Matcha is considered the healthiest of green teas. Because the tea plant is protected from sunlight before harvest, the amount of chlorophyll increases and therefore also the nutrient content. A matcha drink becomes a concentrate of all the health benefits of the green tea, and in a cup of matcha there is ten times more nutrition than in a cup of classic brew.
Matcha contains a lot of antioxidants - molecules that relieve oxidative stress by preventing the formation and oxidation of free radicals. A food’s antioxidant level is measured in ORAC. For matcha, the ORAC value is 1400 units per gram, while the goji berry’s level is 253 units per gram. Matcha contain a lot of polyphenols, a kind of antioxidant that is said to protect against high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. The substance is also considered to counteract aging and stimulate metabolism.
Matcha has an intense, greenish and spinach-like taste. In Japan, the flavor is described as umami, the fifth basic flavor.
As water moves into the matcha, it dissolves hundreds of different substances and extracts them from the matcha powder. If the water is hot, it extracts more rapidly and completely. Hot water also cooks as it extracts, forcing chemical reactions that transform some of the extracted substances into other things, and driving some aroma substances out of the liquid. In contrast, cold water extracts more slowly and selectively which produces a simpler extract, and doesn’t change the original flavor substances as much. Thus, cold brewed matcha is different from matcha brewed with hot water.
We allow the cold water to mix with the matcha powder for more than 12 hours; we say “+12 hours”. This gives it the perfect taste and the right amount of bitter tannins in the mix. Important to remember is that a cold brewed matcha will taste different than a matcha brewed in hot water.