Even though its ancient consumption originates in China, the Matcha it has become an important part of Japanese culture, where it was consumed by Buddhist monks to remain calm and, at the same time, alert during long hours of meditation.
Despite being widely used in Asia, Matcha has become the favorite ingredient of confectioners.
[youtube]v_IIIm7e0Iw[/youtube]Made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, the same plant that gives rise to green tea and white tea, what sets Matcha apart from its “brothers” is the method of preparing its leaves. During the last three weeks before harvest, the plants are covered so that they are not exposed to the sun. As they grow in the shade, there is an increase in the production of chlorophyll in the leaves that are about to be born, which results in a bright green color. For the preparation of Matcha, only the leaves born in this period are used. After harvesting, the leaves are dried and crushed in a stone mill until they have an ultra-fine texture.
Considered a superfood, Matcha is the best nutritional quality tea in existence. A cup of this tea offers 10 times more antioxidants than a normal cup of tea. All of this power is attributed to the fact that, instead of being immersed in water, as with other teas, Matcha powder is dissolved in water, making its antioxidant power better absorbed by the body.
Matcha is also rich in caffeine; a cup of it contains almost the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, serving as a great substitute for those who don’t like coffee but need that little help to wake up after lunch.
Despite being a drink traditionally used in Buddhist rituals, its preparation is simpler than it seems. Just dilute Matcha powder in hot water (temperature 70 degrees), mix very well, and if you prefer, you can use the Chasen (bamboo whisk made especially for this utility), and enjoy the benefits of this drink.
Its taste is strong; those who are not used to it may be surprised at first (in my opinion, its taste resembles spinach). If you prefer you can sweeten it until you get used to its peculiar taste.
HOW TO USE
Very versatile, the consumption of Matcha is not restricted only to the form of tea. Because it has a super fine texture, it can be easily added to different recipes, whether sweet or savory.
Matcha goes well with almost everything: smothies, ice cream, cakes (click here for a roll cake recipe made with matcha), macarons, brownies, ganaches, soups, salad dressing, etc. I always say: use your imagination, the sky is the limit.
One of my favorite ways to use Matcha is as a topping for cupcakes. I simply put the powder with a little sugar and cream cheese in the mixer, beat on medium speed, and a delicious and different topping is ready.
HOW TO STORE
To preserve its properties and its characteristic bright green color, it is necessary to store it in a tightly closed container, protected from light.
WHERE TO FIND
Matcha can be found in supermarkets (in the Asian food section), health food stores and online stores. But be careful when buying: as it is not a very cheap tea, if you find it with below average prices, this may mean that it is not of good quality, and may contain other substances mixed in its composition. So stay tuned, always read the information on the label.
Those who have gastric problems or even constipation should avoid the consumption of Matcha, as well as children, hypertensive and pregnant women.
cover photo: Love and Lemons