As a health writer and researcher, I spend my days reading and interpreting clinical studies, which may not sound riveting to most. But for me, knowing how to take my health into my own hands is empowering. Recently, I discovered one major way to boost daily health habits: matcha. And, what did I do? Immediately ordered some.
I’m a daily green tea drinker, and while I’m not a huge fan of the grassy, bitter taste, I drink it for its health benefits. For example, multiple studies have found that people who drink a daily cup of green tea have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight.
When I tried matcha, I knew I had come across a form of green tea that was even healthier. To my happy surprise, matcha is also far more delicious.
What is matcha?
Matcha is finely ground green tea leaves that come in powder form. Grown in partial shade, matcha has more chlorophyll and 10 times the antioxidant content of green tea.
Matcha has a much milder, even milkier, flavor compared to green tea. So, if you’re not a fan of the bitter taste of green tea, then matcha might be more to your liking.
The Japanese matcha tea ceremony
In addition to being a nutrition powerhouse, matcha has a special place in Japanese culture. The Japanese matcha tea ceremony is a careful, thoughtful part of the tradition of receiving guests in a Japanese home, and there are entire colleges and lines of work devoted to this unique practice.
The concept of “chanoyu,” the idea that a bowl of tea can bring hearts together, was turned into an art of its own in the 1500s. This represents a special moment between a host and their guest, and the tea represents the warm feelings and goodwill that the host has toward those who enter their home.
According to a report by NHK World, Japan’s largest broadcasting organization, each tea ceremony has a theme of its own, and it’s often held in accordance with the rhythms of the seasons. For example, on a hot summer’s day, a tea ceremony might have the theme of “coolness,” and they may serve seasonal treats and confections that support this theme.
The matcha tea ceremony reminds us to pause, to take in the beauty of our surroundings, and to leave cares and worries at the door. Even though you don’t have to hold a ceremony every time you enjoy a cup of matcha tea, it helps to remember the lessons of the traditional tea ceremony: to appreciate your surroundings and leave your cares behind.
How to brew your own cup of matcha tea
It’s very simple to brew your own cup of matcha tea at home.
You will need:
A kettle and stove top
- Bring water to a boil in a kettle.
- While you’re waiting for the water to boil, put 1 teaspoon of matcha powder in a mug—with a dollop of honey.
- Once the water boils, fill up the cup, vigorously stirring the honey in with the matcha until it dissolves into a rich, green color.
- Sip and enjoy!
To stock up on matcha, check out our collection from Matchæologist®.