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Even if you’ve never drank it before, you might have seen it on a menu in a bar or restaurant or you may have seen those strange people walking with a cup filled with this weird-looking green potion: Matcha! Matcha is booming and in NYC it’s so incredibly populair, there are special Matcha bars! So what’s matcha drink exactly? Why is everybody drinking it? And how do you know the difference between high quality matcha and lower quality matcha? Here you can read all about it, so you can also become a part of the healthy matcha-hype and start making your own matcha!

What’s matcha and where does it come from?

Matcha is a green tea from Japan – Even though the history of matcha actually already started during the Song dynasty in China. But it were the Japanese Zen Buddhists who brought this drink after their travels to China and developed their own matcha traditions and production methods. High-quality matcha is often used during the famous Japanese tea ceremonies. There are many rituals during these ceremonies when it comes to the preparation, serving and drinking of the tea.

High-quality and low-quality matcha

The quality of matcha tea is very important, especially for the real matcha-lovers and matcha-connoisseurs. However, for a non-connoisseur, the difference in premium and high-quality matcha is very difficult to perceive.

The highest quality is the quality that is used for ceremonies in Buddhist temples. Naturally, you pay a higher price for this quality. After the highest quality, the premium quality matcha follows. And the lowest quality is the culinary matcha. The culinary quality matcha is used mainly in dishes. This matcha is the cheapest and often has more of a bitter taste. The taste is different because the matcha is made from a different part of the tea plant; the lower leaves of the plant.

The place of the leaf on the plant, the way it is processed, oxidation and the stone that is used to grind the tea, are deciding factors for the quality.

Premium-quality organic matcha:

Culinary quality matcha:

How to recognize high-quality matcha?

You can recognize high-quality matcha by its smell. High-quality matcha has a sweet aroma and lower quality matcha smells a bit smokey/plant-like. Good matcha feels like a silky smooth powder that easily glides through your fingers, isn’t bitter, has a lingering aftertaste en when you whisk it, there should appear a foam layer.

How to prepare matcha yourself?

Pour warm water on top of the powder (60 to 70 degrees) or warm milk. Then it should be whisked until it becomes a frothy green drink. You can also use a healthy milk alternative, like almond milk. Note: When you whisk it too long, the tea can become too bitter!

You can also use matcha powder in dishes or as a flavor enhancer (for a matcha latte, pastries or ice cream).

There are two ways to prepare your matcha: thick and thin!

For thin matcha, you need about 1.75 grams of matcha powder in combination with 75ml of warm (not boiling) water. This matcha is lighter, thinner and often times has a bit more of a bitter taste to it. Mix the substance with a bamboo whisk for better results. The whisk ensures that it becomes more of a dense substance and creates the foam.

For thicker tea – this is the high-quality matcha I talked about earlier, the type that is used for the ceremonies – you need to use a bit more matcha. About 3.75 grams for 40ml warm water. The matcha you can use for the thicker variant is the more expensive matcha. This because it is made of older tea which gives the matcha a sweeter and weaker taste compared to the thin matcha. To get the desired result it’s important to stir in a slower tempo and longer with the bamboo whisk to prevent it will foam.

What are the health benefits of matcha tea?

Green tea is already known for its health benefits and from all of the different green tea sorts, matcha is the healthiest! One cup of matcha in the morning brings a healthy start of the day. Because: it protects your kidney’s and your liver thanks to the antioxidants (it can contain 5x as many antioxidants than normal green tea!), it restores the digestion, carcinogenic free radicals are eliminated and it can help with MS, Alzheimer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. Furthermore, it contains vitamin A, B, C and E, chlorophyll, epigallocatechin, essential amino acids (building blocks for proteins) and it helps to keep your blood sugar level low.

Chlorofyl also helps your blood to be able to absorb more oxygen, it helps your immune system, it cleans your body (detox) and it is responsible for the famous green color. The epigallocatechin has a healing effect on the skin.

Additionally, matcha makes you more energized, it improves your memory and ability to concentrate, it is a natural fat burner and it has a calming effect.

Do you also want to start making your own matcha? You can also start with this cute starter kit:

Enjoy your matcha experience!

Lots of love xx