Why You Should Drink Matcha Instead of Coffee
Coffee is the primary drink of choice for people around the world craving a quick boost of energy. Though in recent years, the west has caught wind of matcha. Arguably a much better alternative to fulfill our caffeinated needs.
Matcha is a special type of green tea. The word literally means “powdered tea.” Opposed to regular green tea where you only drink components of the boiled leaves, matcha utilizes all parts of the leaves as they’re ground up into a fine powder first and then made into a solution.
You are actually drinking the leaves. This comes with a host of benefits making matcha not only an excellent alternative for coffee, but also a cognitive enhancing superfood.
What Makes it so Good?
Matcha’s unique qualities stem from its initial preparation process. Matcha is sourced from plants covered with shade clothes before being harvested. This makes the leaves have a better flavor and texture.
Shade-grown tea stops UV-light from inhibiting precious compounds in the plant. All leaves are hand picked and steamed to stop fermentation. Next they’re dried in a cold storage, deepening their flavor even more. These dried leaves are then ground into the final product – the fine powder.
This traditional substance has been consumed for thousands of years in the east and is now being recognized for its tremendous health benefits.
1) Filled With Antioxidants
Matcha contains some of the highest amounts of antioxidants. Now everyone knows that those are good for you, but what exactly are they? Antioxidants are compounds in food that ward off negative aging effects, keeps our skin healthy and delays cell damage. According to the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method, matcha contains 5 times as many antioxidants than any other food!
2) Great Boost to Your Immune System
Matcha contains something called catechins, an antioxidant known for having antibiotic properties and promoting overall health. A scientific study found that an “”Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men.” This means that not only are men’s immune systems boosted, but they also lost weight in the process of drinking matcha.
3) Stress Reducer
One of the most important things you can do for your is health lower your stress levels. It reduces cortisol levels. This lowered stress hormones leads to lower inflammation, lower blood pressure and puts a stop to impulsive eating.
4) Nootropic Effect
A nootropic is a substance that improves cognitive function in already healthy individuals. Matcha achieves this effect because it contains L-Theanine which produces alpha waves in the brain that induce relaxation. This is a “downer” of sorts that doesn’t cause drowsiness but instead promotes mental endurance and increased short-term memory.
5) Increased Energy & Calm
Matcha is unique as it combines L-Theanine with caffeine. Combined together, they produce an alertness that takes the best effects of caffeine without the negative side effects, such as being jittery, overhyped and crashes followed by rapid boosts of energy. This could explain why Matcha tea was taken up by Zen Buddhists, Chinese Daoists and even Samurai!
Origins of Matcha & Proper Consumption
Matcha is a Japanese word. It originally came from China. Many different groups utilized this for its restorative and energizing properties. It’s unique from other sources of caffeine because of its combination of nutrients.
Many buddhist monks found that drinking this tea before their meditations put them in a more focused state of mind. The rest of their day was blessed with a sustained force of energy. It spread throughout the Japanese culture and became known as a “ceremonial tea.” Samurai and the Shogun warriors used its benefits to prepare themselves before battle and was their choice drink before going off to war.
The method was brought from a famous monk named Eisai in 1191, who was a master of tea and is credited for bringing the tea tradition to the entirety of Japan.
In order for you to gain these health benefits and general qualities that fueled the ancients, it is imperative that you only buy quality and traditionally grown matcha.
Take these tips into account before buying matcha:
- Avoid low-grade or culinary matcha if you want the full effect.
- Make sure that the fields your tea is from remains lead free.
- Buy Matcha stored in a dark and dry storage area.
- Purchase ceremonial matcha – it’ll have much more verdant green to it.
- Buy only organic branded Matcha without any additives in the preparation process.
Matcha is prepared in a much different way than other teas. No bags are used in the process. Traditionally, you’ll mix around a teaspoon of power with a third cup of water. Next you’ll whisk with a bamboo brush for a single serving.
Combine with your own meditational setting and take a moment to enjoy this richly spiritual and healthy drink before beginning your day.