Are you sleepy? Matcha. Are you feeling sick? Matcha. Are you feeling down emotionally or stressed? Matcha. Are you thirsty for something delicious? Matcha. Basically Matcha can be the delicious answer to a lot of things, as is most simple things in life, like breathing, drinking water, etc.
Production steps for making Matcha begin with the tea plants being shaded from sunlight for several weeks before harvest, the leaves are then harvested by a handheld machine, and then de-stemmed and de-veined. Then, the leaves are quickly steamed, this is called Tencha. Tencha is stored just barely above freezing for 4 to 5 months, to allow the leaves to mature and age. The cold-storage process increases the sweetness, and reduces bitterness and astringency. Lastly, the aged Tencha is ground into Matcha powder.
One of the best things about Matcha is it’s multi use benefits, you can drink it, eat it, put it on your skin, and I’m sure there’s other ways to get creative with it. For starters, Matcha is rich in catechin polyphenols, these compounds offer protection against many kinds of cancer and slow the aging process in your skin with potent anti-inflammatory, it is an incredible food for the skin – protecting from UV damage and improving skin elasticity. As a matter of fact, drinking a cup of Matcha a day is one of the best things you can do to combat skin aging and promote skin health.
If you’ve read my previous blog post on L-Theanine, you can see the many benefits of this amino acid which is primarily found in Camellia Sinensis (the tea plant). In reference to Matcha, you can take all of these benefits and multiply them times 3. Since when you are consuming Matcha, you are consuming the whole leaf. Caffeine is also more potent in Matcha than a cup of loose leaf brewed tea, it’s equivalent to one cup of coffee, however, the good thing about it being from the tea plant is that you get the best of both worlds, since Caffeine and Theanine (which induces relaxation without drowsiness) create an alert calm.
Continuing with our list of benefits, Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) Is the most effective Cancer Chemopreventive Polyphenol present in Matcha. With antioxidant potential, including cardiovascular protection, antimutagenic, antiviral and anticancer activities, EGCG is the major catechin in tea. Among 10 tested polyphenols, EGCG showed the most potent antiproliferative effects. The antiproliferative effect of EGCG is even more potent than 5-fluorouracil, which is a chemotherapy drug used on colorectal cancer. It has been speculated that catechin/epicatechin can help inhibit production and activation of harmful bacteria while allowing beneficial bacteria to flourish. Polyphenols, recently termed “lifespan essentials”, actively work in the body to prevent certain disease mechanisms from occurring. In addition, drinking Matcha provides endurance up to 6 hours, increases metabolism, is high in chlorophyll, which detoxifies and removes heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body. One cup contains substantial quantities of potassium, vitamin A&C, Iron, protein and calcium and also has a positive effect on cholesterol..
Lastly, the beautiful thing about drinking Matcha is that you are consuming the whole leaf, without tossing leaves after brewing, literally drinking the entire leaf. So there you have it, this is why the monks drink Matcha regularly, and it also makes sense that at one point in time it was worth more than gold. Drink all the Matcha.