The difference between Matcha and regular Green Tea
While Matcha and regular green tea both come from the Cemellia sinensis plant, they are not one and the same and Matcha should not be confused for regular green tea. The differences are in how the plant is grown, harvested and how the tea leaves are then processed.
The Cemellia sinensis plants used for making Matcha are covered from direct sunlight for between 20 and 30 days prior to harvest. The reason in doing this is to increase the chlorophyll content in the leaves. Increasing the chlorophyll levels then turns the leaves a darker shade of green, giving Matcha green tea its unique vibrant colouring. As the green tea’s chlorophyll levels increase so does the production of L-Theanine, an amino acid that works to both stimulate and focus the brains functioning.
The L-Theanine found in Matcha green tea is much higher than in any other forms of green tea. At harvest time only to youngest leaves are hand picked for the process of making Matcha green tea. These leaves are then steamed within 20 hours of being picked. Steaming the leaves for an average of 20 seconds ensures the leaves natural green colour, fragrance and nutritional components are contained.
The steaming process of Matcha green tea also prevents the leaves from being oxidized. The steamed green tea leaves are then cooled and dried and finally stone ground into a fine powder that is then called Matcha green tea.
Other than the difference in how the Camellia sinensis plants are grown and processed in making Matcha, the main difference in terms of the nutritional value between Matcha green tea and regular green tea is, when drinking Matcha you consume the nutrients of the entire leaf, as apposed to when you drink green tea and throw away the discarded brewed leaves.
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