– According to legend, green tea was first brewed in ancient China more than 4000 years ago – which means it’s been on the list of healthy drinks for a few centuries or so. But your favourite herbal brew now packs an even bigger nutrient punch, thanks to the growing popularity of matcha green tea.
No, matcha isn’t a new dating app: it’s a finely ground green tea powder made from specially grown and processed tea leaves. Soft, supple young leaves from the top of the plant are carefully picked and dried in the shade. The stems and veins are removed, and the leaves are ground to create a fine, vibrant powder. It looks like it could be used as eyeshadow in a wacky, jungle-inspired episode of America’s Next Top Model, but instead it’s brewed in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It’s also drunk by health-conscious tea lovers the world over.
Drinking matcha green tea allows you to ingest the whole leaf, rather than just the brewed water. This means a greater dose of chlorophyll and anti-oxidants like theanine, an amino acid rumoured to help reduce stress and boost mental clarity. The traditional brew is made with hot water, but it can also be whisked with milk for a bright, creamy green tea latte – the perfect alternative to your afternoon caffeine fix.
And trust us, drinking leaves has never tasted this good (for you): matcha tea has an earthy, almost grassy flavour and a sweet, lingering aftertaste. Not a tea drinker? You can also add the powder to smoothies, cakes, muffins and even soup for a bright burst of goodness.