Matcha is hugely popular right now as more people are discovering its powerful benefits. You can now find Matcha lattes in Starbucks' and other coffee shops all over the world.
But, what exactly is it?
In this article, we will be answering the top 15 questions about Matcha to create some clarity on the topic.
1 - What is Matcha made of? How is Matcha powder made?
Like all tea, Matcha comes from a plant called Camellia Sinensis. This plant is native to China, but the type cultivated specifically for Matcha is mainly grown in two regions of Japan.
In order to turn this plant into Matcha powder, the young tea leaves are cultivated and then stone-ground into a very fine, bright green powder. This powder can be whisked with hot water to make Matcha tea.
2 - Are Matcha and green tea the same?
No, they aren’t. Although they come from the same plant, they are prepared very differently. This means that Matcha is even more powerful and healthy than green tea.
Green tea is made using rolled out leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant. On the other hand, as we explained above, Matcha is made by finely grinding these leaves. This means that Matcha provides a stronger concentration of key nutrients and antioxidants.
3 - What does Matcha taste like?
Matcha has a bright, vegetal, and slightly bitter taste with notes of sweetness. It has a similar flavour to green tea, but stronger and more intense. It’s very rich and aromatic, meaning its intenseness is sometimes compared to your first taste of dark chocolate. Matcha lattes are often very smooth and well-balance with a sweet aftertaste.
4 - Are Matcha and Maca the same?
No, they aren’t. Although they have similar names, Matcha and Maca are two very different superfoods. Matcha is a type of tea, whereas Maca is a root plant. Maca is highly nutritious and is thought to boost libido, increase fertility, relieve symptoms of menopause, improve mood, and even boost sports performance and energy. Matcha, on the other hand, is rich in antioxidants that can help to protect the liver, boost brain function, promote heart health, help you lose weight, and much more.
5 - Are Matcha lattes healthy?
Yes, Matcha lattes are packed full of antioxidants so they are very healthy. Matcha lattes have various benefits for your body which we will discuss below.
6 - What is Matcha good for?
As we mentioned above, Matcha is packed with antioxidants and key nutrients, meaning it can provide a number of health benefits:
- Matcha contains a high concentration of antioxidants that can help to reduce damage to our cells and therefore prevent chronic diseases.
- Matcha could prevent damage to the liver and decrease the risk of liver disease.
- Matcha may boost brain function. It has been shown to improve concentration, memory, attention, and reaction time. Matcha also contains caffeine and L-theanine which can help to boost brain function further.
- Some test tube and animal studies have shown that certain compounds in Matcha may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
- Studies show that Matcha can decrease the risk of heart disease.
- Studies show that Matcha may help to increase metabolism and fat burning, meaning it could help you to lose weight.
7 - Why is Matcha better than coffee?
One serving of Matcha contains around 34mg of caffeine – this is the same amount as you’ll find in a standard cup of coffee, and half the amount you’ll find in an espresso. However, drinking Matcha will give you a longer-lasting, more energising buzz than coffee. Plus, unlike coffee, there is no ‘crash’ afterwards. This is because Matcha contains L-theanine – this compound slows down the release of caffeine in the body, meaning you’ll experience a more gradual effect. Rather than a sudden spike in energy, Matcha creates a nice, calming energy that has helped zen Buddhists meditate for over 1000 years!
8 - Will Matcha keep me awake?
No, it won’t. This is a common misconception about Matcha – and it makes sense to assume this, since Matcha does contain caffeine. Like we explained above, Matcha creates a calming, zen energy rather than a sudden spike that keeps us awake. People often use Matcha to enhance meditation, so it could actually be an excellent tool for finding calmness before you go to sleep.
9 - Will Matcha make me lose weight?
Studies have shown that Matcha may help to increase fat burning by around 17% and boost metabolism. So, if you were to drink Matcha pre-workout, it could help you to burn fat more easily. It’s also thought to suppress the appetite when you drink Matcha in the morning, meaning you’re less likely to overindulge throughout the day. Lastly, Matcha has been shown not only to help with weight loss, but also to help prevent you gaining the weight back later on.
10 - Will Matcha make you poop? Can Matcha cause diarrhoea?
Since Matcha contains a high concentration of caffeine and antioxidants, it can definitely help to get things moving. This can be hugely beneficial, especially if you have trouble keeping regular bowel movements. Matcha can help to safely cleanse and purge the body of harmful toxins, making it an excellent daily detox drink. It’s unlikely that Matcha will cause diarrhoea, but it can if you consume it in large amounts or if you suffer from problems like IBS/caffeine sensitivity.
11 - Can Matcha stain my teeth?
Matcha contains a plant compound called tannins. Tannins can be found in all green teas and coffee, as well as wine and many fruits. When you get a build up of tannins on the tooth enamel, it can lead to staining. However, if you take good care of your oral health, then it’s very easy to avoid this. You may also choose to drink Matcha through a straw to avoid it touching your teeth altogether.
12 - Can Matcha go off? Can Matcha powder go bad?
Matcha powder usually has a shelf-life of around one year. Once opened, it should ideally be used within around 3-4 weeks. Despite this, Matcha doesn’t exactly ‘expire’ or ‘go bad’ – just like any tea. It may lose some of its beneficial properties, change in flavour, and change in smell, but it won’t become harmful or unsafe to consume. Still, we would definitely not recommend drinking Matcha that is older than one year, just to be safe.
13 - Can you use Matcha while pregnant or breastfeeding?
There is no official advice regarding drinking Matcha whilst pregnant or breastfeeding. We’d say it’s probably a great alternative to coffee if you’re looking for some natural energy during pregnancy, but try not to go overboard. In other words, one cup a day is probably enough. If you are unsure, speak with your doctor before drinking Matcha during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
14 - Does Matcha help when you’re sick or hungover?
Matcha is rich in antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation – this can help to lessen the symptoms of a cold or flu, and also prevent you from catching colds. Matcha is also thought to help boost the immune system meaning it could help you to recover from illnesses more easily. Since Matcha contains caffeine and antioxidants, it may also be effective for reducing the symptoms of a hangover. The caffeine can help to reduce headaches, whilst the antioxidants can help to flush out damaging toxins.
15 - What Matcha should I buy?
There are tons of different Matcha products on the market, meaning it can feel a little overwhelming trying to choose one! One of our favourite brands is Matcha & Co – you can shop it here at the Wellness Factory, as well as Matcha products from other brands.