What is matcha?
Matcha is simply pure, high grade green tea leaves from Japan that are ground up into a fine powder. For centuries, monks have enjoyed matcha to support wellbeing and concentration during meditation.
What are the different grades of matcha?
Much like wine, matcha is sold in varying degrees of quality -- which one you choose depends on how you will use it.
The lowest grade, referred to as “industrial” or “commercial”, is generally restricted for use in making matcha flavored foods, such as candies and baked goods.
Higher quality "culinary” grades are suited for mixing into beverages, such as smoothies and lattes, or for baking and cooking recipes, but should still not be consumed on their own.
The highest grade of matcha, "ceremonial" grade, is the only grade that should be enjoyed by itself, and is best prepared in the ceremonial style of mixing with water and frothing with a whisk.
Does it contain caffeine?
Yes, each half-teaspoon (1g) serving contains roughly 34mg of caffeine, about 1/3 a cup of coffee. However, Matcha also contains L-Theanine, which has a calming and leveling affect, so it doesn't make you feel jittery or wired like coffee does.
What are other health benefits?
It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. The health benefits of matcha exceed those of other green teas because matcha drinkers ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.