What is matcha?
Matcha (抹茶) is a powdered type of green tea. You whisk it in a bowl with hot (but not boiling) water and it eventually turns into a thick, frothy drink. Unlike other green teas that need to be steeped through tea bags or a strainer, you consume the tea leaves directly.
Matcha does require a bit of an acquired taste, as it is slightly more bitter than other green teas. I enjoy sipping matcha on its own, though I also like adding a little bit of pure honey sometimes to sweeten it. If you're just beginning to drink matcha and are still a little intimated by the bitter taste, I suggest trying it in a latte (just like the one I photographed above).
Why drink matcha?
As I mentioned, you ingest the tea leaves directly. This means that you take in more of the health benefits that green tea offers, including vitamins A, B, and C. In addition, one study concluded that matcha has three times the concentration of ECCG--an antioxidant polyphenol that can help to lower risk for cancer and maintain cardiovascular health--compared to many other types of green teas (read Weiss & Anderton, 2003). Matcha can also benefit those who interested in losing and maintaining weight, as ECCG had been found to help suppress appetite and reduce weight in a rat study (Kao, Hiipakka, & Liao, 2000). In addition, matcha contains high concentrations of theanine, an amino acid that can help to calm you down when you're stressed (Kimura, Ozeki, Juneja, & Ohira, 2007), What's there not to like?
How does this relate to beauty and skin health?
Other than the fact that your overall health can be reflected in how your skin looks, matcha is filled with anti-oxidants, which can help to prevent early signs of aging on your skin. Also, anti-oxidants help to protect your skin from inflammation and cancer.
Where to get matcha
When purchasing matcha, make sure to buy it from reputable sellers; higher quality matcha tastes much sweeter and contain more anti-oxidants than lower grade matcha. My personal favorites can be purchased at these sites, though you certainly can buy matcha at many Japanese supermarkets and various tea stores.
THAO <-- They also has a helpful guide for preparing matcha, which can be found here.
Hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to share: Have you tried matcha or any other type of teas?
FTC statement: This is NOT a sponsored post. I just really love matcha =). None of the links are affiliate links.