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The wonder 'Matcha' Japanese green tea

The wonder 'Matcha' Japanese green tea
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A traditional Japanese green tea, matcha is racing ahead of all other green teas. We explore the powers of this superfood.

For 2015, don't drink just about any green tea. Upgrade to matcha, a green-hued, powdered tea from Japan. Though it has been consumed for centuries in Japan, as part of their tea ceremony Chanoyu, the world is now taking notice because of its metabolism-enhancing, stress-reducing, immune boosting and cholesterol-lowering benefits...


"Unlike other green teas that are steeped in bags, matcha leaves are entirely dissolved in water while consumption.Hence, you ingest all its antioxidants. One cup of matcha tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea! Because you consume it whole, the catechins, amino acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals in it are considerably higher. Hence it has strong anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties," explains tea sommelier Dr Rupali Ambegaonkar. It also promotes a Zen state of mind, as it contains LTheanine, a rare amino acid that helps in relaxation. It helps burn fat by increasing the rate of metabolism without promoting increased heart rate and blood pressure. It also improves immunity by fighting viruses and bacteria as it is rich in potassium, vitamins A and C, iron, protein, and calcium. Some studies even suggest people who drink matcha are less likely to develop heart diseases.


Chefs have realised the potential of this tea in cooking.They are using matcha to enhance the flavour of a dish naturally, as a colouring agent, in dressings or as decorative garnish. Says tea connoisseur Amit Mehta, "The tasting notes of matcha are umami, vegetal and grassy .This is not only a well-accepted flavour profile with the developing Indian palate but also considered nutritious, thus appealing to health-conscious people." While Japan uses this ingredient in savoury dishes like the matcha curry, and matcha soba noodles, in India, the tea is more popular in desserts.Mumbai-based baker Pooja Dhingra often uses it in her recipes. "The flavour of matcha complements a lot of desserts. It has a certain sweetness to it, which is enhanced with white chocolate.Personally , I love using matcha with white chocolate to make cookies, macarons or cupcakes. Matcha powder can be used in almost all desserts -cakes, eclairs, mille-feuilles, milkshake and smoothies."


While choosing matcha as an ingredient for your recipe, it is important to note that matcha powders that are lighter in colour are on the sweeter side and the darker ones are more astringent. Choose one depending on what you're baking. Read more here:black formal dresses

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