The Benefits of Matcha Powder

We now carry our own line of matcha!

Leaves House now carries Matcha, straight from the fields in Uji, Kyoto, the birthplace of Japanese Matcha.

 Leaves House ceremonial matcha is high quality, organic, vegan and free of GMOs.

It has a delicate taste and fine texture and lacks the bitterness you sometimes get with culinary matcha.

All you have to do is mix one teaspoon of  matcha with 70 ml of hot water and whisk together.

 Matcha is like coffee in the sense that there is no perfect recipe. Some people prefer americano while others like straight espresso.

 

What is Matcha Tea?

Matcha is a type of green tea made by grinding young tea leaves into a fine powder. The powder is then whisked with hot water until it becomes frothy.  

When you drink traditional green tea, the leaves are discarded and you’re left with the hot water. 

Matcha literally means "powdered tea” and unlike traditional green tea, when you take a sip of matcha, you are drinking the actual leaves. Typically this involves mixing about a teaspoon of matcha powder with a third cup of hot water and then using a bamboo whisk known as a “chasen” to make a smooth and consistent texture. 

 

 Before the matcha is harvested, the tea plants are covered with shade cloths which triggers the growth of the leaves and contributes to a better texture and flavour. The leaves are then steamed briefly, dried and aged in cold storage. Finally, the dried leaves are ground into the fine powder we know as matcha.

 

What are the health benefits of matcha?  

 

It’s great for your skin!

Matcha can do wonders for your skin. Drinking a matcha latte isn’t the only way to use matcha to your benefit. Matcha is also used as an ingredient in face masks and in a variety of other cosmetics and skin care products. According to Tenzo, “the catechins in green tea work to trap and deactivate free radicals in the skin, which slows down signs of aging” and “applying matcha directly to the skin in the form of a mask is one of the best ways to fight acne and symptoms of rosacea.”

 Matcha powder has anti-inflammatory properties such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which can benefit chronic skin conditions such as acne or rosacea. It also reduces oil production, exfoliates and eliminates dead skin cells and rejuvenates the underlying skin. So matcha can to do some great things for your complexion. 

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It can help you destress

L-theanine is an amino acid found in high concentrations in matcha. It helps to promote a feeling of calmness and relaxation while also reducing mental and physical stress. 

L-theanine works with caffeine to provide a boost of energy that lasts for an extended period of time. There is no L-theanine in coffee so when you drink matcha you get that boost of energy without the caffeine jitters that come with drinking an espresso shot.

 Matcha is also much higher in L-theanine than other teas. The shading technique used in the final weeks of tea leaf growth removes all light from the plant which leads to more production of L-theanine (this is also where matcha gets its beautiful, bright green colour. 



Antioxidants

Remember those catechins we were talking about earlier. By one estimate, matcha could have up to 137 times more than in other types of green tea. Well Matcha is high EGCG and in 2018 Time reported that it is, “is believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body” and that “Studies have linked green tea to a variety of health benefits, like helping to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and even encouraging weight loss.”

 The article also points out that much of this research isn’t from clinical trials. Instead it’s largely from population-based studies where researchers compared groups of people who drink green tea compared to those who do not. Studies have shown associations between tea and better health. However there is no proof of causation.

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 Using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) testing method, experts at Tufts University discovered that matcha has a rating of 1573 units per gram. That’s 13x the antioxidants of pomegranates, 15x the antioxidants of blueberries, and 125x that of spinach.

It Can Boost Brain Function

One study looked at how -theanine, EGCG and caffeine, affect mood and cognitive performance. They looked at 23 people who consumed either matcha tea, a matcha tea bar (containing four grams of matcha) or a placebo bar. They then asked participants to perform a series of tasks meant to test brain function. Compared to the placebo, the researchers found that matcha caused improvements in attention, reaction time, and memory.

 

How can you use matcha powder?

There are more benefits to matcha than just a nice boost of energy in the morning. You can add it to baking and cooking or an added flavour shot in smoothies. 

Since it’s a powder, it is easy to incorporate matcha into baked goods. Start with the basics and replace a bit of flour with matcha powder. It will give some added flavour to muffins, scones, cookies or loaves. Take a classic vanilla cupcake recipe and add a little something extra. Or wake up a few minutes early and make matcha pancakes.

 On the topic of breakfast, you can also use matcha in green smoothies. You might even get a boost of energy as matcha contains natural caffeine.

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