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Health magazines, blogs and enthusiasts everywhere sing the praises of Matcha Green Tea, and with good reason. Just one cup of Matcha Green Tea is the nutritional equivalent of consuming ten cups of regular green tea! Packed full of vitamins A, B-C Complex, C, E and K, as well as fibre, potassium, chlorophyll and amino acids, Matcha Green Tea is, indeed, an “antioxidant powerhouse.”
The reason for the intense nutritional hit you get from Matcha Green Tea is that when you drink Matcha, you’re ingesting the entire green tea leaf, rather than just the steeped liquid from the leaf. Using the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) testing method, researches at Tuff University discovered that Matcha contains 6x the antioxidants of goji berries, 17x the antioxidants of blueberries, and 60x that of spinach.
Unique to Matcha is a potent class of organic compounds called catechins which aren’t found in any other food group. These compounds are hailed for both their fat burning and cancer fighting properties. Also present in Matcha is the amino acid L-Theanine, which gives a feeling of calm upon consumption without any side effects drowsiness. In addition, much like the feeling you get upon drinking a strong cup of coffee, L-Theanine can increase endurance and energy levels for up to 6 hours (but without the usual energy crash!).
The best quality Matcha is harvested by hand once a year, typically in the spring. Around 6 weeks before harvesting, the fields are covered from the top, gradually decreasing sunlight and the photosynthesis process. During this time, the leaves begin to produce increasing amounts of chlorophyll and amino acids, which are what gives Matcha its unique flavour profile and health benefits.
The newest growth is extremely soft and delicate; the smallest and the greenest of which are picked. They’re then stemmed to preserve the nutrients and vibrant colour, and then thoroughly dried. Once dried, the leaves are sorted by grade – the youngest, greenest and most tender being the most highly ranked.
The leaves are individually destemmed and deveined by hand, and are then refrigerated until they’re ready to be ground. Using the traditional method of stone grinding the leaves, it takes more than an hour to grind 30g of finished Matcha.
Upon first taste, Matcha Green Tea echoes a bitter, saline sort of flavour that is best described as “earthy,” followed by a sweet, natural aftertaste. Though drinking Matcha in tea form is the most popular way to consume it, it’s also very prominent as a flavour profile in many traditional desserts, as well as in various, up-and-coming health food recipes.
We’ve formulated an all Organic, Matcha Pistachio energy ball recipe for you to try as a quick, clean nutritional hit in just a couple pulses of your food processor! These are great as both a pre and post work out snack, an after dinner treat, or something to curve your cravings while enduring three-thirty-itis.
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Reach out to us in our “contact us” section for retail stores near you where you can purchase your ingredients. Don’t forget to take photos of your finished results and share them with us through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!