Matcha Facts & Myths

Matcha Facts and Myths

Matcha Facts & Myths

With its amazing properties and many centuries of history, it’s no surprise matcha tea is the stuff of legend. Trouble is, legends leave a long trail and over time fact and fancy get confused. In matcha’s case, there are definitely some FACTS to know and some MYTHS to be wary of.

Facts

  • Matcha tea has Chinese roots dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries.
  • Originally called “whipped tea,” it was often used for medicinal purposes.
  • Japanese Zen Buddhist monks discovered it during 9th century visits to China.
  • The matcha tea we love today was developed in Japan.
  • Premium matcha is made from spring leaves which contain more of the uber-healthy amino acid L-theanine.
  • Shading matcha tea leaves from sunlight a few weeks before harvest increases L-theanine.
  • Before the matcha leaves are powdered they’re called “tencha.”
  • Matcha powder contains the entire tea leaf.
  • Unlike regular tea, matcha contains ALL the nutrients the tea leaf has to offer:
  • L-theanine amino acid: approx 2-3 %
  • Antioxidants / catechins EGCG: approx 45-75 mg/g
  • Chlorophyll, polyphenols, tannins
  • Small amounts of fiber, protein, carbs
  • Match tea caffeine encourages awareness and concentration without the caffeine jitters.
  • Matcha caffeine’s gentle boost lasts for a few hours.

Myths

Matcha tea contains “137 times” more antioxidants than regular green tea
This is the big one, the sorry myth you see everywhere. Sure it sounds good, but this is NOT what researchers actually discovered. Dr. D. J. Weiss actually reported that Matcha has at least 3 times more EGCG Catechin (an antioxidant) than most other green teas and 137 times more than ONE particular brand.

All matcha is hand-picked
High quality matcha tea is hand-picked and costs more. Lower grades of matcha are often harvested by machines that allow low quality leaves into the mix. Ceremonial and premium grades should be strictly hand-harvested ensuring those products contain ONLY the best tea leaves.

Matcha is the same as green tea powder
Unless the tea is precision processed as matcha powder it won’t have matcha’s uniquely abundant nutrients and simply won’t be a true matcha tea.

All matcha is stone ground
Nope. Our matcha IS stone ground (in Japan using traditional granite stones) but lesser quality matcha is almost always ground up or pulverized in ball or hammer mills. Both are cheap and easy, but they create nutrient killing heat. Only the best Japanese matcha producers still use stone grinding to satisfy strict established standards.

All matcha tea is created equal
Hardly. Matcha comes in lots of different grades and each grade comes in a variety of qualities. Most reputable retailers sell Premium, Ceremonial, Latte or Culinary grade matcha teas. Tea shops and juice bars will be familiar with “Bulk” grade matcha, while makers of nutritional supplements and skin-care products commonly use the lowest quality “Ingredient” grades.

Sign Up & Save

Our Featured Retailer

Famous Foods Vancouver

Famous Foods

Cameron Bruce
1595 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC
604.872.3019
website | map