THE MAGIC OF MATCHA — THE NEW BEVERAGE ON THE BLOCK
It’s another WHAT’S ON THE #MENUMONDAY everyone — and today we’re going to discuss something that the Zen monks have known about for centuries — Matcha Green Tea!
Today, green tea is a beverage of choice for many people the world over. It was first discovered, however, in China more than a thousand years ago. And, from China the craze migrated to Japan where the tea was named “matcha.” It was this tea that the Zen Buddhist monks drank to enhance their experience of peaceful awareness during meditation.
So, what is it that makes matcha green tea different from the well-known regular green tea?? Why is it catching fire as the trendy, new beverage on the block??
First, true matcha tea is a product of Japan. You see, the Japanese use an ancient technique in which the green tea leaves are carefully shaded with straw mats for 30 days before they are picked from the plant. This allows the leaves to grow super rich in amino acids and chlorophyll. Then, when the leaves are picked, they are dried and finely ground into a bright green powder. In this way, the entire leaf is dissolved in water for a cup of tea rather than steeped in bags.
OK then, that’s the process. But what does that mean to us? Well, hang onto your hats everyone because here’s where it really gets fun!
Matcha is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants! According to living-qi.com, it contains 6.2 times the antioxidant level of goji berries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, 17 times that of wild blueberries AND 60.5 times that of spinach!!
But don’t turn the channel yet! There’s more! It has been estimated that one cup of matcha green tea has 137 times more of the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) than a cup of regular green tea.
So, when we take our tea break with matcha we’re also:
— Fighting cancer-causing free radicals
— Reducing inflammation
— Slowing the aging process
— Aiding weight loss
— Adding dietary fiber
— Reducing stress
— Improving clarity of mind
HOLY SMOKES!! Is that amazing or what??
Now, you may ask, “Sounds good. But, does it taste good?” Hmmm, well, let’s just say it might be what is often called an “acquired taste” — it’s strong — but, give it a chance — it’ll grow on you. And, to make sure you’re getting the best cup of matcha you possibly can, try following these simple tips:
1) Boil water and then allow it to sit for five minutes.
2) Measure 1 teaspoon of matcha into a “matcha bowl” or large cup.
3) Add a cup of the boiled water to the bowl. Whisk the mixture briskly until the tea is absorbed and a light colored foam forms on the top.
4) Drink immediately before the powder has time to settle — insuring the benefits end up inside you, not at the bottom of the bowl
And once again it’s time for,
I’M NOT A CHEF BUT HERE’S MY EVERYDAY KITCHEN TIP ANYWAY:)
True aficionados of matcha tea say the water and tea should be stirred with a bamboo whisk instead of a metal instrument. This, they say, will prevent the beneficial qualities of the tea from being altered or diminished in any way.
So, enjoy. Relax. Have a cup of matcha tea — a Zen monk-approved, rich tasting, so-good-for-you hot drink that will calm, sooth and heal both mind and body!
Thanks for joining me everyone. And, until next time,
Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net