What is matcha tea?

6 mins read

MATCHA tea seems to be all the rage, becoming popular due to its supposed health benefits.

While many think it’s delicious, others are not convinced.

Getty – Contributor

Matcha has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries[/caption]

What is matcha tea?

Matcha tea is a form of Japanese green tea usually ground into a fine powder from the leaves.

It has a bright green colour due to the leaves’ high chlorophyll levels.

It has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries but has only become more widely popular in recent years.

While green tea has been found to have antioxidant properties, matcha tea is said to have more than most, giving those who drink it an even bigger boost.

Most green teas are brewed using the leaves and then discarded but because the matcha leaves are ground before being whisked into hot water, you’re effectively drinking the whole tea leaves.

Phillip Schofield is clearly not a fan of the drink

What does matcha tea taste like?

The large amounts of chlorophyll give the tea a bitter taste.

However, Louise Cheadle, co-author of The Book of Matcha, told Time magazine: “A good matcha will not taste bitter at all; there will be a slightly sweet taste.”

Health aficionados may rate the tea for its alleged health benefits, many though can’t stand the stuff because of its taste.

This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield clearly isn’t a fan.

In a segment on the show skincare expert Liz Earle demonstrated how to make the drink via video link at home and guided Rochelle Humes and Schofield as they attempted to make their own tea in the studio.

As Earle explained the tea probably did need some honey in it, Schofield took his first sip and quickly looked horrified after tasting it and quickly stuck out his tongue to try to get rid of the taste.

Schofield began screaming before he shouted: “What the hell is that?”

Humes added: “It’s really not a good one, even I didn’t like that.”

Schofield attempted to take the taste away by rubbing a napkin on his tongue, before saying: “I can’t keep my face straight.”

Getty – Contributor

Matcha tea is claimed to have a number of health benefits[/caption]

What are the benefits of matcha tea?

Studies have indicated matcha tea may have a number of health benefits showing it could heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and even encouraging weight loss. 

However, much of the research so far has not involved clinical trials and so definite causation has not been proven.

A study undertaken in 2014 examined 25 randomized controlled trials on the link between tea and blood pressure and reported that when people drank tea— particularly green tea—for 12 weeks, their blood pressure dropped significantly.

A 2011 study reported that drinking green tea appeared to be linked with lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol but also warned more research was needed.

Other benefits Matcha tea is said to have:

High in antioxidants which may reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease.

May help protect the liver – an analysis of 15 studies found that drinking green tea was associated with a decreased risk of liver disease

May boost brain function – research has indicated it may improve attention, memory, and reaction time. It also contains caffeine and L-theanine, which can improve several aspects of brain function.

Could help prevent cancer – matcha is especially high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin that has been shown to possibly have powerful anti-cancer properties.

May promote heart health – observational studies have also shown that drinking green tea is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

May help in weight loss – A review of 11 studies also showed that green tea extract helps increase metabolism and fat burning, reducing body weight and helped maintain weight loss.

As with all of these claims and studies more research is needed to make a proven link.

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