The Basics of Matcha

Posted in Fava Tea

It’s likely that if you’ve visited a local coffee shop in the past few years, you’ve at least heard of matcha! This Japanese green tea differs from a standard tea leaf in a number of ways, but boasts a grassy flavor and rich texture enjoyed by many. Used today in a wide variety of beverages and recipes, this powdered tea is a fantastic alternative to coffee and features a wealth of health benefits. Here at Fava Tea, we feature both premium organic matcha and a variety of flavored options, all of which you can shop here.

What is Matcha?

An increasingly popular beverage in the Western world, matcha is a fine powder made from green tea leaves. Most often, the tea plants cultivated for matcha are grown in Japan, where it originated, and all variations are shade-grown. This shields the plant from direct sunlight and incites an over-production of chlorophyll, which contributes to the bright green coloring. It also increases the amino acid theanine, which provides the grassy flavor. The leaves are then hand-picked, steamed, dried, destemmed, deveined, and ground into a fine powder.

It’s a Great Alternative to Coffee!

Looking to switch from coffee to tea but not miss out on the caffeine? Matcha is your go-to! Because matcha is one of the few tea drinks where you consume the entire leaf, you also get 100% of the benefits, including all the caffeine! Typically, a cup of coffee has roughly 90-100mg of caffeine in a cup, whereas matcha has roughly 60-80mg. This is significantly higher than a standard green tea, where you only steep the leaves, which usually ranges at about 25-30mg of caffeine per cup. But there’s more good news! It’s also suggested that matcha gives a smoother, more natural boost of energy than a cup of coffee, which may leave you jittery and crashing a few hours later. This is also thanks to the theanine, which helps your body slowly absorb the caffeine and produces a smoother boost of energy.

It’s Easier to Make Than You Think!

Traditionally, the process of brewing matcha requires a specialized bowl and whisk since it isn’t brewed in a tea bag, and we get tons of questions about whether or not this method is required. Spoiler alert: it isn’t! The most important thing to remember when brewing matcha is to use water at the right temperature. Too hot and it’ll burn, too cold and it may not dissolve properly. We recommend using water somewhere between 140 and 160 degrees to brew your matcha, and then any method of mixing it in works! A spoon, a fork, a whisk, and even a milk frother will work to combine the powder with your water. We recommend starting with a small amount of water to mix and then adding additional water or milk as desired. If you’re brewing it cold, we recommend mixing with the warm water first and then pouring over ice for the best cup!

Health Benefits Abound!

Matcha typically contains an abundance of Catechins, a compound typically found in things like berries, cocoa, and tea. On the most basic level, Catechins are an immune booster that helps to defend against disease, but it is also known to assist with boosting metabolism and lowering cholesterol. Thanks again to the theanine, matcha has also been said to work as a mood booster and improve mental focus. It is important to note that these benefits are the result of regular consumption and are not guaranteed for every individual.

You Can Bake with Matcha too!

There’s no shortage of matcha-based recipes out there, and you can easily use matcha in a variety of drinks, baked goods, or other treats. We’re presently hard at work in our kitchen brewing up some new recipes to share with you soon, but here are a few of our tried and true favorites!

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