What is Matcha?
Matcha is a finely ground powder made from shade-grown tea leaves and is a type of green tea. Unlike regular green tea which is usually enjoyed by steeping the tea leaves in hot water, matcha is consumed in a powdered form, which needs to be vigorously whisked into a drinkable form as it is not soluble (3).
The powder is made from a fine grinding process of the Camellia sinesis plant, which sometimes includes the stem, depending on the grade of the matcha (1)(2).
Health Benefits of Matcha
Due to the gentle way it’s prepared, matcha retains most of its natural nutrients even after the intricate production process (3). In particular, Matcha is rich in antioxidants which can help to manage inflammation and other diseases in the body (4)(5). Whilst is can be difficult to accurately measure across different studies, some research shows that matcha may improve metabolism, bone density and increase fat oxidation (6)(7)(8)(9).
Different Grades of Matcha
Matcha is most commonly distinguished by two broad grades: ceremonial and culinary grade (2). A common misconception is that the lower the grade, the lower the quality of matcha, but this is not the case. The differences are mainly in price, flavour and how it’s best used (3)(10).
[Figure from etheme.com (2020)]
Ceremonial Grade is the highest quality of matcha possible, as it is made to be used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It’s created using the youngest tea leaves plucked from the first harvest with the stems and veins removed, leaving the most nutritious parts of the plant for production; which is also why it costs the most (2)(3). The flavour is sweet and mild, and its colour is a deep, vibrant green.
Culinary Grade is made with young tea leaves that are older on the stem than those used for ceremonial grade. The stems and veins are usually retained when being milled, resulting in a more robust and bitter flavour that is perfect for lattes, smoothies and baking (2)(3). Its colour is a lighter, but still vibrant green as opposed to ceremonial grade.
Our New Matcha Latte Protein
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that matcha is not soluble and must be whisked in order to achieve a smooth consistency (3). This is why many protein powders using real matcha will tend to clump or foam more than other flavours of protein. With this in mind, we’ve selected the highest grade of matcha possible to deliver the smoothest and most premium form of matcha in our latest formula.
Using ceremonial grade matcha from Shizuoka, Japan, each serve is jam-packed with a whopping 12% of matcha. Some foaming and clumping may occur due to the nature of this finely milled matcha powder, but rest assured that it is of the highest quality possible.
As compared to our previous Matcha Ice Cream Flavour, we listened to your feedback and our new Matcha Latte protein has a much stronger matcha flavour with much less sweetness than its predecessor. We’re so excited for you to finally taste it.
- Matcha Maiden. (2021). *Matcha Green Tea Benefits - 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Matcha Tea*. [online] Available at: https://www.matchamaiden.com/matcha-green-tea-powder/matcha-tea-benefits/
- etheme.com (2020). *Matcha Grades: Ceremonial vs Culinary - What’s the Difference?* [online] Purematcha. Available at: https://purematcha.com.au/blogs/news/matcha-grades-ceremonial-vs-culinary-what-is-the-difference
- Matcha Bears. (2019). *The Different Grades Of Matcha To Know And Love*. [online] Available at: https://www.matchabears.com/blogs/news/different-grades-of-matcha
- Bhattacharya, S., Chandra, S., Chatterjee, P. and Dey, P. (2012). Evaluation of anti-inflammatory effects of green tea and black tea: A comparative in vitro study. *Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research*, [online] 3(2), p.136. doi:10.4103/2231-4040.97298.
- Du, G.-J., Zhang, Z., Wen, X.-D., Yu, C., Calway, T., Yuan, C.-S. and Wang, C.-Z. (2012). Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) Is the Most Effective Cancer Chemopreventive Polyphenol in Green Tea. *Nutrients*, [online] 4(11), pp.1679–1691. doi:10.3390/nu4111679.
- Shen, C.-L., Yeh, J.K., Cao, J.J. and Wang, J.-S. (2009). Green tea and bone metabolism. *Nutrition Research*, [online] 29(7), pp.437–456. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2009.06.008.
- Willems, M.E.T., Şahin, M.A. and Cook, M.D. (2018). Matcha Green Tea Drinks Enhance Fat Oxidation During Brisk Walking in Females. *International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism*, [online] 28(5), pp.536–541. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0237.
- Hodgson, A.B., Randell, R.K. and Jeukendrup, A.E. (2013). The Effect of Green Tea Extract on Fat Oxidation at Rest and during Exercise: Evidence of Efficacy and Proposed Mechanisms. *Advances in Nutrition*, [online] 4(2), pp.129–140. doi:10.3945/an.112.003269.
- Willems, M.E.T., Fry, H.L., Belding, M.A. and Kaviani, M. (2020). Three Weeks Daily Intake of Matcha Green Tea Powder Affects Substrate Oxidation during Moderate-Intensity Exercise in Females. *Journal of Dietary Supplements*, pp.1–11. doi:10.1080/19390211.2020.1811443.
- Kenko Tea Australia (2019). *Differences of Matcha Grades & Types*. [online] Kenko Tea Australia. Available at: https://www.kenkotea.com.au/blogs/news/differences-of-matcha-grades-types