Matcha tea or matcha powder is very similar to green tea. In fact a lot of people like to think of them as the same thing. In reality they are very similar, in fact they come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference is largely in how they are grown and how they are shredded.
Matcha tea is typically found in a very dustlike powder form. This is because it is ground many times to reduce it to the smallest form for absorption. One key benefit to matcha tea is that it absobs into water and the body very effectively.
During the growing process, matcha tea gets covered to protect it from sunlight. This is typically directly before harvest. The result is that it produces more caffeine, theanine, other amino acids and chlorophyll for a greener color. This gives it a little bit of distinction from green tea as it has a different nutrient profile as a result. After harvest the entire leaf is utilized producing the maximum amount of nutrition. This is another distinction from green tea. This allows matcha to be a more nutrient packed tea. In comparison some will say that 1 cup of matcha tea is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea!
Matcha then becomes artistic over the time. A lot of people like to use matcha to create artistic lattes, smoothies, ice cream and baked goods. You can find many recipes online for all 4 of these cups.
Matcha tea has all the benefits of green tea, but they are amplified. It takes a lot less matcha tea to get the same effect green tea would have. But finding a nutritious quality green tea isn’t the only part of the battle. How it is made is also very important. As with any type of supplement or infusion process, the amount you infuse into your tea is ultimately what will make or break it. It has a lot of nutrient density, however the length of time you let it sit in steamed water will determine how your cup is going to end up. Either with a non-bitter, good tasting cup of tea or a very bitter nutrient packed cup of tea.
If you are steeping for nutritional value, it is best to let the tea bag sit in the cup as long as possible. You may also want to use a spoon to squeeze the bag before removing it, if you decide to remove it. If you want a quick cup, it is recommended that you leave the bag in for nutritional purposes. If you want a nutrient packed cup it is recommended you remove the bag after 10-15 minutes to avoid nutrient reabsorption into the bag. Or you can leave the bag in then squeeze the rest in when you are finished or simply suck on it until it is flavorless.