Matcha is my love language.
I don’t need coffee. I need my morning matcha.
And in the summer, I’ll make an iced version.
So obviously, I had to add to my matcha recipe book. Enter the Matcha Mint Cookies.
They’re soft, chewy and the perfect companion to a matcha latte. Not to mention, the perfect shade to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend.
Matcha means ‘ground tea’ and has a long and deep-rooted history in Japanese culture. It’s believed that matcha was first introduced to Japan by Zen Buddhist monks in the 12th century. They’re said to have brought the tea back from their travels in China.
The Zen monks drank the tea to help them stay awake during long meditation sessions. Over time, matcha has become an integral part of Japanese tea ceremonies. Tea ceremonies date back thousands of years and are also known as chadō or sadō (“way of tea”) or cha-no-yu (“hot-water tea”).
The ceremony is traditionally performed by a tea master and is meant to share a moment of calm and renewal for those participating. It came to be an example of the four essential qualities of Japanese life: harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity.
As with most things, sourcing quality matcha is vital to reap the full benefits of the vibrant green tea. The tea should come from Japan where the tea leaves are grown and processed using traditional methods. Ensuring it’s shade-grown is also important as it will have a smooth, sweet taste and be higher in beneficial nutrients. Finally, the colour should be a bright, vibrant green and the aroma will have a fresh, grassy scent.
I’ve been drinking DōMatcha for years as it ticks all these boxes.
Their tea is sourced directly from Kagoshima and Uji, Kyoto where Japanese matcha originated and where the most premium matcha is produced today. Their supplier is based in Uji, Kyoto and has been in the tea business for 300 years. DōMatcha is partnered with the famous 16th-generation Japanese tea master Kazunori Handa-san, whose family’s knowledge and expertise has been handed down from generation to generation for over 400 years.
When you drink matcha, you’re consuming the entire tea leaf. In contrast, in a regular green tea you’re simply drinking the infusion from the steeped leaves. As a result, matcha provides the same nutritional benefits in just one cup that you’d receive from 10 cups of steeped green tea.
Now, let’s dig into those very benefits. Matcha is a nutrient powerhouse and loves up many areas of the body – including the gut, liver, hormones and skin (which is what we’re all about over in The Clear Skin Solution).
Matcha is high in antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation can contribute to a range of gut issues, including leaky gut. By reducing inflammation, matcha can help to soothe the gut and reduce symptoms of these conditions (like acne). Matcha also contains a type of fibre called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
The liver is responsible for over 500 functions in the body. One of its biggest jobs is detoxifying the body and removing toxins from the bloodstream. Matcha contains high levels of catechins, which can help to protect the liver from damage caused by toxins. It also contains the detoxifier chlorophyll that binds to toxins to help flush them from the body.
Another perk of EGCG? Regulating hormone levels in the body. Specifically, EGCG can help to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can contribute to a range of health issues, including breakouts. By regulating cortisol levels, matcha can help to promote a sense of calm and reduce stress.
Finally, the antioxidants found in matcha help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can contribute to aging, sun damage, and acne. And not only is chlorophyll a great detoxifier for the liver but it’s been shown to improve skin tone and reduce the appearance of blemishes.