The method of preparing tea in powdered form dates back to the 12th century during the Song Dynasty. A Zen Buddhist tradition of the regular consumption of Matcha started this implementation of this drink into culture. They began to cultivate green tea leaves known as "sencha" under a lot of shade. During these practices of consuming the powdered tea mixed with water the Zen Buddhist became more and more aware of its health benefits, mostly the ability to provide clarity while staying alter. It is said they felt a sense of well-being from this drink. The tea was brought to Japan, as well as China but did not gain popularity, and has stayed a popular drink among the Japanese.
In Japan only the Shogun and nobility were the main consumers of matcha. This is because it was costly to produce. Even though the same method of cultivating and preparation are still used today, "uji" which was created in the mid-1700s it allowed for 2 versions of matcha to be created. A brown version, which was more affordable to the average man and the highly revered vibrant green version. The brown version is called Bancha. Think of this one as a lesser version, less pure than Matcha. By the way the word Matcha comes from it's origin leaf, sencha, which then changed to "tencha". After the powdering process the "tea" is then called Matcha.
There are so many wonderful well-being properties to Matcha, but here are a few:
Anti oxidants - The rich green color provides the body with almost 5 times more anti oxidants than fresh fruit and vegetables. It can help to reduce aging, wrinkles, fight free radicals, and provide UV protection (still wear your sunscreen!)
Enhances a Calm Feeling- Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? What this means is that it helps to keep you alter without a jolt of energy. It provides this sense of calming feelings, allowing you to turn introspectively. This is why it was so highly consumed and regarded by the Zen Buddhist. Scientifically it promotes alpha waves in the brain without a feeling of drowsiness.
Detox the body- Matcha helps to remove heavy metals from the body due to its rich chlorophyll amount. The vibrant green color isn't only cool looking it is really good for you.
Burns calories and helps to increase endurance- The fact that this product contains caffeine your body then enhances the speed of its metabolism. Which means it helps you burn fat and loose weight. The energy provided from the caffeine is more of a long lasting slow release type. So it helps during those endurance type of exercises and trainings.
Bottom line it is great! Very little goes a long so use in moderation. Take the time to enjoy this delicious delicacy and make it part of your beverage habits.