I’ve always been experimental with my teas, and have quite an assortment to boast of in my kitchen cabinet. By far, the little tin I have been reaching out to most often has been my prized stash of Japanese Matcha Green Tea.
This highly coveted powdered tea is far more superior than your average cup of green tea.
“One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.” – Tealand website.
Given its ‘superfood’ status, I was rather shocked at how hard it was to get my hands on some 100% pure Matcha powder in Dubai. I tried every nutrition shop in Dubai Mall, and was finally guided to a little stall on the basement level called Tealand.
Tealand has all the possible kinds of teas you can think of, and horray! They had Matcha!
This little tin holds 50 conveniently packed sachets, each making a cuppa. However, it costs a whopping AED 220 per tin! That’s AED 4.40 per sachet, which, if you think of it, costs far less than your average Star Bucks pickup and has a whole list of health-loving benefits to boot.
Matcha powdered green tea is:
a mood-enhancing, antioxidant powerhouse
a natural weightloss aid, pH balancer and detox agent
a sugar-free coffee alternative without the jitters
1. Tastes great! How many of the ‘good for you’ supplements have you had that actually taste great? Matcha Green Tea is refreshingly delicious with its unique vegetative notes, making it a pleasure to sip even sans milk and sugar.
2. High in Antioxidants. We need these for fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation, to keep our skin looking young and supple, and to keep a whole list of life-threatening diseases at bay. Just one cup of Matcha Green Tea gives you over 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food!
3. Matcha Green Tea has 60% Catechin, EGCg. Not all antioxidants are created equal. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha Green Tea, and is widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties.
4. Contains L-Theanine for Relaxation. This special form of amino acid helps with relaxation without the side-effect of drowsiness. It is no wonder that Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks have been sipping Matcha Green Tea for centuries to help with meditation.
5. Boosts Memory and Concentration. Yet another side-effect of L-Theanine, Matcha Green Tea boosts memory recall and stimulates an overall sense of calm.
6. Increases Energy Levels and Endurance. The Samurai warriors of Japan, drank Matcha Green Tea before going into battle. The tea has always been renowned for its energizing properties. While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from Matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from a bowl of Matcha Green Tea can last up to 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension.
7. Burns Calories. Matcha Green Tea has been proven to increase metabolism and help with fat burn. This gives this wonder tea the ‘weight loss miracle’ claim.
8. Detoxifies the Body. Matcha has a beautifully deep green colour as this special tea is very high in chlorophyll. This acts as a powerful detoxifier, capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.
9. Fortifies the Immune System. Apart from being rich in catechins that promote overall health,, just one bowl of Matcha Green Tea provides substantial quantities of Potassium, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium.
10. Improves Cholesterol. Studies of different populations show that people who drink Match Green Tea on a regular basis have lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while at the same time displaying higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Matcha Taste & Texture
Matcha Green Tea has a very smooth, rounded earthy taste. It tastes similar to green tea, but the flavour is far more robust and pronounced. When mixed with water, it takes on a very vibrant hue of green. The bright green of Matcha is due to its higher chlorophyll content.
Matcha Green Tea Cultivation
Although green teas are grown throughout the world, Matcha remains the exclusive pride of Japan, and is grown and powered through a traditional ‘Shade Covered Cultivation’ method.
Matcha is grown only in Japan, where local farmers cultivate it by traditional methods, from growing to grinding. Matcha Source matcha is farmed by the Yahagi river whose micro-climate and misty fog air make for ideal growing conditions.- matchasource.com
Many weeks prior to the advent of Spring harvests, the green tea plants are covered up with bamboo mats to gradually reduce the amount of sunlight. This makes the plants produce far more chlorophyll than normal, and the leaves take on a much darker hue of green
After harvesting, the leaves are steamed and then air dried. Next, the leaves are sorted for grade, and then destemmed and deveined. At this stage, the leaves become tencha, the precursor to matcha. The tencha is then ground and becomes matcha.
Tea grade matcha is ground on a stone mill to achieve a fine powder texture, unlike industrial grade matcha which is ground by machines. The stone grinding produces a specially shaped powder molecule which impacts the taste and mouth feel of the matcha.
Making Matcha Green Tea
Given it comes in powdered form, Matcha Green Tea is far more easier to make than traditional teas. No seeping or dipping of tea-bags needed here!
Best of all, it even dissovles easily in ice-cold water so you can go from hot to iced-teas in a jiffy.
The unique taste and texture of Matcha Green Tea makes it ideal for using in recipes (I have it often as a Nice-Cream).
Given the long list of Matcha benefits, especially the fact that it is loaded with antioxidants, I have even incorporated Matcha into my DIY beauty regimen! Do try out my DIY Matcha Green Tea Peel Off Mask 🙂
Where to Buy Matcha in Dubai
I was first buying these little sachets of sweetened Matcha from Carrefour for as little as AED 30, but the percentage of matcha in this is very weak and I was on the lookout for pure, genuine Matcha powder.
I finally found this tin of 50 sachets (retailing at AED 220) from Tealand, a little stall on the basement level of Dubai Mall (they also have a store in Festival City). Tealand even sells Matcha accessories! Click here to see their Matcha range.