We can all agree that 2020 was a weird year, but the food trends marched on, and matcha well and truly exploded onto the scene. Coffee shops and health stores were hawking matcha teas (obvs), shots, lattes, even desserts. And since we’ve had Magic Matcha on the menu here at Bumpin Blends for ages, well, we just wondered what took so long. Since the dust has settled a bit on the matcha craze, we think it’s a good time for a Bumpin Blends superfood spotlight on not just any old matcha, but the ceremonial grade stuff.
If you’re new, allow us to make some introductions. Matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, but it has a different growing process and a nutrient profile all on its own. Matcha is grown under cover of darkness—farmers literally cover the tea plants 20 to 30 days before harvesting. By avoiding direct sunlight, the plants increase their chlorophyll production, boost amino acid content, and end up a darker, richer shade of green.
After harvest, the leaves are cleaned of stems and veins, then ground into a fine powder. And that’s matcha! Unlike standard green tea, matcha contains nutrients from the entire tea leaf. That means a boost of both caffeine and antioxidants, and the latter is kind of matcha’s thing.
All the Antioxidants
Ever heard of catechins? These are natural compounds in tea with impressive antioxidant properties. It’s estimated that matcha has up to 137 times more catechins than other types of green tea. That means sipping on a cup of matcha boosts your intake of antioxidants, which could lower your risk of certain diseases, among other awesome effects.
Matcha has another ace up its sleeve. It could actually help improve brain function. And who doesn’t like a little focus in their lives? Sure, that may be due in part to the concentrated amounts of caffeine in matcha (35 mg per half teaspoon), but get this—a compound called L-theanine actually alters the effects of that caffeine. It helps promote alertness while also staving off the traditional caffeine energy crash. That’s a win-win!
Fat Burner Extraordinaire
Green tea has a rep for enhancing weight loss by boosting the metabolism, and there’s evidence to support it. One study found that taking a green tea extract during exercise ramped up fat burning by 17%. Not bad, right? If losing weight is a goal, our Matcha Magic smoothie is the *perfect* pre-workout fuel.
Ceremonial vs. Culinary Grade
You don’t have to go very far down the matcha rabbit hole to learn that it’s usually split into two groups. You’ve got your ceremonial grade matcha and your culinary grade matcha. So what’s the diff? They’re pretty similar, but the intention and usage vary. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality matcha you can get, with a subtler, more nuanced flavor that’s a treat on its own. It’s traditionally enjoyed in tea ceremonies, but since using the highest quality ingredients we can get is always our goal, that’s what you’ll find in our Bumpin Blends Magic Matcha smoothies cubes.
However you enjoy matcha, we recommend that you do so daily. It’s a brain-boosting, fat-burning, antioxidant-rich delight, and once you try it, you get it.