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Matcha is a well regarded Japanese green tea made with green tea leaves and containing Catechins, which are the natural flavonoids of this tea. The best matcha comes from Japan and appears parfumed powder, tipically emerald green in colour. In Japan there are two primary areas for the production of this tea: the city of Uji and the city of Nishio. The first city is famous for being the original plantation place of matcha and is known for its green teas of very high quality, while the second is the biggest producer of matcha in the country. The conditions of both regions are optimal to cultivate this tea, due to fertile fields and to warm and humid climate. Moreover the quality of green tea varies depending on the type of plantation in which it is grown. The Yakubita type is definitely an excellent plantation from which a very fine product is created. One of the reasons why this tea is so healthy is that bushes are cultivated in the shade, so that the amount of chlorophyll increases. After the harvest, leaves are treated with steam, dryed and deprived of the most wood-like parts of the stem. Finally, tea is stone ground: one hour is necessary to obtain an ounce jar of great quality!
It prevents aging: antioxidants are precious molecules able to protect the body from aging and chronical illnesses. Matcha tea has antioxidant properties higher than every other tea on the market. Moreover, researchers at Alabama university discovered that the consumption of polyphenols present in green tea can inhibit skin damages caused by UV rays.
It speeds up metabolism: lots of scientific researches are observe the effect of matcha on bodily thermogenesis (the speed to burn calories) and its impact on fat oxidation during exercise. Matcha, thanks to the presence of EGCG polyphenol, lets fat burn much more quickly. It is great in slimming diets, since it reduces the sense of hunger and helps to burn fat much faster.
It boosts energy and concentration: matcha, like all green teas, contains caffeine and the amino acid named L-theanine. These two substances, working together, produce a constant release of energy which lasts many hours. Japanese students and buddhist monks drink matcha tea in order to improve their concentration level. According to recent studies, L-theanine helps to increase Alpha brain waves, which favour concentration.
It improves the mood: matcha contains up to five times more theanine than a normal green tea, because plantations grow up sheltered from sunlight. The presence of L-theanine in matcha tea helps to improve mood, since it augments dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain.
This is the link to one of my favorite matcha shops:
HOW TO DRINK MATCHA TEA
1 Take ½ teaspoon of matcha and filter it with a sieve to avoid the formation of lumps
2 Add water heated to a temperature of 80 degrees (water must be removed from the stone right before it starts to boil)
3 Mix quickly with the chasen (a specific Japanese bamboo whisk) or with an electric milk frother, for a faster and more practical solution. In my opinion, the electric whisk from “Bialetti” is very good. After mixing the mixture and getting a light green froth, add some drops of lemon juice. The lemon has the property of increasing the assimilation of tea’s healthy substances.
Matcha tea is widely used in the kitchen, now I will give to you two recipes to prepare my two favourite matcha smoothies. Usually, I like enjoying these drinks at breakfast, but they can be drunk also as a mid-morning snack, in order to have some extra energy. If you want to know other recipes like, for example, the way to prepare matcha biscuits or matcha muffins, leave a comment and write me.
SMOOTHIE WITH BANANA AND COCONUT (recipe for 2 people)
• 200 ml of biological coconut milk
• 2 spoons of coconut yogurt
• 1 sliced banana
• 1 teaspoon of matcha powder
To prepare this smoothie just put all the ingredients in the mixer and add matcha last. Mix until you get a uniform mixture, then pour it in two glasses and enjoy this deliciousness.
MATCHA TEA SMOOTHIE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND NUTS
• 250 ml of biological hazelnut milk
• 2 spoons of vanilla yogurt
• 6 sliced strawberries or 10 raspberries
• 1 teaspoon of flax seed
• 1 teaspoon of matcha powder
• Grated dark chocolate to decorate
Put all the ingredients in the mixer (with the exception of chocolate), paying attention to add matcha last. Mix until you get a uniform mixture, pour it in two glasses and decorate with a sprinkle of grated dark chocolate. It is possible to replace strawberries with 10 raspberries, according to personal taste and seasonality of products.
This smoothie is rich in omega-3 and cocoa flavonols, so that you can make your skin radiant and slow cellular ageing.