Matcha: the Superman of green tea

At David's Tea they write, "in Japanese, “matsu” literally means “pine tree”. But it’s also a term that indicates excellence."
DAVIDsTEA sells its Matcha Matsu for $14.50 a bag.

One hundred thirty times — that’s how much the super-trendy, super-old Japanese matcha tea is supposed to beat regular green tea with when it comes to antioxidants. But what does that really mean? And is there a purpose for including a teaspoon of the — some would say not exactly tasty — matcha powder?

“I definitely think matcha can help prevent [illnesses] and keep you healthy when it comes to diseases,” says Rachel Berman, dietitian and health content manager for About.com.

Matcha is a green tea and research shows that the antioxidants (more precisely, catechins) in it reduce the risk of cancer. Furthermore, green tea contains serotonin, which can help reduce stress and work as a mood enhancer. Last but certainly not least, it can help increase metabolism. But Berman is hesitant to tout it as a cure-all: “I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘Drink green tea and you will lose weight,’” she says. “The amount of calories you may burn won’t make up for having a cheeseburger at lunch.”

One of the reasons why matcha is making waves more than normal green tea is the way it’s brewed.

“Matcha is a powder and it’s the entire leaf, versus brewing leaves in water, which won’t give you as much of the health benefits,” the dietitian tells us.

Matcha contains caffeine, too, and Berman doesn’t recommend going over four or five cups a day, or drinking it past 5 p.m.

“Just incorporate it as a substitute for a mid-afternoon soda or coffee,” she says.

Tthe conclusion must be that matcha is worth a try, but one question still remains: Why has a tea that’s been around since the 12th century become so popular now?

“I think that people are looking for ways to improve their diet any way possible,” Berman says. “Certain foods go in and out of trend all the time, so maybe people are looking for a way to get antioxidants since there has been so much research about how good green tea is. Why not have the one that is even more powerful than just regular green tea?”

Making sense of matcha

  • Matcha only grows in Japan.
  • It’s known as a mood enhancer because of its amino acid content.
  • The greener and softer matcha is, the more expensive it is.

If you find this wonder tea a tiny bit too expensive, Berman recommends you instead ask for a really high quality of green tea. You will probably get a lot of the same benefits from it, she says.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.

Local

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Local

Attorney at heart of alleged insurance fraud took…

A Center City personal injury lawyer took his own life last week, days before D.A. Seth Williams released an indictment putting the lawyer at the heart of an alleged insurance…

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule. Here's a look…

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

NHL

Gary Bettman praises Philly prior to NHL draft

Gary Bettman will bring the NHL draft to Philadelphia this summer.

NHL

Flyers can’t solve Rangers shot blockers

The Rangers blocked a remarkable 28 Flyers' shots Tuesday night.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."