Matcha 1

Revitalive Pick of the Week: Matcha

Matcha 1

Matcha, found in Revitalive’s new Matcha Berry Tea, is a unique form of green tea. From the way it is cultivated, to the way it is processed, to the way it is prepared, it seems to gain more and more health benefits as it travels from soil to mouth. One of the main differences is that matcha is made by grinding up tea leaves into powder, which is then mixed into the hot water. This way, the tea drinker benefits not just from leaf-infused water, but from entire tea leaves!

All types of tea (non-herbal) are actually derived from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. (Herbal “tea,” on the other hand, can come from any plant other than the tea plant.) Once tea leaves are picked, they begin to oxidize and dry out, which turns their color from green to black and changes their nutritional profile. Allowing this to happen on its own is part of the process of creating black tea, but heating the leaves immediately after picking them stops the oxidation and creates green tea.

Although both black and green teas are high in antioxidants, preventing oxidation preserves one particular antioxidant compound called EGCg that has been found to protect against cancer. Matcha has over 100 times more of this compound than other types of green tea!

Matcha is cultivated differently from other forms of green tea. Several weeks before harvest, the leaves are shaded under cloth, which increases the amount of chlorophyll and l-theanine in the leaves. L-theanine, an amino acid, is the property of matcha that gives the tea drinker a sense of calm and relaxation. It balances out the potential jittery effects of the tea’s natural caffeine (it has about half the amount as in coffee) to create an energizing but not overly-stimulating effect. This is likely the reason that Zen Buddhist monks drank matcha before hours-long meditation sessions. Matcha is also the tea of choice during traditional tea ceremonies.

Matcha tea japan

This photo shows one of the steps taken during a traditional Japanese tea ceremony: A bamboo whisk is used to mix the powdered matcha with hot water.

The long-term benefits of drinking matcha tea can include:

• Reducing the risk of various types of cancer
• Slowing down the aging process
• Improving cholesterol ratio
• Preventing cardiovascular disease
• Increasing metabolism
• Reducing hypertension

We hope you’ll try out some of our new Matcha Berry Tea to give a little zen zing to your summer day!
revitalive-matcha-berry-tea
Credits:
Matcha photo: http://www.sarahbesthealth.com/the-top-12-health-benefits-of-green-tea-and-the-best-kind-to-choose/
Tea ceremony photo: http://www.now-zen.com/blog/category/tea-ceremony/

References:
Boston Magazine: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/blog/2013/11/13/matcha-tea-health-benefits/
DoMatcha: http://domatcha.com/health/
Dr. Weil: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02050/Matcha-Tea.html
Harvard: http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/benefit_of_drinking_green_tea