A super power green tea ground down to a fine powder.
What is matcha green tea?
Matcha is 100% natural, organic green tea leaves which have been carefully ground down to form a fine powder.
It has been drunk in Japan as part of the tea ceremony for almost 900 years, and is used by Buddhist monks to keep them alert, awake and focused during long days of meditation.
Until recently, virtually all matcha has been consumed within Japan, where it's particularly popular among students who are cramming for exams. But it’s now gaining popularity in the UK, too, and it can be found in cafes, health food shops and smoothie bars.
We like to think of matcha as a sort of superhero amongst teas, as it’s super-concentrated and packed full of the goodness we need to help keep us looking and feeling happy and healthy.
The tea leaves are grown under cover for the last two weeks of cultivation to produce lots of chlorophyll (the bright green good stuff).
They are then dried and slowly ground between two granite rocks to a very fine powder. This is then packed immediately in a vacuum sealed tin, to lock in all the nutrients.
Where is it from?
teapigs genuine organic matcha comes from the renowned Nishio region in Japan, where some of the country’s highest quality tea leaves are grown. Due to its idyllic climate, freshwater rivers and fertile soils, this region has been known for its tea cultivation ever since 1200s. It even holds the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous tea ceremony!
You may be concerned about the sourcing of our matcha since the tragic earthquake disaster in March 2011. The Nishio region is over 600km South of Fukashima and, as well as undergoing strict testing by the Japanese Authorities before it leaves the country, our matcha is tested twice more before it reaches our shelves.
What makes teapigs matcha the best?
There are lots of different types of green tea powders on the market, but not all of them have been harvested and produced in the same way. teapigs organic matcha is the real deal. Here’s what makes ours top notch:
The tea itself
teapigs organic matcha is premium grade. Matcha can be produced in different grades - some are premium (top quality and nutrient rich), whilst others are poorer grades and contain fewer nutrients.
teapigs matcha is organic. The green tea used for teapigs matcha is 100% organic, and has been certified by IMO Switzerland (EU organic, USDA organic) and JONA (Japanese organic). Some matcha teas on the market, which claim to be organic, are not actually certified.
only the leaf is used. Some types of matcha contain the stems and veins, which can dilute the nutritional value and leave it tasting bitter. Our matcha has had the stems and veins rigorously removed - we like to stick to our guns when it comes to quality and flavour.
How it is produced
3 layers of cover. teapigs organic matcha is grown with not 1, not 2, but 3 layers of cover. Not all matcha gets so much protection from the light, thus maximising the chlorophyll content.
careful hand-picking. picked by hand by skilled workers ensures that only the young leaves and buds are used; this keeps the quality of matcha consistent.
granite grinding. teapigs organic matcha is ground in the traditional method using granite stones in a controlled environment, to prevent nutrient loss. Some matchas use air pulverisation methods to grind it down, but all that friction can cause loss of nutrients.
laboratory tested. teapigs organic matcha is put through lab testing to make sure it is perfect. We test everything from the particle size to the levels of nutrients, amino acids and catechins – so you know you're getting a great cup every time.
Matcha Health Benefits
Matcha is essentially a very concentrated form of green tea. The way it's grown and consumed means that it's packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. Matcha tea bushes are grown under shade which dramatically increases the chlorophyll content of the leaf - this is the bright green stuff (pictured right) which is really good for us, and which is particularly rich in antioxidants.
When you drink regular green tea, you throw away the leaves afterwards which a bit like boiling spinach, throwing away the spinach and just drinking the water – you’ll get some of the nutrients, but you’re throwing away the best bit. Matcha is drunk as a fine powder diffused in liquid so you actually ingest the whole leaf, consuming every last bit of goodness.
Our little superhero contains 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea – wow! Antioxidant capacity can be measured by the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbancy Capacity) and this shows us the ability of certain foods to protect us from nasty free radicals, which cause ageing and general damage to our cells. Matcha scores very highly on the ORAC table, towering above many of our well-known super-foods such as spinach, blueberries and goji berries!
Energising and calming
Matcha contains two special amino acids called theophylline and L-theanine. Like all green tea, matcha naturally contains caffeine but, unlike coffee, it works together with these two important amino acids to give you a sustained energy boost which can last 6 hours. By stimulating the production of alpha brain waves, L-theanine helps to create a state of mental alertness but keeping you relaxed at the same time1 - no wonder Buddhist monks have been drinking matcha for centuries. Plus a Japanese study in 19992 also found that L-theanine can help:
improve learning performance,
promote concentration and
support the immune system.
The L-theanine content in tea also increases with the grade of tea, with high-grade matcha (that's our stuff) having the greatest percentage of this marvellous amino acid1.
As we all know there are two ways to lose weight, eat less or increase your energy expenditure (i.e. do more exercise and burn more calories). Given the amount of cookies and cakes we eat in the teapigs office, we find the first option a little hard but luckily we're armed with matcha to help with the second one. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1999) found that green tea can increase thermogenesis by 35-43% and thermogenesis is one way of raising your daily energy expenditure3. So … drinking green tea can increase thermogenesis, which in turn can increase your daily energy expenditure (i.e. burning more calories) - without evening getting off the sofa! Amazing! Also, a study in 2008 found that green tea ingestion 'can increase fat oxidation during moderate intensity exercise4' So, if you are planning a little workout, why not try taking a shot of matcha half an hour before.
Green tea naturally contains polyphenols, this may not mean much to you and us, but the clever people at the University of Alabama have found that consumption of green tea polyphenols can inhibit UV radiation-induced skin damage5. It is well known that UV rays from the sun can damage and age skin and even cause skin cancer. Their study found that green tea polyphenols can be used as an effective agent for the prevention of sun induced skin disorders, helping to keep your skin looking young and beautiful. Sounds good to us!
If all these health benefits weren't enough, a study of green tea drinkers published in the British Medical Journal found that high consumptions of green tea (10+ cups/day) "may act protectively against cardiovascular disease and disorders of the liver"6.
nutritional value of teapigs organic matcha versus regular green tea
regular cup of green tea
½ tsp of organic matcha
energy (they are the building blocks of the body)
maintaining a healthy digestive system
strong bones and teeth, and everyday cellular processes
maintaining healthy blood
muscle contraction and numerous metabolic reactions
vitamin C (mg)
healthy skin and nails
1. R. Mason (2001) April 7 (2): 91-95 Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 200 mg of Zen; L-Theanine Boosts Alpha Waves, Promotes Alert Relaxation
2. Juneja, L., Chu, D-C., Okubo, T., et al. L-Theanine - a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans. Trends in Food Sci Tech 10: 199-204, 1999.
3. Dulloo, A.G.., Duret, C., et al. Efficacy of green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 70: 1040-5, 1999
4. Venables, M. C., Hulston, C. J., et al. Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in health humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87: 778-84.
5. Katiyar, S. K., Skin protection by green tea: antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects. Curr Drug Targets Immune Endorc Metabol Discor. 2003 3:234-42
6. Imai, K. Nakachi K., Cross sectional study of effects of drinking green tea on cardiovascular and liver diseases. BMJ 1995: 310-693
The challenge? Take matcha every day for two weeks, and see how sprightly it makes you feel - Simple!
Last year, a whopping 1000 people took on the challenge and the results were pretty staggering, with 91% saying they felt more energised (whoop!) Take a look at some of our results from last year, and see for yourself why you should take up the challenge this January:
Throughout January we have 20% off our entire matcha shop, making it easier than ever for you to get on board the matcha train. From pure matcha powder, matcha kits, ready made drinks and our brand new “on the go” sachets – we’ve got 20% off the WHOLE lot.
Stuck for ideas?
The great thing about matcha is that you can pretty much add it to anything, and still reap the benefits.
With every matcha order, we’ll send out a handy 2 week calendar, offering up fun suggestions for how you can take matcha each day. Smoothies, lattes, muffins, as a hot tea - you name it, you can do it!
Tell us how you feel to WIN a year's supply of matcha!
(although nothing too deep…we get a bit awkward with TMI)
At the end of the two weeks, we’d love to have your honest feedback about how you found the whole experience - good or bad (Although we’re hoping for good!)
If you bought matcha online, then we’ll be whizzing a super quick survey your way via email at the end of January
If you bought matcha from one of our lovely stockists and want to be included, just email email@example.com with subject line “matcha challenge”, and we’ll make sure we send you a survey too.
When you take part in the survey, you’ll be automatically entered in to our giveaway where you can win a year’s supply of matcha - whoop!!
How to drink matcha
Getting your daily matcha health fix is easy. Traditionally matcha is drunk whisked in to hot water as a smooth green tea; that’s how you would drink it if you went to a Japanese tea ceremony.
The great thing about matcha is that, because it is a powder, you can add it to pretty much anything you fancy. As long as you get your 1/2 teaspoon, you will get all its fantastic health benefits.
The teapigs way…
We like to make a matcha shot every morning for a daily health fix.
teapigs tip! Don’t fill the liquid right to the top of your glass, or it’ll spill when you whisk it!
Simply take ¼ teaspoon of matcha
Add it to your chosen drink (fruit juice, hot/cold water or milk), smoothie or yoghurt
Give it a whisk (a hand held electric milk frother works best) and knock it back in one!
Why not try a teapigs matcha kit which has all you need to make the perfect matcha!
More matcha ideas…
Matcha really is the most versatile of all teas – you can use it in food as well as drink. For the creatives among you, here are some fantastic matcha recipe ideas to try:
We’ve tried to answer a few of your most frequently asked matcha questions. If you do have any other questions, don’t be shy - just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you.
How much caffeine is in matcha?
There is approximately 30mg of per 1g serving of matcha. A regular cup of coffee typically contains 70-75mg of caffeine.
Can you reassure me about the safety of your matcha?
We are aware that some of you may be concerned about the sourcing of our matcha since the tragic earthquake disaster in March 2011. The Nishio region is over 600km South of Fukashima and, as well as strict testing by the Japanese Authorities before it leaves the country, our matcha is tested twice more for radiation levels before it reaches our shelves.
Can I drink matcha whilst pregnant?
Matcha does contain caffeine which is usually limited during pregnancy. One serving of matcha contains 30mg of caffeine and by comparison a regular cup of coffee contains 70-75 mg. If you have any concerns please consult your doctor.
Can I drink matcha more than once a day?
We recommend you only drink matcha once a day as one serving provides you with a sustained energy boost and lots of antioxidants. You can drink it more than once if you like but if you have any concerns about how much tea you can drink, please ask your doctor.
Can I add matcha to other teas?
We wouldn’t recommend you adding matcha to any other teas – only because it would not taste very nice at all! You can add matcha to hot water, hot milk, cereal, porridge, yoghurt and smoothies… just not tea or coffee.
Can I add matcha to coffee?
We wouldn’t recommend you adding matcha to coffee – it wouldn’t taste very nice. If you want to make a matcha latte just add ½ a teaspoon of matcha to an inch of hot water, whisk until smooth and top up with hot frothy milk. Add honey or sugar to sweeten if required! It’s a good alternative to having a coffee latte because matcha gives you a slow release of energy for 4-6 hours rather than the rush of energy (followed by a crash) that you tend to get with coffee. We love how green it looks too.
How long will a tin of matcha last?
One tin has 30 servings, so it’ll conveniently last you one whole month if you take it once a day - which is what we recommend.
How long does matcha last in the fridge once it’s been opened?
Once you open matcha it’ll stay nice and fresh for 30 days if you keep it in the fridge. If you do keep matcha for longer it won’t go off, but over time will get a little stale and won’t taste as fresh.