What is matcha and why it's better than coffee
Several years ago, I made the switch from coffee to matcha, and honestly, I’ve never looked back. While I still love the smell of coffee, the jolt of caffeine and acid was giving me tummy issues. So one day, I cut it out cold turkey. After many trials of chai, black, and green teas, I finally found my way to matcha. The slower release of caffeine versus the harsh spike and crash of coffee was instantly noticeable. And matcha has some amazing bonus health benefits as well.
Some mornings I’ll blend it into a smoothie, but I like it best swirled into oat milk to create a frothy matcha latte. To me, it’s the perfect way to start the day. It’s energizing and calming both at once, and above all else, it’s delicious.
What is matcha?
If you’re not familiar with matcha, it’s a finely ground powder made of whole Japanese green tea leaves. It comes from the same plant that green tea is brewed from, camellia sinensis, but with matcha, the entire leaf is consumed. Matcha plants are shade-grown and the leaves are stoneground, which allows them to stay jam-packed with nutrients.
Matcha has traditionally been consumed as part of Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, but has become more widely known and popular in recent years and is now enjoyed around the world.
Not all matcha is created equal
There are different grades of matcha, but the two most common ones you’ll typically find are ceremonial grade and culinary grade. Ceremonial grade is the most premium matcha, which is grown and harvested in Japan under the most pristine conditions and handpicked. Ceremonial grade is what is used in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, and what you’ll find included in our Fall Box. Culinary grade is typically more bitter and a lighter green color, because the leaves used are more mature and harvested later in the season. However, it’s also friendlier on the wallet, and is perfect for smoothies, cakes, and green tea ice cream, and still comes with great health benefits.
It’s an antioxidant powerhouse
Matcha powder offers a megadose of antioxidants, and is said to have 137 times more antioxidants than brewed green tea!! Matcha contains one of the world’s most powerful antioxidants called catechins, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, slow the process of ageing, and a number of other incredible benefits. Matcha also blows away other antioxidant-rich foods, including blueberries, goji berries, pomegranate, and dark chocolate.
It has an energizing AND calming effect
Matcha also puts coffee to shame. A matcha hit provides 34mg of caffeine, which is the same as a cup of brewed coffee and half the amount of an espresso, however, the tea's buzz is much more energizing and longer-lasting. This is thanks to the amino acid L-Theanine, which slows the release of caffeine and has a calming, relaxing effect. This is the science behind what I mentioned I felt – no more coffee jitters and energy crashes that I would just keep feeding with coffee. You end up with a clear and alert mind with greater focus, and who doesn’t want that?
What’s the matcha in our Fall Box?
We’ve partnered with d:matcha, a tea farm in the Wazuka village about 17 kilometers from the city of Uji in southern Kyoto, to bring you their most popular ceremonial grade tea: Samidori matcha. Tea leaves are plucked in the First Flush (first harvest of the year), and then the tea buds are covered for 22 days.
Uji is considered the most respectable matcha-producing area. With its close proximity to Kyoto, matcha from Uji was originally used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. The Uji region is as iconic to matcha tea as the Bordeaux region is for wine in France. These teas are known for their high quality, and channel a grassy creaminess, with notes of white flowers, and umami.
You will not find this matcha tea sold anywhere else in the world, and we are so thrilled to be able to bring it straight from the famers of Wazuka to your table.