Thank you very Matcha
Ok, so first of all, what the hell is matcha?
Essentially, matcha is green tea, however, it’s not processed, prepared or drank in the way normal tea would be. Rather than the tea leaves being diced, put in a bag (or kept loose), stewed and removed from the water, matcha is kept whole and you consume the entire leaf. The leaf, or just the tips of the leaves in the highest quality products, are ground into an extremely fine powder with a consistency not too dissimilar to cacao powder. This powder is then mixed with water and consumed entirely. It can be drank cold, added to a bottle of water and shaken up or prepared with boiling water and drank as a hot tea drink. Matcha lattes are becoming increasingly popular, where a paste is made with the ground matcha and water and blended with hot milk, even Starbucks are now serving them.
Yeah, ok, but what’s the big deal?
o When you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the leaf
o Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea.
o One cup of matcha = 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea in terms of nutritional content
Let’s dig a little deeper. Matcha;
· Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
· Boosts metabolism and burns calories
· Detoxifies effectively and naturally
· Calms the mind and relaxes the body
· Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
· Enhances mood and aids in concentration
· Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
· Prevents disease
· Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
‘Antioxidants’ is a huge buzzword in health and nutrition at the moment, but for good reason. Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidisation of other molecules. So what does that mean? Basically, antioxidants stop the chain reaction that would occur if oxidised molecules were left unchecked, leading to chain reactions resulting in the damage of healthy cells. Matcha is literally streets ahead of the next major sources of antioxidants. Using the testing method known as ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), experts at Tufts University discovered that matcha possesses an amazing twenty times more so than pomegranates or blueberries. Matcha’s ORAC rating is a mighty 1573 units per gram, compared to pomegranates 105 units per gram or blueberries 93 units. That’s a lot.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Karolina, AKA Cinnamon Girl over the weekend and sampling some of her amazing matcha. Cinnamon Girl matcha green tea is made using only the finest quality matcha, without the artificial additives, colourants, sweetness or flavourings often found in generic matcha tea packets. It’s harvested and processed in Uji, a city located in the Kyoto Prefecture of Japan. Their supplier has been harvesting and making tea in Uji for nearly 200 years, ensuring the quality, taste and texture thanks to their time-proven traditional methods. Fine matcha uses only the best leaves, typically found in the tips of green tea leaves — otherwise known as “flush” or “new growth”, and Cinnamon Girl matcha is stone ground in the traditional way, further enhancing its’ superior quality.
Matcha is generally sold in tubs, which is fine if you are a big matcha drinker and will consume the product quickly, but once opened the quality and flavour does begin to diminish. Aside from the taste and health benefits, my favourite thing about Cinnamon Girl matcha is the fact that it is packaged in single serve sachets. I’m always on the go and it’s so handy to be able to just fire one of the sachets into your bag, or to have one in the car. I can add it to a bottle of water for both an energy and concentration boost before going in to a class or hitting the gym. The serving sizes per sachet are generous, so you could easily just add half to a 500ml bottle and hold on to the other half for later in the day.
Karolina and her family are - in my opinion – a huge part of what makes this company so special. She takes such pride in every sachet that goes out. Matcha isn’t just a business for her, it’s been part of a whole lifestyle change. In the past she has been an “obsessive, chain coffee drinker”, as she describes herself, but making the switch to matcha led to a chain-reaction of health-positive steps in all other areas of her life. Having previously been an engineer, she felt so passionately about matcha that she wanted to bring it to everyone and to help to spread knowledge and awareness of just how powerful this substance is, and how it can be a major factor in a holistic approach to your health, both physical and mental, as well as your lifestyle. After our photo shoot she showed me how to prepare matcha in the traditional way, in a bowl using a bamboo whisk. I loved everything about it, the almost ceremonial nature of the process, it’s delicacy, and of course the pleasure of the final product. Of course the sachets added to a bottle of water are great for when you are on the go, but there is something really special in the sense of quiet ritual attached to the traditional preparation. It’s very mindful in a way, in fact a lot of Buddhist monks prepare and drink matcha before meditation. It’s very centering and grounding, it’s a prime example of taking a moment in our all too hectic lives to just be present and focused within yourself, and to give something nice to yourself or a loved one.
I’m a matcha newbie, but you can expect more posts on this to come. In the meantime, I would highly recommend getting in touch with Karolina or checking out her website,
to learn more about matcha or to place an order with her.
You can also check out her Instagram, which is full of beautiful images, at @cinnamongirlmatcha
As always, you'll find me @yogilateral