha is not to everyone's taste.
It's said, in 2737 B.C a Chinese Emperor mistakenly drank water that had a dead tea leaf boiled in it and much like the history of sericulture a new product was born. Japanese Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It has two aspects of farming 1. The green tea plants for matcha are grown in the shade for about three weeks before harvest and the stems and veins are removed in processing. 2. The powdered form of matcha which I love is consumed differently from tea leaves or tea bags, as it is suspended in a liquid, typically water.
These days a matcha latte is available on every coffee shop street corner. Commonly, matcha powder is used to flavour and dye all sorts of foods such as mocha, soba noodles, green tea yogurt, ice cream, sorbet, Matcha latte and wagashi, which are those tiny fig-sized, complimentary treats you have with a cuppa in Japan, Hong Kong and China. A cup of matcha generally costs the same as a pint of beer in the United Kingdom.
Matcha has been available in bulk in health shops for a long time so why has it become more popular in independent coffee shops and more commonly in bulk in day to day supermarkets? These days many people are health conscious and when health and well-being are important drinking Matcha is said to be age-defining so introducing it into our daily diet is probably a no brainer. All you do is whisk a quarter of a teaspoon of powder in a little bowl with a tiny bit of boiling water, for roughly one minute until it is frothy, then top the cup up with boiling hot water and drink with a drizzle of honey (or on its own) and 'voila'. Alternatively, place a heaped teaspoon into a protein shake or mix a tablespoon it into a batch of energy balls. Matcha powder generally costs between 10.00-30.00 GBP for 250-500ml. You will also need a small hand-held bambook whisk and mini scoop which is usually 8.00-12.00GBP. Most Chinese food shops and health shops sell them.
If you do not drink Matcha, here are 10 age-defining health benefits to consider introducing Matcha into your diet:
1. Matcha has 137x more antioxidants than regular brewed tea.
Antioxidants are chemicals that limit the damage caused by free radicals baring in mind our body uses antioxidants to balance free radicals.
2. One bowl of Matcha (quarter teaspoon) can boost your calorie burning by 4x
3. Drinking and applying matcha fights skin cancer by promoting DNA repair
4. It's a potent anti-ageing ingredient that combats signs of ageing when ingested or applied
5. Promotes a healthy brain
6. Promotes a healthy heart
7. Matcha caffeine levels equal half the level of a black cup of coffee
8. Matcha provides a less jittery, more sustained energy boost – with no crash at the end
9. The major antioxidant called EGCG will increase metabolic rate during workouts, including when you are out and about, dashing around, and or doing the school run.
10. A cup of Matcha tea has 4x more green tea in it than a cup of green tea.
Basically, if you enjoy green tea you will probably enjoy matcha, even more knowing it has the above health benefits.
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