What Is Matcha?
Matcha is simply the powdered version of green tea. The powder dissolves into the water and turns it an opaque green color:
This makes Matcha perfect for latte-ing, cold-brewing,
and other Instagram-able creations,
but may also impart extra health benefits.
Besides looking beautiful, the bright green shade of Matcha comes from its chlorophyll content. Antioxidants and polyphenols are a few of the healthy compounds found in fruits and veggies as well as tea. These may be of greater benefit in Matcha than in other teas because the leaves are ingested, rather than removed after steeping.
Matcha contains caffeine, but with an additional benefit that may temper its effects when compared to coffee: The amino acid L-theanine gives our bodies protein in addition to the caffeine, potentially improving mood and cognition.
One note of caution, though: Matcha may also contain higher amounts of lead than regular green tea. Matcha from China may pose the greatest risk for heavy metal contamination. The Republic of Tea Matcha sold at the Co-op is made from Japanese leaves, which are probably safe based on existing product test results.
Did you know? Green, white, and black teas are all derived from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, and anything else (mint, chamomile, etc) are actually considered to be herbal infusions. Try working that into a sentence first thing in the morning!