Matcha has become a beloved household staple in recent years. No wonder—who can resist its vibrant green color, unique flavor, and numerous health benefits? But have you ever wondered what plant produces this invigorating drink?
As per usual, we have all the answers.
Article jumplinks:What is matcha?
What plant does matcha come from?
Do matcha and green tea come from the same plant?
Where is matcha originally from?
Is matcha good for you?
How to make matcha tea
As an adaptogenic superfood, matcha captivates tea enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals around the world. Before we reveal all of matcha’s health benefits, let’s answer this burning question: what plant does matcha come from?
Our cordyceps matcha tea is packed with all the healthy nutrients you need to feel refreshed and invigorated, combining the therapeutic potential of organic matcha with the best cordyceps mushrooms China has to offer.
What is Matcha?
Matcha (also known as jade leaf tea) is a type ofgreen tea powderthat has been a part of the ancient tea drinking cultures of Asia for centuries. Its unique cultivation and processing methods set matcha apart from other types of green tea.
About threeweeks before harvest, thematcha plantis shaded fromdirect sunlight. This increases the production of chlorophyll and amino acids in thetea leaves, giving matcha thatbright green color we love.
After harvesting, the leaves are steamed, dried, deveined, and ground into afine powder. The matcha deveining process involves removing the veins and stems from the tea leaves. By removing those, matcha becomes smoother and more enjoyable to consume, resulting in what is known as tencha. Tencha is a type of processed tea leaf that is ground into afine powderusing traditional stone mills. This creates thegreen tea powderknown as matcha.
This meticulous process of makingmatcha powdergoes all the way back to the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), wheretea leaveswere finely ground and whisked with hot water to create an energizing beverage.
What Plant Does Matcha Come From?
Matcha is producedfrom the leaves of theCamellia sinensis plant, the same plant used to make other types of tea.Camellia sinensisis an evergreen plant native to East Asia and was originally cultivated in countries such as China, Japan, and Taiwan.
The matcha plant is characterized by dark green, glossy leaves and small, white flowers. It thrives in moderate climates with well-drained soil and prefers protection fromdirect sunlight.
Let’s sift through some of the basic characteristics ofCamellia sinensis:
- Genus: Camellia
- Species: Sinensis
- Family: Theaceae
- Common names: assam tea, tea camellia, tea tree camellia
- Ethnobotany: used in medicinal purposes
- Dimensions: height: 6 ft.–15 ft., width: 4 ft.–8 ft.
- Life cycle: woody
- Edibility: leaves and buds are used to make tea. Flowers are used to make edible oil.
Bioactive Compounds In Camellia Sinensis
Camellia sinensis contains all the bioactive components that give matcha its aroma, flavor, astringency, taste, and therapeutic value.
- Antioxidants: catechins, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and other catechin derivatives.
- Caffeine: a natural stimulant that provides an energy boost and enhances alertness. According to Kochman, et. al., the green tea plant contains more caffeine than coffee: “the content of caffeine in green teas was found to fall within the range of 11.3–24.67 mg/g, while… most coffee beans will contain 10.0–12.0 mg caffeine/g of beans.”
- L-theanine: theanines are amino acids that promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance mental focus. Because of L-theanine, drinking matcha regularly can help you reduce stress and anxiety. At the same time, the combination of L-theanine and caffeine make matcha a great source of sustained energy without the jitters and anxiety typically produced by caffeinated beverages.
- Flavonoids: quercetin, kaempferol, and other flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Polyphenols: theaflavins, thearubigins, and proanthocyanidins have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular health benefits.
- Vitamins: vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and vitamin K.
- Minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.
- Volatile compounds: contribute to the aroma and flavor of tea.
Ourorganic teacontains all the above and even MORE bioactive compounds. The combination of cordyceps and matcha doubles the health benefits and, if we may humbly say so, quadruples the flavor!
Is Matcha the Only Tea Made From Camellia Sinensis?
Matcha, green tea,black tea,white tea, andoolong teaall come fromCamellia sinensis. The main differences between them are the processing methods, the growing conditions, and the oxidation levels. The oxidation process is crucial because it determines the teas’ characteristics and flavor profiles.
Here’s how teas fromCamellia sinensisdiffer:
- Black teaundergoes complete oxidation. This gives it a dark color, robust flavor, and the ability to retain its flavor profile longer than other teas.
- White teais the least processed, with minimal oxidation. It requires the easiestproduction process, with leaves being simply withered and dried (hence the minimal oxidation). Its subtle sweet flavor and pale color makewhite teauniquely distinguishable from otherCamellia sinensisderivatives.
- Oolong teais partially oxidized and offers a wide range of flavors. People typically place it somewhere between green andblack tea.
- Green tea has undergone minimal oxidation, and theproduction processis similar to that of matcha: green tea leaves are withered and steamed or pan-fried to prevent oxidation.
- Matcha tea is the only product of Camellia sinensis that doesn’t go through the process of oxidation. After being harvested, tea leaves are immediately steamed to prevent oxidation. This helps preserve the natural compounds, flavors, and vibrant green color of the tea leaves.
Did Matcha Originate in China or Japan?
Matcha has a rich history dating back centuries, with its origins rooted in ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures. It is believed that matcha has aJapanese origin, even though the Camellia sinensis plant actually comes from China.
Buddhist monks introduced the cultivation and consumption of Camellia sinensis to Japan in the 12th century, during the Kamakura period (1192–1333). The Zen monk Eisai is believed to have been the first to plant Camellia sinensis seeds in the garden of the Buddhist temple in Kyoto.
Somewhere along the line, it appears that the Japanese developed specific processing methods, resulting in matcha. It gained prominence with the Zen Buddhist practice oftea ceremonies, where it was revered for its calming and meditative qualities.
Since then, matcha has been elevated in production and cultural significance, and the Japanese people have adopted it as the staple of their traditionalJapanese tea ceremony.
Health Benefits of Matcha
- Caffeine is the main source of energy in matcha. The combination of caffeine and soothing L-theanine in matcha promotes calm alertness and prevents the jitters typically associated with consuming caffeinated beverages.
- Matcha is rich in antioxidants, particularly catechins like EGCG, which help boost the immune system. These antioxidants help protect against free radicals, reduce inflammation, and support overall immune function. “The immunomodulative actions of L-theanine are therefore very important for combating various infections and allergic diseases and hypersensitivity reactions.” (Saeed, et. al.)
- The catechins in matcha have been linked to heart health benefits. They help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, improve blood lipid profiles, and support healthy blood pressure levels. According to Velayutham, et. al., “catechins may be novel plant-derived small molecules for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.”
- Due to its high content of polyphenols and catechins, matcha may possess potent anticancer properties. These compounds help protect cells from damage, inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and promote apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
- Matcha has been associated with weight loss due to its ability to boost metabolism and enhance fat oxidation. A 2018 study found that matcha increases the fat burning process and enhances “exercise-induced fat oxidation” in women.
- Matcha’s EGCG helps protect the skin against free radicals and UV damage. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe skin conditions like acne and rosacea.
How to Consume Matcha
People are constantly finding new ways to consume matcha and reap its benefits.Matcha lattes are the hottest thing in the world of trendy drinks right now. Some people prefer taking matcha capsules or extracts.
However, the healthiest way to consume matcha is with good oldmatcha green tea. Preparing traditionalJapanese green tea involves pouring hot water over matcha powder and whisking it up until combined and frothy. Or, if you’re not that into tradition, use our electric whisk and froth that baby up in a matter of seconds.
Ourmatcha comesfrom the highest qualityorganic tea plant thatcomes from Japan. Sourced from an eco-heritage, family-owned farm located at the foothills of Mt. Fuji, our matcha leaves aregrown and producedwith care and centuries-old tradition. That’s why choosing Honematcha powderis a great way to reap all the matcha tea benefits.
What types of matcha are there?
There are several types orgrades of matcha. They have different flavors and uses, and they even differ in the amount of bioactive content they contain.
- Ceremonial matcha is the highestquality matchapowder, typically used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Ceremonial matchais also the healthiest matcha powder.
- Latte grade matcha is ideal for making matcha lattes and other delicious beverages with matcha and milk.
- Culinary grade matcha is suitable for cooking and baking.
These grades of matcha each have their own purpose. If you want to drink the best matcha tea, stick with ceremonial grade. If you’re just cooking with matcha, the other grades are fine.
What's the difference between matcha and green tea?
The difference between matcha and green tea lies in their preparation and consumption. Matcha is a type of powdered green tea that is made from shade-growntea leaves. It is consumed as a whole leaf by whisking it into hot water. Green tea, on the other hand, is typically brewed fromloose tea leaves ortea bags.
Matcha offers a more concentrated flavor and higher nutrient content. Its unique preparation and cultivation methods contribute to its distinctive taste and vibrant green color. Also, matcha generally contains higher levels of caffeine compared to regular green tea.
How much matcha should you drink a day?
If you’re a beginner to matcha, starting with smaller amounts is a good idea. To get all of the benefits of green tea, 1–2 cups per day are best. Once your body adjusts to the beneficial effects of matcha, you can drink more cups per day.
Don’t forget that matcha contains caffeine. If you don’t want the negative effects of caffeine—those similar to drinking a lot of coffee every day—limit your caffeine intake and go slow with your matcha tea.
Is it OK to drink matcha every day?
It is perfectly safe to drinkmatcha teaevery day.Matcha comeswith a range of health benefits, including antioxidants, amino acids, and other beneficial nutrients. People in Japan drink matcha every day instead of coffee. They typically drink it in the morning but also during the afternoon, serve it to guests and friends, and even drink it several times a day.
Why is matcha not vegan?
Matcha is vegan, as it is made solely from plant-based ingredients. However, some lower-quality matcha products may contain additives or flavorings that are not vegan-friendly. Always choose high-quality, pure matcha to ensure its vegan status.
Does matcha tea stain teeth?
Dental experts say that matcha doesn’t stain your teeth directly, but it can stain the plaque on your teeth. You can prevent this by brushing twice per day to remove the plaque before it turns to tartar.
Matcha is extremely beneficial to your oral health. It contains natural chemicals with antibacterial characteristics, which can help eliminate dental plaque, cavities, and bad breath. Vyas, et. al. found that catechins suppress bacterial growth in the mouth, while polyphenols in matcha can also help eliminate bad breath and boost general oral hygiene.
Why is matcha better than coffee?
Matcha tea is often considered a healthier alternative to coffee for several reasons. It contains a wealth of antioxidants, amino acids, and other beneficial compounds. Additionally, matcha provides a more sustained and focused energy boost without the jitters and crashes associated with coffee.
What areloose leaf teas?
Loose leaf tea is made up of entire tea leaves, and it typically isn’t packaged intea bags. It is the most traditional type of tea and provides a more personalized and tasty tea experience. Compared to tea bags,loose leaf teasare often of superior quality and offer a greater selection of tea varieties and flavors. Unlikeloose tea, matcha is consumed in its powdered form, allowing for a unique and concentrated tea experience.
Is matchafermented tea?
Matcha tea is not fermented. Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves that are ground into a fine powder. The leaves are not fermented during the production process, but they undergo specific shading, harvesting, and processing methods to preserve their natural qualities and vibrant green color.
Several tea types undergo a fermentation process which yields unique flavors and characteristics. The most popularfermented teasare pu-erh and oolong. TheseChinese teas are partially fermented and provide a distinct range of aromas.
Is matcha considered anherbal tea?
Matcha andherbal teas are not the same. Matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is the same plant used to produce green, black, white, and oolong teas.Herbal teas, on the other hand, are infusions made from various herbs, flowers, fruits, or spices and do not contain any tea leaves.
Is matcha very healthy?
Matcha is considered a superfood due to its health benefits and adaptogenic properties. It is considered the healthiest option out of allChinese teas, such as black tea, oolong tea, white tea, and green tea.
Matcha is rich in antioxidants, particularly catechins, which have been linked to various health advantages such as supporting the immune system, promoting heart health, and potentially reducing the risk of certain diseases.
Is matcha a Chinese or Japanese tea?
Matcha is predominantly associated withJapanese teas. It has a long history in Japanese culture and is an integral part of traditionaltea ceremonies. If we’re speaking about the origin of the Camellia sinensis plant, then we have to tag matcha as one of the healthiestChinese teas out there.
How can I prepare matcha tea in the traditional way?
The traditional Japanese method of preparing matcha tea involves the following steps:
- In a small bowl, sift 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder to remove any clumps.
- Pour a small amount of hot water (176°F), or about 2 ounces, into the bowl (in Japan, they call these matcha-chawan).
- Using a bamboo whisk called a chasen, vigorously whisk the matcha in a zigzag or a brisk "M" or "W"-shaped motion until a frothy layer forms on the surface. Whisk for about 10–15 seconds until the tea is bright green.
- Carefully pour your matcha into a teacup, or enjoy it directly from the bowl.
Kochman, J., Jakubczyk, K., Antoniewicz, J., Mruk, H., & Janda, K. (2020, December 27).Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010085
Saeed, M., Khan, M. S., Kamboh, A. A., Alagawany, M., Khafaga, A. F., Noreldin, A. E., Qumar, M., Safdar, M., Hussain, M., Abd El-Hack, M. E., & Chao, S. (2020, August 6).L-theanine: an astounding sui generis amino acid in poultry nutrition. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.07.016
Velayutham, P., Babu, A., & Liu, D. (n.d.).Green Tea Catechins and Cardiovascular Health: An Update. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.2174/092986708785132979
Matcha Green Tea Drinks Enhance Fat Oxidation During Brisk Walking in Females - PubMed. (2018, September 1). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0237
Chatterjee, A., Saluja, M., Agarwal, G., & Alam, M. (n.d.).Green tea: A boon for periodontal and general health. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.4103/0972-124X.99256
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