There is perhaps no tea on the market today that is as celebrated or as famous as Japanese Matcha. The powdered green tea has been used in the Japanese tea ceremony for centuries and as such is normally associated with the beautifully complex, and rigid procedure. It was believed by the ancient Japanese that tea was a gift of the heavens and as such held great restorative and spiritual power here on earth.
These days, although the Japanese tea ceremony still holds a significant place in Japanese culture, the rules around drinking Matcha have loosened. The ancients were right about something though, Matcha is special, and because of the way it is produced, it is also powerful.
Consider these numbers: 2 cups of brewed Matcha contains 7 times the antioxidants of orange juice, 20 times that of apple juice, and nearly 20 g of calcium - and that is just the short list! Having identified a high altitude Western Kenyan tea of 3 times the antioxidant value, the flavoury Japanese character and emerald appearance is not altered, but the antioxidants are significantly boosted. On a gram per gram basis, Matcha also contains approximately 10 times the polyphenols of regular teas.
The healthy qualites of the tea have led to the its break from tradition - Matcha can now be found served cold, as an ingredient in health shakes, ice creams, and even baked goods.
Matcha is made using pure luxury grade Japanese green tea and Gyokuro leaves, a Japanese tea variety that is shaded beneath special shade covers for 3 weeks before plucking. The shading forces the plants to produce a higher than normal chlorophyll content which gives the leaves a rich green colour.
Since it is powdered, no matter how you prepare Matcha, you are actually consuming the leaves - which contain high nutritional value - there is no other tea in the world consumed in this manner. It is said in Japan that because of this characteristic, Matcha is the healthiest natural beverage in the world to this day!