Green tea! Green tea! Green tea! A chant worth starting anytime someone asks “what tea would you like?” This tea is truly amazing, with more health benefits than a complete home gym and a great taste to make you double think if it really is that healthy! The only question you should be left asking yourself is “what is the best way to drink green tea?”
Before we compare the two styles we need to know that green tea isn’t just tea leaves picked at random, oh no, there’s a little more science and TLC than that. 3 weeks before harvest the camellia sinensis (tea plant) is covered from direct sunlight. This shading causes the plant to produce more chlorophyll and more amino acids. The increased chlorophyll gives the tea its green colour and the greater amount of amino acids are responsible for the higher caffeine levels and greater health benefits found in green tea. Once the leaves are harvested they are steamed briefly to stop fermentation, they are then dried either by sun drying or cold storage. Some leaves will be stone ground for powder tea while others are packaged as whole leaf tea and sold nearly directly from the farm.
You may have heard the word ‘Matcha’ thrown around in a conversation about tea. Well what the heck is Matcha? Translated from the Japanese words “cha” meaning tea and “ma’ meaning powder it literally means tea powder and it just so happens to be the most beneficial way to drink tea.
Matcha tea gets its jump on other tea styles because when we drink Matcha, we drink the entire tea leaves with no waste. You get all the benefits and lose nothing, it really is a pretty good deal.
It is scientifically proven that a good green tea powder contains 1,348 units of antioxidants, that’s near the top sources in the world. Not only does that sound good, it is good! Antioxidants fight off toxins in our gut, toxins which may be associated with weight gain, inflammation and disease.
The cons of powder (matcha)
Powder form or Matcha seems like it can’t do wrong but be careful of this little guy if you are susceptible to caffeine. One cup of Matcha is going to be equal to that of a single scoop of coffee, that being said, your buzz from Matcha will be a lot less gentle than that of caffeine but equally may keep you awake at night.
When something is popular it inevitably brings in a lot of competition, this is good for bringing down the price of good high quality Matcha but bad when we consider just how many companies write Matcha on their packet just to make a sale. Green tea is described as tasting like grass or spinach, which kind of makes sense because it is so natural and organic. This has lead some companies to add in large amounts of sugar and milk powder, turning healthy green tea into another generic energy drink.
Whole leaf green tea
The best thing about tea compared with coffee is that drinking 8 cups a day isn’t a bad thing… Well, not entirely. See, if you drink Matcha green tea then each cup will be packed with all the good stuff from not only the plant but also the soil. The soil it is grown in may contain metals and fluoride which in large amounts can do more harm than good.
Lucky for us if we are getting a spike in our Zink or Copper because of our green tea intake, all we need do is switch to whole leaf steeped green tea. This way we can consume more cups of tea without getting such a big hit. This also works in reverse order for those who prefer only 1 or 2 cups of green tea a day.
I personally love the fact that I can hold and look at what I am about to drink when it comes to whole leaf green tea. The powders all nearly look the same and all we can trust is the label to tell us just where it was grown and what went in to the powder. Finding a reputable seller is always the best practice for which ever way you prefer to drink your green tea.
The cons of whole leaf green tea
Like we mentioned above, you will need to consume 10 cups of whole leaf green tea to get the same benefits of 1 cup of Matcha green tea. That is a pretty substantial amount of time spent making tea when you can get the same in just 1 cup.
Which style should you chose?
In a fast paced world, I (Jake) choose Matcha every time. I choose it because it packs so much into one cup and I can look forward to having a couple of serious tea moments in a day instead of trying to get in 10 cups of whole leaf. Maybe on a Sunday when I’m at my computer writing I will go with steeped whole leaf tea as I will be drinking them all day. When it comes to the everyday drink of choice, I have to go with Matcha.
I hope this covers the question in a rather simple way 🙂
All the best and all the tea,