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Last Updated on August 14, 2021 by Scott
Matcha’s host of health benefits, endless versatility, and vibrant green color make it an ingredient that can be put to a wide range of uses. Whether whisked into a drink, baked into a cake, or sprinkled onto a smoothie, this tea is a superfood worth incorporating into everyday use. Keep reading our comprehensive guide on matcha tea to find out everything you need to know — including a review of our top matcha choice: MatchaKari.
What is Matcha Tea?
Matcha is stone-ground green tea leaves powder. Three weeks before plucking, farmers select high-quality tea leaves to shade them for slow growth. This process increases chlorophyll production while giving the leaves a more vibrant color compared to other green teas.
The process also boosts L-theanine production, an amino acid compound that makes one relax without feeling sleepy. Here we will highlight more information on L-theanine effects in the matcha health benefits section. So, keep reading.
What Does Matcha Tea Taste Like?
Since Matcha tea is a traditional Japanese tea, the powder is usually whisked up traditionally with hot water to make a frothy drink. It can also be mixed with steamed milk for a matcha latte. You can enjoy it like you would enjoy a cup of coffee.
This results in earthy tea with pleasant bitter undertones, sweet nuttiness, and vegetal, grassy notes. The flavor is vegetal when whisked with boiling water in its pure ceremonial form. However, it can be sweetened up with milk and honey.
If you have tried matcha and didn’t like the taste, we encourage you to try it one more time. Later on, in this article, we will tell you how to choose the best matcha tea. You may have had a bad experience due to the quality of matcha tea you consumed.
We hope that this guide to matcha tea will help you begin with quality organic matcha.
Matcha Tea Health Benefits
One of Matcha tea’s distinctive characteristics is its powerful health benefits. From weight loss to boosting energy, matcha is associated with many positive health effects. The benefits are as a result of matcha using whole tea leaves ground into a fine powder.
Here are matcha green tea health benefits:
Prevents Heart Disease
Matcha green tea can help lower the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease when taken regularly. The tea can also lower blood sugar and help the body to metabolize fats quickly.
Matcha tea has also demonstrated to have the ability to reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). A research conducted by JAMA shows that people who consumed green tea had a reduced risk of death resulting from stroke and heart attack than those who didn’t consume the tea. That is because the tea can lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation.
Packed with Antioxidants
Matcha green tea contains antioxidants known as catechins and polyphenols. In fact, matcha tea contains a lot of more antioxidants than superfoods such as blueberries. EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is the most prominent catechin in matcha tea.
EGCG interferes with oxidation enabling it to provide many health benefits. Most matcha tea benefits are attributed to EGCG, which makes green tea to be considered as a superfood.
EGCG also increases fat oxidation. This can help speed up weight loss by increasing the rate at which the body burns fat. Additionally, EGCG can help prevent oxidative stress that is caused by heavy metals and free radicals.
Oxidative stress can increase when combined with factors like an unhealthy diet and pollution and is linked to diseases like neurological decline and cancer. Consuming green tea can help prevent free radicals that cause oxidative stress.
Speeds Up Weight Loss
Green tea is known to aid weight loss. It is also known as a detox tea and is sold in supplements referred to as green tea extract. The supplements are ground green tea leaves. Green tea helps increase fat oxidation by raising body temperature.
This signals the body to burn fat. The tea also helps the liver to process fats more efficiently into energy. Matcha tea is the perfect replacement for sugary juices and sodas since it is calorie-free.
L-theanine also helps induce calmness by increasing alpha waves in your brain. The waves decrease stress hormones and instead signal increased relaxation. They also help increase calm and alertness effectively and induce relaxation without feeling sleepy.
Matcha tea contains caffeine that occurs naturally and which can help boost energy. The matcha green tea caffeine content in ceremonial grade varieties is about 68 milligrams. That is similar to a standard black teacup. On the other hand, caffeine levels in regular green tea are only 30 milligrams.
Matcha leaves also contain L-theanine that helps slow down caffeine release. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine results in a longer-lasting energy boost. Green tea can help you feel alert without the jitters that accompany a traditional coffee cup.
Great for Immunity
Matcha tea can limit the growth and invasion of viruses in the body. It also strengthens the immune system. EGCG is effective in protecting the body against viral and bacterial infections. EGCG also binds to body cells and prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause diseases like Hepatitis and Herpes Virus.
How to Choose the Best Matcha Tea
If you are still reading this guide to matcha tea, you’re probably interested in trying green tea as your everyday drink or once in a while. So, how do you choose the best matcha tea?
There are many things to consider, including grade, quality, and type. It’s also important to remember that matcha brands are created differently. So, it’s crucial to choose your matcha tea from a reputable brand.
If your experience with matcha tea wasn’t good, we encourage you to try it again. However, keep in mind the following tips for choosing matcha. It’s possible you didn’t try quality matcha.
First, find out where the matcha tea is sourced from. While shopping for matcha, choose one from Japan. Agricultural laws are stringent, and the practice of harvesting has been honed.
Matcha from China isn’t always a good option. The soils are heavily polluted and contain high levels of lead and metals. While looking at the origin, also opt for organic matcha. It is crucial that what you consume isn’t laced with harmful chemicals or pesticides. Organic matcha tea is also more flavorful.
The first thing to check when choosing matcha tea is the visual cues. For instance, if the color is vibrant green for organic matcha, the grade or quality will be higher. Non-organic matcha tea can use fertilizers to control taste and color and mislead users when it comes to quality.
However, a few things can determine the color of matcha tea. For example, a more brown color instead of vibrant green can mean the tea leaves were not harvested at the right time, or the leaves were not shaded properly.
Both factors can influence the health benefits or flavor of the tea. This can result in a matcha that tastes bitter without the nutty and sweet notes that make it smooth to consume.
Additionally, when matcha is exposed to water or oxygen, it turns brown and oxidizes, which influences flavor negatively. So, look for brands that package their teas in airtight containers. Avoid buying your green tea from bulk sections where it’s likely to have expired even before you purchase it.
For optimum taste, store your matcha tea in airtight containers for a maximum of six months in the refrigerator. If the smell of your tea is lackluster and it has also lost its vibrant green color, it’s probably time to discard it.
The flavor notes you should consider while drinking your tea is how smooth the flavors balance in your mouth. If you are sipping high-quality matcha tea, you’ll notice a smooth sweetness, nuttiness, vegetal notes, and a pleasant bitterness that is not astringent.
Matcha Tea Brands
There are many matcha tea brands on the market. However, a few are trusted as they are known to produce quality tea. One such reputable brand is MatchaKari:
In 2007, Dr. Andrew Weil, a renowned medicinal plant expert, and Andre Fasciola, traveled to Japan and consumed traditional matcha, which they later loved. So, they decided to import the best matcha they could find with a focus on quality matcha.
They wanted to provide a delicious and healthy alternative to sugary drinks and coffee. Eventually, the two learned how to cultivate and process the highly prized green tea, how to identify the best matcha tea, and the distinctions among various grades.
Though the interest and awareness of matcha was growing in America, they were disappointed by the poor quality of matcha offered in the country. Dr. Weil and Andre founded MatchaKari to process high-quality matcha green tea from Japan.
A focus on Quality
The two decided to form a company to manufacture and import high-quality matcha while providing tea lovers worldwide with the best matcha tea. However, they realized the prices were beyond what most consumers could afford.
More on Dr. Weil
So, they decided to change that. They opted to import only the teas that met their standards for flavor, aroma, and color.
Dr. Andrew Weil is recognized internationally as an expert on wellness, integrative medicine, and medicinal plants. He’s the founder and director of Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine University and intends to create a comprehensive integrative medicine curriculum.
Dr. Weil has traveled all over, gathering information about alternative ways of treating illnesses and medicinal plants. He holds a B. A.degree in botany and an M.D degree from Harvard.
He has authored many scientific articles and 15-best selling books. Matcha tea is his latest plant-based alternative medicine. He is recognized as a plant-based options healing expert.
The brand seeks to:
- Source and deliver the best matcha tea all over the world
- Share their knowledge on the spirit of matcha, its health benefits, and merits
- Better the lives of their community and customers
- Give back to society
- Share matcha culture
- Build lifetime relationships
Apart from emphasizing quality, MatchaKari also strives to share everything they have learned about matcha, including the pleasures it can offer. The brand is passionate about passing the knowledge to other people even as they keep discovering new information.
For this reason, MatchaKari has two sections on its website dedicated to educating its customers. These are the press and the learn sections.
The press section educates the community through media interviews and podcasts. It focuses on matcha tea benefits. The learn section highlights the processes involved in manufacturing the tea, among other things.
MatchaKari is also committed to delivering the best matcha tea to tea lovers.They offer the most informative information about how to use matcha tea and its many health benefits.
How to Prepare Matcha Tea
Matcha tea can be brewed in different ways. The traditional way of preparing matcha tea is simple and doesn’t involve additives like sugar or milk.
Instructions for brewing
- Sift matcha tea powder with a mesh strainer and ensure all clumps are dissolved.
- Scoop a small amount of green tea powder using a spoon and put it in a bowl.
- Pour hot water in the bowl. Keep in mind that matcha tea brews best when using water with temperatures between 150 and 170 degrees. For accurate results, use a kettle whose temperature can be controlled. Bring water to boil if you do not have one and allow it to sit for one minute before pouring into the bowl.
- Whisk your tea to create a frothy foam. To achieve optimum results, whisk in a zigzag motion vigorously after pouring the boiling water in the bowl.
MatchaKari Product Reviews
Until now, you may only be familiar with culinary and ceremonial grades since they are universal and the most common. Also, all matcha companies either manufacture one or both. However, MatchaKari has developed two more as it seeks to break into a new market of matcha drinkers: Organic Super Matcha and Summer Reserve Cold Brew.
Ceremonial Grade Matcha
This is the highest-ranking green tea and is only made using the youngest and freshest leaves of the plant. This grade matcha is costly and usually used during Japanese tea ceremonies.
Traditionally, ceremonial matcha grade isn’t manufactured with other additives or sweeteners like sugar. This grade is ideal for special occasions or for tea lovers who insist on consuming the best. You can buy the tea from reputable companies like MatchaKari.
Organic Superior Matcha
MatchaKari’s superior matcha boasts of a sweet, rich flavor. It is the finest organic tea available. The matcha is selected carefully for its rich flavor and vibrant green color. It’s grown in Uji, Japan. This is perfect for a latte or a drink of your choice.
It’s also enjoyed best as a drinking matcha. Organic superior matcha is one of MatchaKari’s best ceremonial grades. One serving of matcha tea contains 40 to 80 milligrams of caffeine. It’s available in 30 grams and 80 grams airtight containers.
Summer Reserve Cold Brew
Drinking Ice-cold matcha is refreshing, especially on a hot day. The high-quality matcha tea is grown exclusively on Uji hills, Japan. This matcha tea has a mellow and smooth flavor that’s less bitter compared to other matcha blends.
This is MatchaKari’s mid-grade drinking tea and is ideal for lattes or cold brews. Like its Organic Superior Matcha counterpart, it’s also available in 30 grams and 80 grams airtight containers. It also contains 40 to 80 milligrams of caffeine per each matcha tea serving.
Organic Culinary Grade
This matcha grade is made using leaves from the 2nd or 3rd harvest. The leaves are typically exposed longer to the elements and the oldest. Culinary matcha grade is mostly used in ice cream and baked goods. It is also coarser compared to other matcha grades.
- PURITY: 100% Pure Stone Ground Organic Matcha Tea Powder with nothing artificially added. Hand...
- ORIGIN: Harvested in Uji Japan from Exclusive Matcha Farms and Powdered by Ceramic Stone Mill. Tea...
- POWERFUL ANTIOXIDENTS: Great Source of Antioxidents & Amino Acids Including (EGCG) & (L-Theanine)....
Culinary matcha contains fewer health benefits than its ceremonial or premium grade matcha counterparts. This is because it has fewer healthy compounds like antioxidants and amino acids.
Culinary grade produces nutty and vegetal profiles when baking. However, when drinking, the matcha is bitter and more astringent. This grade matcha is inexpensive and ideal for cooking with matcha tea powder and baking.
Matcha Starter Kits and Accessories
MatchaKari starter kits include premium Morning Ritual green tea, a sifter, scoop, bowl, and whisk. The kit is perfect for those new to preparing matcha tea. The matcha tea set arrives both in a black bowl option and a white bowl option. Each item in the starter kit is made in Japan.
MatchaKari is the most reputable brand when it comes to manufacturing high-quality matcha tea. The company cultivates its tea organically in Uji, Japan, a region that is prized for rich flavor and usually considered Japan’s best.
The brand also educates the community and consumers on the health benefits of matcha tea. They use various media platforms such as podcasts, something that distinguishes Matchakari from other brands. Matcha is a great tea choice as it packs an endless list of health benefits. Give it a try if you haven’t started drinking it.
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.