Japan Australia Pages

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Matcha Japanese Green Tea

As an avid Japanese tea fan and also the founder of a matcha green tea company, Zen Green Tea, I always have people asking me what matcha is and why it holds such a special place in Japanese culture. There is a bit of a matcha craze at the moment- big multinational companies are using matcha to produce everything from KitKats, Starbucks frappes to French macaron. America features a growing matcha market with Dr Oz and Oprah all shouting its health benefits from the rooftop.

So how is matcha actually different from standard green tea? Well first off the production of the two teas is vastly different. The green tea plants chosen to be used for matcha (typically the healthiest plants in a harvest) are covered with shade cloths for weeks at the end of the harvest. This makes the plants work harder for sunlight so it turbo charges their levels of chlorophyll and nutrients. Only the finest leaves on the top of the plants are hand picked, oven baked and rapidly stone ground into an ultra fine, jade green powder. Normal green tea uses the leaves at the middle- bottom of the tea plants which are then steamed, rolled and dried. This process destroys a lot of the amino acids and ECGC catechins well known for cancer prevention and anti-aging.

A small amount of matcha powder (2 grams) can then be added to hot water and finally whisked with a bamboo whisk forming a stunning green tea. With matcha you are consuming the whole tea leaf dissolved in water. As a result matcha is a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

So what are some of the health benefits of matcha? Scientific studies highlight that it helps people lose weight through increasing the amount of energy your body burns, it also suppresses appetite and helps block the absorption of fat in your large intestine so you excrete the fat Vs storing it. Matcha has also been linked to inhibiting a percentage of the neural cell death in those suffering Alzheimer’s Disease. Many studies are linking it to inhibiting the growth of tumours and preventing cancer. You can find the links to the scientific studies on my website. If you are interested in joining the matcha lifestyle just make sure you buy premium Japanese matcha that is bright green in colour. This indicates freshness while Japan also employs incredibly clean and sustainable farming processes.

Article contributed by Erin Young who is the founder of Zen Green Matcha Tea - a premium matcha green tea powder brand in Australia. To find out more information you can visit her website Zen Green Matcha Tea.


  1. I love green tea, especially matcha.
    I remember I bought my first chasen and chawan long before moving to Japan and tried to make matcha myself without knowing if I was doing it right or not. *g*

    1. Thanks ZJ, I love green tea as well and especially Matcha. I can't say that I've tried to make it myself but enjoy it in various forms here in Japan :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Lina, I hope people find it informative and helpful :)

  3. I didn't know the plants were covered in cloth!

    I love green tea, too, but match soft serve is even better. ;)

    1. Thanks Ru, Got to look after the best plants and protect them from the sun :) Matcha soft serve is amazing and always look forward to having some when I travel around Japan. Had a good one at Korakuen in Okayama recently!


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