In Japan, matcha green tea is the centrepiece of the iconic tea ceremony, which defines the Japanese culture. Matcha green tea is whole green tea powder so it’s the complete plant dried and rendered to a powder. That means that unlike a tea infusion it contains everything from the tea plant including all the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fibre. Of course it also contains the natural caffeine present in tea and which makes tea the world’s most popular beverage.
Unlike black tea there is no fermentation step so the powder is a true reflection of the original plant material. Matcha tea contains high levels of a unique, potent class of antioxidants called catechins, which aren’t commonly found in other foods. In particular, the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) has been shown to exhibit a potent antioxidant effect and is the subject of a great deal of research into its potential as a therapeutic agent.