Have you heard of matcha? From cosmetics to frappuccinos and everything in between, the health benefits of Japan’s iconic green tea has helped it to become a firm favourite across the world.
While matcha may be a new concept to you, the rich-green powder made from ground tea leaves has actually been popular in Japan ever since it was first introduced to the country by Zen Buddhist monks from China around 1000 years ago. For centuries, matcha has been used not simply as a drink, but also as a medicine or remedy with many good health benefits.
Unlike other teas, matcha powder consists of the entire tea leaf, and only the highest-quality leaves are selected for the tea-making process. The powder is traditionally whisked together with hot water to form a frothy green tea with a slightly bitter, nutty and grassy flavour and served with a sweet Japanese treat to balance the flavour, but in recent years mixing the tea with hot milk to make a sweeter, latte-style drink has also become popular.
Rich in antioxidants (helping to reduce inflammation), chlorophyll (a natural detoxifier), amino acids and other health-boosting benefits, it is thought that matcha can help to prevent heart disease, restore the body’s healthy alkaline PH, burn calories, combat skin aging and even improve memory. With such impressive benefits and properties, it’s easy to understand why it was once considered a medicinal beverage!
As you visit restaurants, cafes and even street food stalls in Japan, it’s common to find matcha being used in more than just drinks. From ice cream and cake to bread and potato chips, you may be surprised what you can find in matcha-flavour simply by looking around. What’s more, the skin-rejuvenating properties of the powder make it a popular ingredient for face masks, creams and even daily vitamins and health supplements.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy matcha during a trip to Japan. From authentic tea ceremonies (and lessons in the art of green-tea preparation) to tours of tea fields and a chance to pick leaves for yourself, Heartland JAPAN can arrange an experience that focuses on not only the tea itself, but also the rich culture and traditions that surround it. To find out more, get in touch today!