What is Matcha?

Matcha tea is becoming more popular than ever and is on the menu of fine coffee shops, tea houses, and even at some fast-food restaurants. You can also find matcha ice cream at some Asian restaurants and fancy ice cream parlors. Like all green tea, it is full of antioxidants and has numerous health benefits. Let’s take a look at how matcha tea differs from other green tea drinks.

“Like green tea, matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant.” Healthline

Matcha tea does not come in tea bags or as loose-leaf tea. Instead, it comes in the form of a fine powder that can be mixed with hot or cold water or milk. There are differences in the way matcha tea is grown as well.

photo of ceremonial tea set on wooden surface
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Farmers grow matcha by covering their tea plants 20–30 days before harvest to avoid direct sunlight. This increases chlorophyll production, boosts the amino acid content, and gives the plant a darker green hue.” Healthline

Matcha contains more caffeine and antioxidants than other green tea varieties because it uses the whole leaf and is consumed as a fine powder. When I first started drinking matcha, I noticed my heart racing as I wasn’t used to consuming large amounts of caffeine. I thought I was having an adverse reaction to this miracle tea, not knowing about this fact.

Everyday Health

Benefits of matcha:

Matcha contains catechins, which give it antioxidant qualities. This is one of the most exciting benefits of green tea. Antioxidants reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease.

“There are several catechins in green tea, but the most abundant one is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It is this antioxidant that has been credited as giving green tea its health properties, which include anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties as well as cardiovascular protection, notes a review of research on the health benefits of green tea published in January 2017 in the journal Beverages.” Everyday Health

Matcha contains theanine like all tea does. *Read our past article: Should I drink green or black tea?

Due to the Camellia sinensis plant being shaded before harvesting elevates matcha to contain the highest amounts of theanine.

“Controlled experiments have shown that theanine has a positive effect on the mind and improves memory by increasing dopamine levels. Additionally, the alpha brain waves increase 40 minutes after a person consumes theanine, making this a great drink for students or professionals.” Zen Green Tea

Matcha improves brain function. Caffeine and L-theanine present in matcha gives the brain a boost, increasing energy and stamina. As a result, memory is improved, reaction times are faster, and brain fog is reduced.

Matcha is helpful for weight loss. Green tea powder is added to many weight loss products. It is known to increase fat burning and improve metabolism.

Consuming matcha is good for your heart. Studies show green tea will lower levels of total and LDL cholesterol levels. In addition, drinking more green tea reduces your risk of stroke and heart disease.

Graph Credit zengreentea

Preparing matcha at home

To make the perfect cup of matcha tea, add 1–2 teaspoons of matcha powder into your cup, add 2 ounces of hot water, and mix together using a hand-held frother or a bamboo whisk. If you want it thicker, add a little more, thinner, add a little less. Then fill your cup or glass with hot or cold water or milk and the sweetener of choice. Tea shops tend to add vanilla syrup. I like making it with honey or lavender syrup. Matcha has a strong bitter taste if unsweetened.

Adding matcha powder to smoothies is a great way to add some caffeine and to increase your antioxidant load for the day. It will turn your smoothie a beautiful green. Add matcha to homemade ice cream or frozen yogurt. Blend it in vanilla or cream cheese frosting to easily make it green with a kick.

Hot or Cold Matcha?

Iced matcha seems to be the more popular version these days. This is a personal choice, and I recommend you try them both! I personally do not enjoy it as a hot tea latte. Iced matcha with honey and almond or oat milk is very refreshing on a hot day. When having hot matcha, I recommend adding steamed milk for a creamier cup of tea.

Drinking matcha may also increase your exposure to contaminants like pesticides, chemicals, and even arsenic found in the soil where the tea plants are grown. National Library of Medicine

I don’t recommend drinking more than 2 cups of matcha per day, and please buy certified organic varieties to increase matcha’s health benefits for more minor side effects.

Herbal Matcha Smoothie Recipe

For a nutrient-rich meal replacement, combine herbal tea with matcha in a creamy and sweet smoothie.

Prepare a strong brew of Know Your Gut, Trust Your Gut, from You, Me, and Uni teas. This tea contains red clover, cornflower petals, comfrey leaf, and dandelion. Use one cup of boiling water in a mason jar with 1 Tablespoon of tea leaves. Cover and let steep for 2-4 hours before straining. Cool in the refrigerator.

Pour 1/3 cup of digestive tea into the blender.

Add 1 tsp matcha powder.

Add ½ tsp ginger powder.

½ cup frozen pineapple

½ cup frozen peaches

½  – one whole frozen banana

Optional kale or spinach – one handful

Optional honey – try it first – with the sweet fruit, you just may not need it

Coconut, almond, or oat milk – enough to blend – about ½ cup

 For more recommendations on improving digestion, read 6 Ways to Improve your Digestion.

Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor, and the owner of

Walden Writes For Women.



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