Matcha is a big buzzword right now. Even major coffee house chains have jumped on board with the trend. When customers hear "matcha," they automatically assume that this drink is Hispanic, Mexican, or Latino in origin. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Here is more about this healthy tea drink, its origins, and why you should give it a try.
Where Matcha Really Comes From
This is a Japanese tea drink. Many consumers are surprised to learn this, given that names of Japanese cuisine have very distinct Japanese language vowel and consonant sounds. However, if you were to hear the Japanese pronunciation, you can see how it the conversion to English pronunciation has made so many people second-guess this tea's origin. It is pronounced very differently in Japanese, and sounds more like a Japanese product that way.
Matcha is a dessert tea. That means that it is mildly sweet and always served with Japanese sweets, called wagashi. The tea itself is made from the leaves of green tea that is grown in a very special way, and harvested just after the leaves go from white tea status to green tea status. The actual parts of the leaves are removed from the stems and major veins of the leaves; the stems and veins are excluded from the tea. The leaves are dried, then ground into a powder that is stirred into the tea pot and served in a bowl, not a cup.
Tons of Antioxidants
Matcha EGCG is a tea powder made with added ingredients to boost the incredibly high amounts of antioxidants already in the tea leaves. You can use this powder as intended (i.e., to make tea), or you can add it to just about anything you eat and drink for an energy boost and cancer-fighting benefits. Matcha products are frequently sold in health food and vitamin supplement stores.
Why You Should Try It
The flavor of the tea is mild, not bitter. It is a lot healthier than coffee, and packs a bigger energy punch because it has even more caffeine than the standard cup of coffee. If your coffee is letting you down right before lunch, you should switch to matcha at breakfast time. The caffeine in it will carry you up through lunch, until you can get your afternoon caffeine fix. Its green frothiness takes some getting used to, but you can flavor it in all the ways you would normally flavor hot tea.