Matcha tea is a green tea known for its abundance of health benefits that come from the plant leaves during the steeping process, making it healthier for you when mixing it in hot water. Perhaps you’re wondering if matcha is healthier served hot or cold?
Although more flavor and components are released into your drink when you brew matcha tea in hot water, that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no health benefits when served cold. Here’s what you need to know about Matcha tea.
What is Matcha, and is it Good For You?
While Matcha might have become a health trend over recent years, it definitely isn’t a new product, nor are the benefits it possesses just being discovered.
Matcha tea dates back hundreds, almost a thousand years ago, to the Tang Dynasty in China. It was there that the storing and transporting of tea was taken care of by creating Matcha bricks.
In 1191 a Zen Buddhist who was practicing Buddhism in China returned to his home in Japan, where he brought the tea seeds back with him and the Buddhist way of preparing the drink.
It was in Japan where many believe the health benefits originated from after the Buhddists changed the way they were cultivated and planted these green tea plants in shaded areas.
Thus, the ceremonial, high-quality tea was born.
What are the health benefits associated with Match Tea?
Several health benefits are associated with drinking high-quality matcha tea, many of them proven by multiple studies and research.
- Boosts Your Brain Function
Multiple components found in matcha tea are known for increasing brain function. This includes focus, memory, reaction time, and enhanced memory.
- Aids in Weight Management
Matcha is a green tea, and green tea is known for helping aid in weight loss and weight management. This tea boosts your metabolism and increases fat burning during exercise.
- Full of Antioxidants
Matcha tea is comprised of antioxidant compounds that reduce the chances of illness and diseases and reduce cell damage.
- Aids in Heart Health
Matcha tea has been shown to reduce your bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels, minimizing the chances of heart disease and stroke.
What is the Best Way to Drink Matcha?
“To each their own.” There are many different ways to enjoy Matcha, and as long as they are prepared the proper way, you will have a great beverage to enjoy.
Some of the most common ways to prepare your Matcha are hot/warm Matcha, iced Matcha, Matcha Smoothies, Matcha lattes. and Matcha flavored desserts such as cakes and tarts.
However, the traditional ways to enjoy Matcha primarily include drinking the beverage hot or cold for health benefits.
Can Matcha be Served Hot or Cold
Matcha can be served hot or cold; whichever is your preferred method is perfectly fine. It’s important to note however that Matcha provides you with more benefits when served hot.
We suggest serving your Matcha hot due to the benefits of the seeping process. When you prepare cold Matcha, you are not allowing the tea to release the same amount of nutrients and beneficial properties as hot brewing.
This green tea contains L-theanine, which releases much better in hot water. L-theanine is known for increasing mood, controlling your blood pressure, and enhancing memory. It also gives the tea a sweeter taste.
It is noteworthy to add that matcha tea served cold does possess a smooth and satisfying flavor and can be just as enjoyable.
Can I Use Boiling Water to Brew Matcha
While we all know it is very common to boil water before steeping tea, this is a terrible idea for Matcha. A good temperature for this green tea is 80°C (176°F) or below.
Matcha tea brewed in boiling water will taste awful, with a bitter and desirable flavor.
The best way to brew your Matcha tea is by heating the water to around 175°F and warming your matcha bowl/cup. Next, scoop the desired amount of Match powder from the container (about 1 ½ tablespoon) into your bowl/cup, and add a small bit of the hot water, stirring or whisking to get rid of any clumps. Then add the rest of the hot water directly to your bowl/cup, no strainer, and stir/whisk until completely dissolved. Enjoy!
What is the Best Way to Store Matcha?
Matcha tea can be ruined by too much exposure to oxygen, so it is highly advised that you purchase an air-tight container with a quality seal. You can also place your Matcha into a zip-lock baggie, compress all of the air out of it, then zip it up and place it into a canister.
You also want to keep your Matcha away from the light. This can alter the taste of your tea, giving it a metallic taste. Place it in the air-tight container or ziplock bag and store it in a cool, not cold, dark place.
What are the Different Types of Matcha?
There are two different main types of Matcha tea, Ceremonial and Culinary. The ceremonial Matcha is the high-end version of the teas used in traditional tea ceremonies; this tea is made from the youngest tea leaves on the plant due to its vibrant color and smooth texture.
Ceremonial matcha leaves are ridden of the veins that weave through the leaves to perfect the grounded texture.
The ceremonial tea has a naturally delicious flavor, requiring no additives to give it a delectable taste. You will typically not find this type of Matcha used in baking or any other food or beverage.
Culinary Matcha is the lesser quality of the two, made from young leaves but still older than ceremonial tea leaves.
These leaves are not as vibrant and green and are often used in culinary projects like cakes, lattes, smoothies, etc.
Although culinary Matcha isn’t as flavorful or high-quality as ceremonial, it still provides an amazing flavor for culinary purposes.
Matcha tea is healthier for you when it is hot compared to cold. However, you will still obtain many of the benefits of drinking the beverage cold, and it will taste wonderful across the temperature dial (just avoid boiling water as mentioned above). With that said, we always recommend that you choose the high-quality, ceremonial products to ensure you are always getting the most out of your Matcha drink.
To learn more about Matcha, we encourage you to check out our full Matcha Resources page.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.