Green Tea: what it is, benefits and properties

Japan stands out as a country where the consumption of green tea is as high as, for example, coffee consumption in United States. In addition, it surprises not only for the great tradition that it shows around this mythical and popular drink, but for the great diversity of varieties of tea that we can find in this beautiful oriental country.

Among those varieties better known and consumed we can find the Bancha tea (common tea), the one known as Gyokuro tea (jade spray), the Genmaicha tea (variety of tea with roasted rice grain), the Kabusecha tea (covered tea), Hojicha tea (deliciously roasted tea), Kukicha tea (stem tea), Tamaryokucha tea (the popular green tea ball), Sencha tea (roasted tea) and Matcha tea (also popularly known as green Matcha).

It is a variety of tea that is characterized by being a ground green tea, so unlike other types of green tea, it is presented and sold in the form of powder, with that characteristic green color that distinguishes it.

It is one of the teas traditionally used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and due to its presentation as ground tea it is very common to use it not only for the preparation of the tea drink itself, but it is also used in the kitchen, either in the preparation of classic Japanese desserts, ice cream and cakes.

How Matcha green tea is made

The preparation of this type of tea begins weeks before its harvest, when the tea plant is covered in order to hide it from the sun, creating a darker green shade in its leaves, which also manages to delay both its development and growth.

This cultivation habit is what gives Matcha green tea the possibility to acquire not only that characteristic color, but also its sweet taste since it allows it to increase its amino acid content.

After the harvest, the leaves are dried on a flat surface, the veins and the stem are removed and the leaves are ground several times in order to achieve the finest possible texture.

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The benefits of Matcha green tea

Very rich in antioxidants

Flavonoids are plant pigments found in many plants, which provide a good diversity of health benefits. Matcha green tea is very rich in flavonoids, which means that it becomes a tremendously antioxidant drink (1), especially due to the presence of the so-called tea catechins.

These catechins have a very great capacity to neutralize the very negative action of free radicals, helping positively to reduce the effects they have on our organism.

It also provides vitamin C, an essential nutrient that is fundamental in preventing cancer (2), strengthening our defences and helping in the natural purification process of our organism, for example by preventing water retention or eliminating toxins.

Benefits of Tea Matcha

High tannin content

In addition to being very rich in flavonoids, Matcha tea has a high concentration of tannins, which act as a mild laxative, which means that it becomes an ideal tea variety when it comes to improving intestinal transit, in a completely natural and simple way.

Helps you lose weight

If we consider that the tannins present in Matcha green tea act mainly as a detoxifier, purifier and mild laxative, there is no doubt that it becomes an ideal tea for slimming and losing weight.

Among its recognized qualities in this regard, we must highlight above all its ability to increase the metabolism, and therefore increase the burning of calories by our body.

Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

Precisely because of its high content of antioxidants, it is an ideal drink for reducing high levels of fat in the blood, helping above all to reduce high cholesterol and triglyceride values, as well as body fat, especially if combined with physical exercise (3).

On the other hand, regular consumption of Matcha tea has been found to help lower blood sugar levels, while being suitable for people with diabetes as it does not raise insulin levels.

It brings vitality

Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of Matcha green tea is useful for providing vitality to our body (4), acting naturally when it comes to providing energy. Matcha has been shown to improve the stamina of regular tea drinkers.

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How to make Matcha tea

The truth is that preparing a Matcha green tea is extremely simple. But for that, besides the tea and water itself, you need a fine strainer and a Japanese brush usually used for the preparation of this traditional drink (in case you don’t have it, it will work with a small spoon).

Matcha Tea Recipe

Ingredients you need

2 tablespoons Matcha green tea
1 cup of water

Steps for making Matcha green tea

First heat up some water in a saucepan, and when it reaches a temperature of about 80 ºC pour it into the cup where you are going to serve the tea in order to heat it up. Then discard this water and dry the cup very carefully.

Use a strainer to sift through the Matcha green tea you will be using to make the tea (this time 2 tablespoons). Strain it finely to remove any impurities that may exist, letting it fall directly into the cup where you are going to drink it.

In the meantime, heat the equivalent of 1 cup of water, but do not exceed 80°C. Then add the hot water on top of the green tea and use the brush or spoon to beat the green tea until it integrates with the hot water, and forms a foam. Ready! Let’s enjoy it.

Main contraindications of Matcha tea

We are dealing with a variety of tea considered to be safe, in the same way as green tea. However, there are a number of contraindications that may make Matcha tea less recommended.

As with other tea varieties, Matcha contains caffeine, so if consumed in excess it can produce some adverse symptoms such as irritability, palpitations, dizziness and headache.

For this reason, it is advisable to ask your doctor before drinking Matcha if you suffer from heart, kidney or stomach ulcers.

This article is published for information purposes only. It cannot and should not substitute for consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.