The ultimate superfood isn’t even a food! We test out ceremonial grade matcha from Lite Leaf.
Nope, it’s a plant. Matcha literally means ‘powdered tea’, but it’s so much more than that. It is a Japanese green tea that was first consumed during China’s Tsang dynasty, and was later taken to Japan by priests and monks. OK, OK, enough of the history lesson. Here are seven incredible reasons you need matcha in your life.
- It contains 15 times the health benefits of regular green tea (you know, the one in the teabags that most of us hate but drink because we know it’s good for us). In other words, you would have to drink 15 cups of regular green tea to get the same amount of nutrients you’d receive from one cup of matcha.
- Since matcha is made by grinding entire green-tea leaves, those who drink it consume 100 per cent of its nutrients.
- One teaspoon of matcha contains 17 times the amount of antioxidants found in a serve of blueberries, and 60 times the amount found in spinach.
- It contains L-theanine, a stress-fighting amino acid that naturally boosts the body’s immune system – so you’ll be able to fight illness better.
- The abundance of antioxidants will help keep your skin clear and free from blemishes.
- Calling all stressheads! Matcha contains things called ‘catechins’, which help the central nervous system relax the mind and body.
- Polyphenols – an antioxidant of which matcha is rich – are known to protect against heart disease and cancer.
Now to what you can do with it. There are so many different grades of matcha, but the one of the highest quality is ceremonial grade. The young leaves (those plucked early) used to create it give it a delicate, naturally sweet flavour. For the purpose of this article, we opted for Lite Leaf’s Ceremonial Grade Organic Matcha ($30) because it’s an Australian company whose matcha is harvested and produced in Japan’s renowned green tea regions of Nishio.
For a strong green-tea latte, add one quarter of a teaspoon to 70ml of hot water and whisk quickly in an up-and-down motion. For a sweeter concoction, add one teaspoon of matcha to one tablespoon of hot water, whisk to dissolve, then add one cup of sweetened coconut milk and whisk away to your heart’s content (in the same motion as before, obvs). You need to stir the matcha with a tea whisk, because if you stir it with a spoon you’ll be left with clumps of tea (try downing that!). In a traditional tea ceremony, the whisk is thrown away after every use – but, since the bamboo creation is pretty expensive in Australia, we recommend reusing yours.
If you’d like to stray from the norm, Google ‘matcha recipes’ and you’ll be presented with hundreds of achievable treats, from matcha mud cakes to matcha-infused chocolate smoothies!
By Sarah Friggieri