Japanese Green Tea: Matcha
Source: © Deposit Photos
Tea is roughly divided into three categories: Black tea, Oolong tea, and Green tea. Japanese tea falls into the last one, Green tea. The main differences between them are to which extent they are fermented. Black tea is fully fermented and Oolong tea is half fermented before drying. Japanese Green tea is steamed and dried just after harvesting to prevent fermentation so it keeps its fresh green color and medicinal properties.
Perhaps the most popular green tea, Matcha is notably used for the “Tea Ceremony” and is also served along with Japanese traditional fine sweets at tea houses. Since Matcha is a powder it is not infused in a teapot, it is simply dissolved in hot water and gently whipped with a bamboo whisk. To make and sip this tea, you are expected to follow strict tea ceremonial manners, so even Japanese with little or no knowledge of the Tea Ceremony etiquette can be baffled. Matcha powder is also used for cooking and baking; Matcha ice cream and Matcha cakes are beautiful and delicious, Matcha salt is a delightful garnish for Tempura.
Matcha is a one of a kind tea; aside from being able to do all the already mentioned it also:
- Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
- Boosts metabolism and burns calories
- Detoxifies effectively and naturally
- Calms the mind and relaxes the body
- Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins
- Enhances mood and aids in concentration
- Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
- Prevents disease
- Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar