Japanese matcha powder tea has a unique flavor and a beautiful bright green color. It strengthens and purifies the body, burns calories, improves memory and increases energy levels. All this is made possible thanks to the presence of a huge amount of antioxidants.
What kind of tea this is, how it appeared, how it is made
Matcha or mattia is a powdered green tea that is now considered a staple of the Japanese tea ceremony. However, it did not originate in the land of the rising sun, as is commonly believed, but in China. The history of matcha begins in the fifth century AD. Even back then, the Chinese roasted tea leaves, ground them into powder and pressed them into rolls and then steeped them in boiling water.
A few centuries later, Buddhist monks brought this kind of tea to Japan. Initially only Japanese monks drank it, but later matcha was popular with all segments of society. Interestingly, in China at home, green tea powder gradually fell out of use and is now completely forgotten. But in the land of the rising sun it has become the mainstay of tea ceremonies.
Today the best powdered tea is made from leaves harvested from tea plantations in Japan. It is said that the tastiest matcha comes from the Konsai region. It is harvested only once a year, in early May. Two weeks before harvesting, the tea bushes are covered with shades that protect them from direct sunlight. In this shade, the leaves grow more slowly and are saturated with amino acids, their color darkens, and their flavor gains sweetness.
The collected leaves are steamed and then ground into a powder on stone grinders. Before that all the petioles and veins are removed. The finest matcha is bright green in color and has a texture reminiscent of talcum powder.
INFRASTRUCTURE: Fermentation impairs the flavor of matcha. The tea develops a distinct hay smell and a brownish-green color.
How do you spell matcha or matcha?
The name comes from Japan and literally translates to «powdered green tea» («ma» — powder, «cha» — tea). Along with the name «matcha,» another name, «mattya,» is also used, which confuses some people. Hence the question often arises: what is the correct way to say and write it?
Actually, both variants are correct and everyone can choose the one he or she prefers. The differences are due to the rules of language transcription. In Russian it sounds as close as possible to the sounds of the Cyrillic alphabet, and that is why the word «chai» sounds like «tya». According to the rules of English transcription, the word «tea» will be written with the Latin «cha».
Not knowing the rules of transcription, the name of tea is often translated not from Japanese, but from English and the result is “matcha. In its original language, it is called “mattia. In modern Russian, both translations are used.
Its characteristics and properties: benefits and harms, how it affects the body
Matcha is considered one of the healthiest teas, thanks to the huge amount of vitamins and trace elements it contains. It has a unique, unlike anything else taste and pleasant color. For this reason matcha is recommended to be drunk without adding sugar, so that nothing interferes with the taste of the drink.
Useful properties of matcha:
- The content of a large amount of antioxidants;
- Soothing and relaxing effect;
- Improvement of memory and concentration;
- Increases energy and endurance;
- Purification of the body;
- Burn calories;
- Strengthening the immune system;
- Decrease in cholesterol levels.
- Despite the impressive list of beneficial properties, matcha has contraindications for consumption. Excessive amounts of it can cause harm to the body.
Because of its caffeine content, it is not recommended to drink matcha at night; the optimal time is a cup of tea four hours before going to bed.
Green tea leaves also contain lead. The heavy metal accumulates in the body and can cause ill health. However, this does not mean that you should completely refuse tea, but you should not get addicted to it either. It is recommended to drink one or two cups of tea a day.
What kinds are there and how to choose?
Just like other teas, matcha has several types, which can be divided into two main types:
- Culinary matcha. It has a loose structure and yellowish color. It is made with coarser leaves, which makes it more bitter. Varieties of Wako, Isuzu.
- Ceremonial matcha. Has a homogeneous structure similar to talc. Characterized by a beautiful pistachio-green color, sweet aftertaste and a bright flavor. Quinrin and Aorashi varieties.
To choose a truly quality tea, when buying, you should pay attention to several
- Color. A good matcha has a beautiful bright green color;
- The method of production. It is better to give preference to organic species, grown without the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers;
- Price. The process of growing and processing matcha is quite labor-intensive. Such tea cannot be cheap, don’t try to look for it at a lower price.
TIP: A yellow tint to the tea, slight bitterness and a feeling of sand in the mouth are all signs of low quality matcha.
Directions for Use
Powdered green tea is not only used for classic brewing. Because of its beneficial properties, amazing taste and beautiful color, matcha is used in cooking, cosmetology and even medicine.
- Tea powder added to baked goods will give muffins, cakes and pies an unusual and fresh green color.
- Smoothies, juices, porridges, yogurts and muesli will become much healthier with matcha.
- By mixing matcha with spices and salt, you can enrich all prepared dishes with antioxidants.
- Ready tea drink frozen in ice molds, will be a good tool in the fight against skin inflammation. It is enough to wipe his face several times a day. Based on the tea powder are also obtained nourishing cosmetic masks.
- Rich in useful substances composition became an excuse to use tea in the form of dietary supplements. In pharmacies you can buy matcha in capsules. It is a good option for those who do not want to consume powdered tea in its classic form.
- TIP: The general rule for drinking matcha is to keep it in a dark container without air access. The tea is also harmed by heat and sunlight.
A few recipes with matcha
Matcha tea desserts and drinks are very popular not only in Japan but all over the world. It is delicious, healthy and very unusual.
Amazing taste of tea with milk, delicate aroma and interesting bright pistachio color.
- Matcha — 3g;
- Milk — 200 ml;
- Sugar or honey (to taste).
- Heat the milk, but do not bring it to a boil;
- Add matcha to the milk and stir well;
- Add sugar or honey, if desired;
- Whisk with a whisk until foamy.
A tasty and healthy treat. Becomes an additional source of vitamins and energy in the cold season.
- Dates — 1 cup;
- Pistachios — 0,5 cup;
- Walnuts — 0,5 cup;
- Coconut — 200 gr;
- Matcha — 2 tbsp;
- Coconut oil — 1 tbsp.
- Rinse dates, pistachios and walnuts in cold water;
- Load all the ingredients into the bowl of a blender and grind well;
- Roll into balls and place in the freezer for 15 minutes;
- The finished balls can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and in the freezer for up to two months.
Matcha cheesecake without baking
An original European dessert with an Asian flavor. The recipe requires no baking, and the finished version will pleasantly surprise guests.
- Matcha — 5 g;
- Cottage cheese — 200 gr;
- Shortbread cookies — 200 g;
- Sugar — 70 g;
- Butter — 40 gr.
- Place the shortbread cookies in a bag and crush into crumbs;
- Pour cookies into a bowl, add melted butter and mix well;
- Grease a cake pan with butter;
- Put cookies on the bottom and sides of the form, press them well and leave in fridge for 20 minutes to let butter harden;
- In a bowl mix curd cheese, matcha and sugar; beat with a blender until smooth;
- Take the cookie mold out of the refrigerator and transfer the filling to the matcha. Flatten and put in the refrigerator for an hour.
The popularity of green powdered tea from Japan grows every year. Matcha is drunk in the classic version, used in cooking and cosmetology all over the world. The tea contains a huge amount of vitamins and antioxidants that strengthen the body. However, there are also contraindications to its use, through too much matcha should not be carried away.