I wish to write about Matcha for some time. As I believe for people who are fascinated about the benefit of drinking Matcha and are interested to start drinking it, will have the doubts and questions as I have had when I first started to buy, make and consume it.
I was lucky that I already heard of Matcha when I was in Japan for my exchange student program, I joined the Tea Ceremoney (Chadou) club, which I was taught how to whisk matcha powder and the manners of tasting matcha, at the same time I learned a little how to recognise a high quality matcha.
After that, I got to learn even more in depth about Matcha when I was asked to promote it and sell it when I was working at my last company (a Japanese trading company), it was when I really spent time studying about Matcha and its benefits.
Q1: Why there are terms of Matcha powder and Green Tea powder, aren’t they both the same?
The answer is ‘No’, they are not the same. Although they are both in powder and in green color, the distinctive difference between both is the raw material of both.
Matcha powder is made from Tencha. Tencha is cultivated in a special way which green tea plantation will be shaded to avoid direct sunlight before the tea leaves is harvested. Then the tea leaves are steamed, air-dried, destemmed and deveined. Lastly, Tencha will be grounded to powder, it is now called Matcha.
Green Tea powder is made from Sencha. Sencha is the normal green tea leaves we use to brew green tea in the pot, or we see them in the tea bag.
Q2: If they are the same, why is Matcha powder so expensive in term of price?
The answer is because the production of Matcha is costing much more than other green tea powder or tea leaf, the fact that the plantation to be shaded, the good grade will be grounded by stone mill (instead of ball mill), furthermore Tencha production is rather limited with high demand, thus the price is high
Do not need to doubt the benefit of whether to drink Matcha or Sencha or even Green tea bag, they are all proven with a lot of health benefits for years ago. Green tea was considered as medicine in Japan more than 1,000 years ago and it has only become more and more popular in the world. I particularly like Matcha due to the stronger taste from green tea (and the concept that I consume the whole green tea leaf), the passion I had on Tea Ceremony, and the high Catechin (EGCG) & L-Theanine contents in it.
Of course, there are many nutrition and antioxidants (especially EGCg) in Matcha, which bring many health benefits but L-Theanine is particularly special. L-Theanine is acid amino found in green tea, it reduces anxiety, promotes relaxation and helps one to stay focused. This benefit totally captivates me, especially because I do not drink coffee, I embrace Matcha.