Matcha History 101: Why It Has Been a Game Changer in the Health Industry
Have you ever tried matcha? If not, you’re likely to soon be in the minority in Australia – or at least that’s how it seems! Over the past few years, matcha has become incredibly popular, with cafe owners, busy mums, and health gurus alike all raving about its benefits. If you’re looking to know more about where this mysterious drink comes from and why it’s such a big deal right now, keep on reading.
The Origins of Matcha Powder
Regular green tea made from parts of the leaves has been around for much longer than green tea matcha. In fact, people from China started using green tea leaves to brew delicious drinks as early as the 8th century! Matcha didn’t come along until the 12th century, five hundred years later. Imagine all of those years without a morning mug of matcha?
The matcha discovery was made by Myoan Eisai – a Buddhist monk – who took his green tea leaves, dried them, and powdered them. He realised that blending this powder with water created an entirely different drink compared to when infusing the leaves, and matcha was born. Myoan Eisai also found that, by drinking the powder, he entered a state of calm alertness that helped him meditate, and he took his method with him to Japan.
The popularity of matcha grew there and more benefits were discovered. The famous Japanese Tea Ceremony (Chado) was created, in which the making of matcha becomes a thoughtful ritual and a moment for pause.
What Are the Benefits of Matcha?
One of the reasons that matcha became so popular is because of that calm alertness Myoan Eisai gained when he drank it. This is actually due to a blend of two substances; caffeine and L-theanine. A matcha latte or cup of matcha tea actually contains less caffeine than in the same amount of coffee. But, L-theanine helps the body to absorb it more efficiently and slowly. Instead of that jittery buzz that coffee brings, L-theanine creates a calmer, more sustained boost. It’s ideal for helping you focus and doesn’t hit you with that post-coffee crash.
There are plenty of other matcha benefits as well. Aside from helping you stay alert, matcha has also been shown to boost brain-function, protect the liver, and help to keep your heart healthy. But one of its biggest benefits are the antioxidants it contains.
Matcha and Antioxidants
Matcha is full of catechins, which are natural antioxidants. These antioxidants can help stabilise harmful free radicals that threaten cells and lead to harmful diseases, including cancers. Other green teas contain catechins too but, because they’re infused in water, the effects are weaker. By consuming matcha powder rather than infusing leaves, the levels of antioxidants is 137 times higher! This makes it a super food that’s going to help protect your body, and has put it on the must-have lists of health experts around the world.
Organic Matcha Tea in Australia
If you’re looking to buy matcha in Australia, make sure you always opt for high-quality, organic products! These are the most authentic varieties of matcha and will give you the biggest health boost. Once you’ve got yours, you can start whipping up deliciously healthy matcha teas, matcha lattes, and even matcha cheesecake to help you live a long and happy life.