Maybe you’re curious about matcha green tea because you know it’s really healthy. This post is not at all about the high concentration of disease-fighting antioxidants found in this Japanese superfood. It’s not about catechin polyphenols, L-Theanine, or epigallocatechin gallate. 

At a quiet, little tea shop in Omotesando, Tokyo, I uncovered the secret reason why drinking matcha is so good for you. It’s one word I actually know how to pronounce. To learn more, I sat down with organic matcha expert, Masahiro Nagata, CEO of The Matcha Tokyo. His newest shop will open in Osaka on February 28, 2020… my birthday. 😉

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matcha green tea health benefits

photo of Suisouen brand organic matcha (by eyesandhour)

Matcha Green Tea – Why is it Healthy?  

In the West, not so long ago, matcha was branded a “superfood”. Attached were all sorts of wondrous health claims: anti-aging effects, 20 times the concentration of antioxidants as regular green tea, fat-shedding catechin polyphenols.

A few years back, I even went through a phase of adding matcha powder to my regular green tea. This was my insurance that would live past age 93, like the kimono-wrapped Japanese women I saw hosting the tea ceremonies I attended.

When you drink green tea that is steeped, the tea leaves are soaked in hot water. This means not all the nutrients in the leaves actually end up in your cup of tea. The green tea that you drink, steeped from a teabag, is something like 99.9% water.

Really, what you’re drinking is green tea-infused water. The rest of your loose-leaf tea, or tea bag, gets tossed in the garbage.

Matcha is made from the exact same green tea plant, Camellia sinensis, but the leaves are ground up into a fine powder. When you drink matcha, you’re actually consuming whole tea leaves in powdered form, mixed with water.

Makes sense, right, why matcha has a much higher concentration of antioxidants?

But like a said earlier, this post is not about the nutrients inside matcha.

The secret to matcha’s power to heal has nothing to do with what’s in the tea.

matcha green tea health benefits

Matcha – Infused into Japanese Culture  

The first time I tried matcha was at a tea ceremony.

In Japanese, the tradition is called sadō (茶道), “The Way of the Tea”.

As a green tea-lover, I always appreciated the matcha tea at every tea ceremony I’ve ever been to. After my third and final sip, I only wished they had served me a Starbucks’ size of it.

The cup is big. Why is the amount so small?

As a foreign guest living in Japan, I never really understood why they made such a big deal out of serving one single cup of tea.

Now I finally get it.

I have to laugh at myself for not seeing it sooner!

Japanese matcha

photo of Suisouen organic matcha (eyesandhour)

More Than Just a Healthy Drink?