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Matcha Tea – Amazing Coffee Substitute (and Much More)

Are you used to having a cup of coffee right after you get up to get a good start on the upcoming day? Do you feel that without coffee you won’t work? Drinking coffee often becomes a habit – a ritual in the morning or a ritual after lunch to keep you awake and efficient while digesting just eaten food. This may partly function as a placebo, above all, it has a stimulating effect and provides an instant rush of energy and caffeine itself eliminates fatigue and sleepiness. At the same time, coffee increases blood pressure (which can have serious consequences for people with high pressure), over-acidifies the body, affects the functions of the cardiovascular system, and may cause so-called caffeine shock to sensitive people (manifested by headaches, palpitations and shaking hands). The desirable and undesirable effects of coffee are, in fact, very individual and also dependent on consumed quantity – it is generally said that after six cups a day its positive effects are already turning into undesirable effects. At the same time, we can also mention the slight addiction to caffeine itself and the related influencing of brain functions, but this article is not about coffee, it is about a drink that can delightfully substitute coffee, it does not have its negative effects and, in contrast, it has so many positive effects on the body and psyche that it is almost unbelievable. And this miraculous drink is called Matcha Tea.

What is Matcha?

Matcha is 100% green tea but not just any green tea. It is already exceptional by the way it is grown. To make its leaves so amazingly bright green, it is necessary to shade the entire plantation for about 3 weeks before harvest. As a result, up to 90% of sunlight is taken from the plant and it is forced to produce much more chlorophyll. Besides its sensory properties, this substance is also very beneficial to our health due to its antibacterial effects. However, chlorophyll is not the only substance that is overshadowed by overshadowing – also L-theanine – an amino acid that results in a full and delicious Matcha flavor (in addition, it has relaxing effects and helps reduce stress). Covering the shrubs of the tea plant produces thinner and tastier leaves. The dried pulp of the young leaves of the tea plant is then ground to a fine powder.

A Bit of History

The origins of matcha are in China under the Tang Dynasty (7th to 10th Century). In 1191, a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Eisai Myan, brought from China, where he was learning about local philosophy, the seeds of matcha tea plant back into Japan and planted them on the temple grounds in Kyoto. He soon found out that this tea was much better than the ones that had been brewed in Japan and began to try different ways of preparation. In his experiments, Eisai discovered that tea has a much stronger and better taste when grinded on granite grinding stones into a fine green powder and then mixed with hot water. Such a whipped drink with a rich aroma and taste was, according to Eisaie, a cure for most of the health problems and it gradually gained his place among the most valued teas. Later, matcha tea spread from aristocratic circles to the samurai, who created a ritual from his consumption.

The Beneficial Effects of Matcha Tea

The drink is a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other trace elements. One single cup of matcha tea contains as many nutrients as ten cups of plain green tea. It also brightens the brain and helps with concentration. Its ability to accelerate metabolism and burn fat up to 40% faster can also be positive. It is also worth mentioning the content of antioxidants, which in matcha tea is about 130 times more than in regular tea. Matcha contains a huge amount of tea caffeine called tein. It can be used by our body to a hundred percent because you do not consume only the leachate from the leaf, but the whole crushed leaf. While caffeine in the coffee is released into the body almost immediately and causes rapid fluctuation in the system, matcha tea starts to work in about half an hour and is much more gentle to the body overal – substances are released slowly and the stimulant effect is milder, but lasts from 3 to 6 hours. Moreover, matcha has no side effects like coffee, such as heart palpitations, increased blood pressure or nervousness. The big advantage are also antibacterial effects. Thanks to its sterilizing effects it helps to destroy bacteria and thus destroys for example those bacteria, which, cause bad odor.

How to Recognize Quality

True matcha is always from Japan. Naturally, any other country may mean a different way of processing, which is essential for the taste but also for the effects mentioned above. Lead, mold or pesticide limits may be exceeded, or the taste may be bitter and the smell somehow dusty and stagnant. You can easily recognize the quality of the tea by the color of the powder – the highest quality is represented by the rich, bright green powder, the yellowish to brownish being among the worst, as shown in the picture below:

There are a lot of matcha tea brands on the market, but there are two that I would like to highlight and recommend. The first is Eco Heed, whose vivid green color already shows its qualities. It tastes great and has a soothing aroma – a great choice for a morning cup for a calm and balanced mood. The second one is REPUBLIC OF TEA Matcha Powder which is more expensives but its quality is really worth it. And it is also good for makind cold smoothies. This one is also Amazon’s bestseller and has great reviews. You can check both products via these links:

How to properly prepare matcha tea can be seen in the video below:

13 Comments

  • Dave Sweney

    This is a product that I have been looking for! I used to drink Kung Fu Cha in China while working there, and I got used to high-quality green tea. I know there are many brands of green teas in the markets, but frankly, most do not measure up and they certainly do not replace coffee for me.

    Matcha tea is a new type of tea but after reading how they grow it and cover it to induce increased amounts of chlorophyll and other trace ingredients that are beneficial I can see how this is the one for me. I am in Dubai, so I am sure that I will be able to find it in the local markets.

    I will search for the Eco Heed and the Republic of Tea powder. If these are not available, are there any others that you might recommend? Since it is coming from Japan, my guess is that it will be quite expensive. That does not matter to me, it is the quality and the health benefit that I am looking for.

     

    • admin

      Sure, also Jade Leaf is worth trying and I also heard good reviews on Midori Spring brand but I didn’t try this one yet to be honest.

  • JTan

    Okay your attack on coffee doesn’t sound inviting for both coffee and tea lovers. 

    I am one of them! 

    Besides there is plenty of research out there on coffee’s health benefits outweigh its negatives and it is known to improve cardiovascular diseases. 

    I suggest using a more sympathetic tone for those who cannot enjoy coffee to opt for matcha tea, that way you’re giving a non-biased view and being more inviting to those coffee lovers too.

    Cheers,

    JTan

    • admin

      Hello JTan, I wouldn’t call it an attack, these are simple facts and I also was a coffee lover and I was really dissapointed that I had to stop drinking it because the negative effects – those facts are not just proven I can also confirm them based on my own experiences… and I also mentioned in the article that coffee effects are not the same for everyone, that it depends on each person and his body… it is said that coffee has a more negative effect on sensitive, empathic temperaments…
      Regards
      Michal

  • Gaurav Gaur

    Hi, There.
    Thanks for the very useful article on Matcha Tea – substitute of coffee .
    Though I do not like coffee but the tea is my addiction and I consume five to six cups in a day from my morning tea to bedtime team.
    Matcha tea is having a large quantity of Tein, which is 100% used by us. So like caffeine does it have any negatives too. How many cups of Matcha tea are considered safe in a day.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    • admin

      Hello there,

      the advice is not to take more than 5 cups a day, anyway 1 or 2 cups are recommended – that should provide a great portion of all the benefits.

  • Carol5162

    I’ve met people who are seriously addicted to coffee. They go for up to 10 cups a day. I am personally fond on the regular tea, and I can’t put it in words how rejuvenating it is when a cup goes down. I’ve tries a few flavors including green tea…mainly because I am trying to loose a few kilos.

    Good to know that the Matcha tea has more benefits that the regular plain green tea, I think the best part is its ability to increase metabolism. Basically what I am looking for.

    Your demonstration video is very elaborate. Thank you for this great post.

    • admin

      Hello Carol, you are more than welcome… the video is not in my possession, I’ve just borrowed it from Gestalten because it is really felicitios, you can check their channel for more nice and interesting videos 😉

  • MissusB

    I enjoyed reading the historical background of matcha as well as its health benefits. I especially like the exquisite taste of it  – so rich, aromatic, sweet and velvety. There are lots of sweet delicacy and milk tea flavors that has matcha as its main ingridient. It’s becoming popular in the market such as mochi, macarons and my favorite matcha pudding. 

    For the sake of the readers, how can we tell if we got a high quality matcha? ‘Cause in some places they can fool the consumers by faking the color by making it more vibrant. Hope to hear more of your beneficial food and drinks!

    • admin

      Hello, yeah thats true, the color can be really tricky, I also saw how cucumbers are also being colored with pigmented water which is really sick … anyway the basic criteria are following: fresh and grassy aroma, rich vibrant green color, 100% Japanese Matcha label, smooth taste without a lingering bitterness

  • Stuart

    Talk about learning something new everyday, I have today as I have never heard of Matcha Tea before, the description is certainly interesting with the article being very informative.

    Would I try it? Possibly as I have had green tea before and did not dislike it so there is a fair chance that Matcha could find itself in my kitchen cupboard.

    Thanks you for showing me something different, also found how the leaves are made to go bright green very interesting.

    Stuart

  • Riaz Shah

    I had my first matcha green tea in Thailand where they have an exquisite taste that got me in love with it until today. Wherever I go, I always tend to order matcha tea but I can’t help but wonder the different taste some restaurants have on it, I didn’t know that different powders have different taste qualities! No wonder, getting one from Repuclic of Tea, is there a limit as to how often we should drink a day? 

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