Matcha, camelia sinensis, is a very popular variety of green tea in Japan. Its benefits, its unique taste and its bright green colour make matcha an exceptional tea whose success continues to grow. Literally meaning "tea powder" in Japanese, this antioxidant tea king is made from tencha, grinding tea, and the powdering of these high quality leaves. Matcha is the emblem of the traditional tea ceremony called Cha No Yu. It is also consumed as a powder in cooking and baking.
In the land of the rising sun, matcha producers protect tea plants from the sun, three weeks before harvest. This practice of shade cultivation is ancestral (end of the Edo era, 1603-1868 AD), the Japanese used bamboo or rice straw mats to reduce the light. Today, nylon tarps or arbors are installed to slow photosynthesis and the transformation of theanine into tannins. With this process, matcha tea acquires the original vegetable taste of umami, the fifth taste (after sweet, salty, bitter and sour) common to foods containing l-glutamate, an amino acid present in all vegetable and animal proteins.
The health benefits of matcha tea are numerous due to its exceptional properties. Indeed, its high concentration of polyphenols and more specifically of epigallo-catechin-gallate antioxidants (EGCG) , are recognised for their health benefits. By consuming the whole leaf, unlike other teas, all of the antioxidants contained in matcha are retained.
The antioxidants in matcha reduce the damaging effects of free radicals responsible for cell aging. EGCGs are active in promoting the elimination of toxins and combating water retention, which helps make matcha a perfect slimming ally or a booster for detox treatments. In addition to acting on the renal filtration of water, matcha tea improves the body's natural defenses thanks to its high content of catechins and bioavailable substances .
The presence of tannins in tea, slows down the absorption of theine which diffuses more slowly in the body. Hence the uplifting effect of matcha, as opposed to the arousing and potentially irritating effect of caffeine alone, for example.
Like all green teas, matcha is a source of L-theanine, an amino acid with anti-stress properties . Matcha has authentic health benefits, and whether it is to fight against aging or to strengthen the immune system, it embodies a much appreciated noble and refined ingredient.
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