The term "matcha" means "finely ground tea" and refers to a unique and high quality Japanese green tea. Traditionally, matcha has been consumed at the Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years. Only 4% of Matcha tea is exported from Japan because it is considered as an exceptional product. It is used primarily as a hot drink but is also found in many recipes.
But what makes it special? Matcha is made from green tea named Tencha only. That is, green tea leaves unfolded during drying and crumbling naturally. They will then be ground very finely. Other varieties of ground green tea will be called Konacha tea powder. The manufacturing method makes it much more concentrated than its cousin.
These benefits are numerous: because of its very pronounced green color, matcha is very rich in chlorophyll, which makes it alkalizing and detoxifying. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants including catechins, also found in cocoa and apples. These antioxidant powers are much studied and seem to confer anti-cancer properties. Some molecules may help with weight loss, increased energy (theine), improved athletic performance and lower the risk of degeneratives diseases such as cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. The significant presence of an amino acid called L-theanine would allow matcha to improve symptoms of stress, anxiety, concentration and sleep disorder. But watch out for its caffeine content!