Matcha powder is fine, powdered tea leaves. Like green tea, the leaves used in matcha are shade grown. However, unlike green tea, matcha derives from tencha, whereas green tea derives from gyokuro. Tencha is much more processed than gyokuro, which allows for a more vibrant green color, sweeter flavor and most importantly, more health benefits. If you thought green tea was healthy, jump onto the new matcha craze that, despite being involved in Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies for several centuries, is only just now taking the western world by storm. Indulge in the matcha phenomena, and enjoy the health benefits listed below!

It has a high concentration of polyphenols, catechins, and antioxidants...

Matcha has even more of these than green tea! Due to this high concentration, matcha can prevent cancer, help burn fat faster and more easily, and increase brain power. It is interesting to note that there is a lower amount of cancer in Japan. Research suggests this is due to the greater amount of matcha and green tea consumption.

and one of these is Theanine.

Theanine is an amino acid, said to increase serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels. Theanine is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, and it is suggested that it has psychoactive properties. These psychoactive properties can lead to reduced mental and physical stress in addition to improved cognitive function.

Matcha is really green-- an indication of chlorophyll.

Like broccoli, spinach, kale and other leafy greens, matcha has a high amount of chlorophyll. Anyone who doubts the healing properties of natural sources should read up on chlorophyll.

It contains a powerful amount of caffeine, and is a great alternative to caffeinated sugary beverages since it is healthy.

An 8-ounce cup of Teavana Imperial Grade Matcha contains 120 milligrams of caffeine. Compare this to the 50 to 60 milligrams in a cup of brewed green tea and 160 milligrams in a cup of medium roast brewed coffee. Matcha has almost as much caffeine as coffee! This amount of caffeine can be consumed through matcha, which is a great alternative to sodas and energy drinks due to its healthy properties. The caffeine helps to improve alertness and cognitive functioning, all while being healthy!

It can help fight the obesity epidemic.

A Chinese study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea. Obesity is a large contributor to hypertension, so consuming matcha, which is said to have even stronger properties than green tea, could potentially help fight the obesity epidemic.

In addition to the standard matcha latte, here are some additional matcha recipes, that can help you to enjoy all of these health benefits!