It seems that matcha may be the trend these days, but what do people know about this apparent superfood? Can it really live up to the hype it’s being built on, or is this matcha trend just going to be just that—a mere fad?

If matcha is indeed the superfood that a lot of people claim it to be, then is there a way to determine if the matcha you have is of very good quality? Matcha has been around for hundreds of years and while this compound may not have the exact powers to terminate any cancer cells, kill fat, detox your organs or decrease your cholesterol levels, it has other properties that may prove beneficial to your body.

So what exactly is matcha? Matcha is a Japanese term that refers to a very specific means of processing and consuming green tea.  That was the olden times, matcha right now is a special type of powdered and processed green tea that is only grown and produced in Japan.  Traditional matcha beverages are created by mixing a teaspoon of this fine, green powder with some water and whisking it until frothy. And with today’s modern consumerism, matcha can be added to just about everything—muffins, ice cream, noodles, chocolates and more.

So how does matcha taste like?

They say that matcha’s flavour is more intense than regular green tea, partly because a serving of matcha really involves a lot more tea content.  At best, taking a liking into matcha, is something of an acquired taste. Matcha powder that’s considered of poor quality may have a bit of metallic taste, may taste fishy, or really bitter.

Good quality matcha should look bright green in color and should come with a very pleasant vegetable or grassy aroma. Flavor-wise, a lot of people may describe it as savory. To make it more palatable, people find that it mixes real well with milk and other sweeteners.

Matcha vs. Green tea: What is the Difference?

You’ll find that matcha and green tea contains a lot of similar contents when it comes to nutrients and other active compounds.  However, one big difference accounted for is that with matcha, you are consuming the entire leaf versus just steeping and straining the leaves if you’re preparing green tea.  This means that with matcha, you’re actually getting a lot more of those active compounds and beneficial nutrients that it offers.

A serving of matcha may equate to roughly 8 ounces of coffee.  Yes, so this one indeed has strong caffeine content. It also contains a compound referred to as theanine, one that’s been proven to promote a state of relaxed alertness in the body.  Matcha is also rich in catechins –a form of antioxidant that helps in the reduction of risks for cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and cancer.

Can Matcha Help in Weight Loss?

Matcha is almost calorie-free which makes it an ideal addition to any weight loss regimen, considering that it’s packed with nutrients that can be helpful to the body.  Matcha consumption is said to boost one’s metabolism and can help burn those unwanted fats.  Matcha does not take its toll in the system and won’t make one’s blood pressure rise. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has established that consumption of matcha tea can up the body’s thermogenesis (calories burn rate) from the normal 8-10% daily energy expenditure to a whopping 35-43% daily.

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Matcha consumption apparently also provides you with a lot of energy to power you the entire day. It gives you that energy jolt minus the jitters that people normally get from drinking caffeine.

With the many benefits of matcha, it’s no wonder that it is being referred to as the “it” beverage of the moment and the current darling of the tea world.

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