Health and Beauty

Why is it better than coffee?

Tea lover, do you want to change your habits a little and be open to new flavors? Or maybe you have already heard about matcha tea and are curious about the nutritional benefits of ground green tea powder… Let's discover the benefits of this superfood in terms of health and fitness.

Matcha tea, kesaku?

If you take a trip to New York City, you'll quickly realize that matcha has been king there for several years.

Indeed, this green powder of Japanese origin has won the hearts of coffee addicts and is successfully used by موقع العدسة baristas and pastry chefs in the Big Apple.

This success gradually spread to the rest of the world, and matcha tea also gained a place on the menus of some cafés in France.

Matcha coffee at a famous Parisian café.
Image source © Café Kitsuné Paris

A thousand-year-old origin

Despite this recent popularity, the origins of matcha are much older… We know that its properties were already exploited by the monk Eisai in Japan in the 9th century.

The latter used matcha tea in spiritual ceremonies. This miraculous powder, obtained after crushing fresh green tea leaves with stones, was believed to lift the soul to sacred heights.

Following his example, Buddhist monks and samurai used matcha tea to improve alertness and concentration. It became popular in Japan and gradually became popular during the famous tea ceremonies.

Uses of matcha tea

Nowadays, matcha tea is of course consumed more for its bitter flavor and nutritional value than for its spirit-lifting abilities.

Traditionally, it is consumed plain, but is also delicious in more elaborate drinks, hot or cold.

Most often, matcha tea powder is added to plant milks (almond, oat, soy, etc.). You can also add a pinch of cinnamon, turmeric, cocoa, a little honey or agave syrup.

Gourmet tip: Matcha is ideal for flavoring pastries (cakes, cookies, cheesecake, muffins, etc.) and giving them a surprising but tempting green color.

Picture of matcha mille crepe cake
Matcha Mill Crepe, a basic pastry from Japan.
Image rights © Adobe Stock

PLEASE NOTE: Obviously, the intense coloring of Matcha tea is 100% natural! This is due to its high content of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants and algae their color.

While preparing matcha tea, the leaves of the tea plant are protected from sunlight in order to maintain their extremely green shade and amino acid content. It is then dried and ground into a fine powder.

A substance that is beneficial to your body

In addition to its taste, matcha tea is a nutritional bomb that brings a host of benefits to your body.

Your health ally

There is no doubt that matcha tea is good for you. He points out that it is “very rich in powerful antioxidants that stimulate immunity, protect cells from aging, fight cholesterol oxidation, and play a preventive role against many diseases such as cancer.” Dr. Ortega. Translation: Matcha tea is good for boosting your immune system and helping you stay healthy longer.

Matcha tea also contains a valuable amount of iron, vitamins and beta-carotene.

And compared to other types of green tea? Matcha tea is a little richer, at about 60 calories per cup.

However, it contains a lot of antioxidants, “like all types of green tea, but in larger quantities,” according to the nutritionist. Deborah Ohana. Athletes will also appreciate its fat-burning effect during exercise.

A powerful tonic…and anti-stress

As seen above, matcha tea has been known for centuries for its stimulating and energizing effects. It strengthens the nervous system and increases brain response time and concentration in the short and long term.

Compared to coffee, tannins are released more slowly into the blood, for a more sustained effect.

Matcha tea is also for you if you are looking for rest and relaxation. It helps reduce anxiety and stress thanks to its high content of L-theanine and arginine, which oppose caffeine and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate, a natural component of tea). In short, matcha tea gives you a energized and calm mind!

Why is the caffeine in matcha tea different?

While a cup of coffee contains about 120 mg of caffeine, a matcha drink provides about 75 mg of caffeine, or a little more than half the amount.

That is, caffeine and theanine are exactly the same molecule. Only the name varies depending on the origin of the plant. However, the effect on the body is not identical.

This is because caffeine is completely bioavailable in coffee, which means it travels directly into the bloodstream.

In matcha, the tannin is combined with the tannins found naturally in the tea leaves, delaying its absorption and having a smoother effect over time.

So, unlike the quick rush of coffee, which is followed by a crash two or three hours later, matcha has a less brutal stimulating effect, and lasts longer, around 4 to 6 hours.

As we just saw, matcha contains theanine. Theanine is derived from the amino acid glutamine which has a relaxing effect. Therefore, matcha helps increase concentration and alertness without causing excessive excitement or nervousness.

Caffeine effect of matcha tea versus coffee
Compare the caffeine effect of coffee or matcha
Graphic credit ©

Which matcha tea to choose?

The Uji and Nishio regions of Japan are particularly known for the quality of their matcha tea. If in doubt, observe the powder carefully: it should emit a strong vegetable odor and have a beautiful, bright color. On the palate, its flavor is delicately sweet and herbaceous.

Good taste!

Why is it better than coffee?

زر الذهاب إلى الأعلى