Matcha tea is full of anti-oxidants and most importantly the antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). According to a study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – “The green tea flavonoid, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been proposed to have an anti–HIV-1 effect by preventing the binding of HIV-1 glycoprotein (gp) 120 to the CD4 molecule on T cells”.1
EGCG has been known to improve the functions of the cardiovascular system and lower blood pressure. In addition the anti-oxidants fight off the free radicals that enter our bodies and therefore can prevent or help our bodies fight cancer. The EGCG in matcha tea also increases your metabolism, lowering the amount of fat you store and making it easier for your body to burn fat.2
There have also been a number of studies looking at the effects on our renal functions. In a study by Yamabe N1, Kang KS, Hur JM, Yokozawa T, the results suggest that “Matcha protects against hepatic and renal damage through the suppression of renal AGE accumulation, by decreases in hepatic glucose, triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels, and by its antioxidant activities.”3
Unlike other teas that you steep/brew in water you consume the entire leaf of the matcha tea as it is stone ground into powder that you mix into your water or milk. This allows you to get the full benefits and anti-oxidants of the matcha tea.
The main grades of matcha tea are:
- Ceremonial-grade is the highest grade. It is hard to find outside Japan
- Premium grade is more of an everyday beverage. It is still very good, and much easier to find.
- Cooking grade is cheaper and is added as an ingredient to foods and beverages.4
I recently was given the opportunity to try some organic matcha tea from ‘Matcha Organics’. This brand sources their tea from China rather than the traditional Japan. The grade of Matcha Organics tea is culinary (cooking) grade. So it is not as bright green as Premium or Ceremonial grade. But this is also reflected in the price. Ceremonial grade matcha tea is extremely expensive, even in Japan, and premium grade is also quiet pricy.
The main difference is the taste of the culinary/cooking grade. It is has a stronger taste and works well when added to sugars and fats.
The Matcha Organics tea is very green but not a super bright green, which is expected in this grade of tea. The flavor was similar to other Matcha Tea I have had in the past; strong but not bitter. My favorite at the moment is adding Matcha Organics tea over my vanilla ice-cream…yum!
There are endless creative recipes using Matcha Tea powder; including smoothies, cheesecakes, cookies and much more. What’s your favorite?