Matcha green tea has taken the Western world by storm, but they came very late to the party. In Asia, green tea has been treasured for 5,000 years as a celebration of life and health. Today, the extraordinary benefits of this simple beverage are becoming known to all.
The Way of Matcha
The Way of Matcha refers to a journey celebrating life and health through matcha. Shennong, the inventor of Chinese medicine, was an ancient Chinese emperor. The tale relates that one day when he was outdoors boiling water, a few leaves from a tea bush (Camellia sinensis) fell into his kettle. Emperor Shennong greatly enjoyed the new beverage and went on to study the health benefits of his accidental tea.
Tea Cakes, Monks and the Japanese Tea Ceremony
The “new” form of matcha tea is about 1,000 years old. It was learned that tea leaves could be steamed, dried and ground into a damp powder. This could then be hardened in molds and baked into “tea cakes.” One made tea by breaking off a bit of the tea cake, whisking this tea powder in a small bowl to make the tea.
Although China finally abandoned tea cakes, eighth century Zen monks had been returning to Japan with tea and tea seeds. Three hundred years later, their high regard for matcha tea evolved into the famous Japanese Tea Ceremony. Matcha tea is regarded as the only tea worthy of being used in this sacred ceremony. As time went on, matcha green tea became the traditional beverage of royalty, the upper class and the Samurai.
The Benefits of Matcha
Japan keeps 96% of its matcha for their own use; they rely upon matcha for sustained energy and a metabolic boost, welcomed for its fat burning ability. Since Japanese matcha is highly sought after, some try Chinese matcha, but the quality level is inconsistent. This green tea also has beneficial antioxidant properties, helpful in the fight against aging and disease. Matcha contains compounds which improve brain function. A cup of matcha contains caffeine, but much less than would be in a cup of coffee, allowing matcha to deliver a lift without the jitters.
Discover matcha tea benefits for yourself. It is very versatile, lending itself well to matcha smoothies, lattes, baked goods and fabulous Matcha Green Tea/Coconut Ice Cream. Be good to yourself; settle down with a delicious, calming cup of matcha.