In Japan it is the center of tea ceremonies. In the rest of the world, more and more people are making the expensive trend drink.
The intense green Matcha tea color alone, sets itself apart from other teas. To make the tea leaves deep green, tea farmers have previously shaded the plants for two to four weeks. “This forms a lot of the colorant chlorophyll and certain flavors, but other substances decrease by shading,” explains Professor Ulrich Engelhardt of the Institute of Food Chemistry at the Technical University. Also, the fact that in contrast to other teas the Matcha powder is completely dissolved in the water, plays a role for the color.
The preparation is a veritable ceremony. The powder is poured over with 80 degrees hot water. Then connoisseurs hit it traditionally with a bamboo brush, or modern milk frother. The powder comes from the crushed leaves of certain green tea varieties, the Tencha. In fact, only from the leaf meat, because the veins of the leaves remove the tea farmers in Japan and China before.
Expensive: 30 grams cost up to 50 Euros
Such a costly made treasure has its price. 30 grams Matcha of a high-quality level can cost quite 50 euros. For this, the tea should taste fresh, mild and intense. Especially in the thicker variety called Koicha, in which about 2.5 grams are dissolved in 50 milliliters of water, good quality powder is an important prerequisite for enjoyment. Because inferior Matcha powder tastes much more bitter. The latter use tea lovers at most for the lower-viscosity Usucha (up to 1 gram per 60 milliliters) or for the preparation of other foods. Matcha also acts as a flavor carrier in ice cream, smoothies, yogurts and chocolates.
How does Matcha tea taste?
“When mixed with water that was too hot, the Matcha tea exuded an algae scent and looked like spinach soup, and some even got a gag, but when the tea had cooled down a bit, it smelled neutral and tasted delicious, albeit a long way off Meadow: It was much creamier than regular green tea, and most editors would drink the tea occasionally. My tip: stir well, otherwise you may have a lot of unresolved powder in your mouth at the last sip. “
Store Matcha tea in a cool place
In order to preserve the taste and the ingredients as long as possible, nutritionist Silke Gulder of the consumer service advises to keep the Matcha powder airtight packed in the refrigerator. “Then an opened package will remain fresh for at least three to four weeks after opening,” explains the expert. Important: Before opening, warm the pack back to room temperature so that condensation does not precipitate in the powder due to the temperature difference.
Gulder recommends to pay attention to an eco-label when buying: “For differently produced Matcha tea, pesticide residues would be conceivable, even if there are no investigations available.”
In addition, green tea and thus Matcha contains oxalic acid. This substance may inhibit the absorption of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron. “Those who want to make sure that the iron absorption is not compromised, should best keep an hour apart between the Matcha enjoyment and the meal time,” recommends Gulder.
Is Matcha tea a superfood?
One should not expect miracles from a single food, says the nutritionist. In addition, beneficial effects on health can only be achieved by drinking the tea for a longer period of time and combining it with a balanced diet. Despite these limitations, Matcha tea is definitely one of the “Superfoods”. Because it contains many healthy ingredients such as vitamins and phytochemicals. “Compared to the amount of water in the preparation of Matcha, significantly more tea is used than in normal green teas,” says Engelhardt. That’s why the finished drink contains a higher concentration of antioxidants. These are intended to protect the cells and reduce damage to the human genome. The substances include polyphenols and catechins – in Matcha, as well as other green teas, especially the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
“The EGCG’s preventive effect on cardiovascular disease and strokes is well documented,” says Gulder. Also studies to prevent amyloid deposits are quite promising. “In addition, EGCG can favorably influence different developmental stages of cancer.” But: Many study results come from laboratory and animal experiments and are therefore only conditionally meaningful. Whether the ingredients of Matcha tea really have a positive effect on health, can’t yet be answered unambiguously.
Conclusion: Matcha tea, like other green teas, is healthy. Due to the special preparation, it contains even more potentially health-promoting ingredients compared to other green teas. The disadvantage is that Matcha is sometimes very expensive and the taste – depending on the variety – takes some getting used to.