Tuesday, September 07, 2010

How To Make Matcha Green Tea - The Health Benefits Of Green Tea

Sift the powdered matcha green tea into the cups.

Add 180 degree water and whisk until the Matcha is suspended.

A bamboo"Chansen" is traditionally used to whisk matcha.

Matcha Green Tea
Recently I purchased some matcha tea in order to experiment with making green tea ice cream. It had been a while since I had enjoyed this delicate beverage so I carefully studied the instructions on how to properly make it.
Unlike the typical leaf tea you are familiar with, matcha tea is a powdered green tea. Traditionally it is the tea used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Its sweet taste comes from the tea plants being shaded for about one month before being harvested. I love the deep green color, an indication of its many intense and healthful plant chemicals.

The History of Matcha
According to Den Shirakata, owner of Den's tea , a Buddhist monk introduced matcha to Japan in the 13th century. The monk, named Eizai, studied in China and upon his return to Japan, he brought back a new type of tea. This tea was made from raw leaves which were steamed than then milled into a fine powder.
Eizai also authored the first tea book in Japan named, "Maintaining Health by Drinking Tea". Matcha became part of Zen training for Zen Buddhism, also spread by Eizai. It also became part of the "SADO" tea ceremony.

Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols. The one most important is EGCG which is a powerful antioxidant. Green tea also contains the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E although it is said that EGCG has 25 to 100 times stronger antioxidant properties than vitamins C and E. Since Matcha tea contains the entire leaf it has the added benefit of providing fiber.
Many health benefits have been attributed to the frequent consumption of green tea. Here are a few of them:
* inhibition of cancer cells
* stabilizes blood sugar
* improving cholesterol profile
* helps prevent cardiovascular disease
* fight colds and flu as it has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
* prevents tooth decay
* acts as a relaxant due to its content of the amino acid, theanine
* like berries, polyphenols in tea may prevent and reverse age-related memory loss

Enjoying Matcha Tea
Matcha is a powdered tea which doesn't dissolve in water. The Matcha is actually suspended in the water.
The four most important things to do to optimize your enjoyment of this delicious tea are:
1. Using 180 F degree water to make the tea
2. Sifting the Matcha
3. Whisking the tea properly to create a suspension
4. Drinking it before the powdered tea settles to the bottom

How to Make Matcha Tea
What you need:
* Boiling water
* An interim container (I use a 2 to 4 cup glass pyrex)
* A small bamboo scoop or 1/2 teaspoon measure
* A small strainer to sift the tea
* One or more tea cups
* A whisk (you can use the proper bamboo whisk called a "chansen" or any small whisk)
Making Matcha
1. Get out one or more tea cups.
2. Sift one gram, or 1/2 teaspoon of Matcha into each cup.
3. Pour boiling water into an interim container (tea pot, cup or pyrex).
4. Pour 3 ounces of water from the interim container into each of the tea cups. This extra step will get the water to the proper temperature if done immediately.
5. Whisk the Matcha and the water using the bamboo "chansen" or a small whisk until the powdered tea is suspended in the water.
6. Enjoy before the Matcha settles to the bottom. If it does, give it a swirl.

You can find a good assortment of Matcha tea at Den's tea . Amazon also sells the tea as well as the tea whisk (Chansen), the small scoop and glass Matcha bowl.

1 comment:

Donna Crabtree said...

One of the longer-term effects will be a boost to your immune system. Hoodia with green tea is thought to help strengthen you against colds and flu. There is even some evidence of a reduction in cancer rates among drinkers.