We’re pleased to see this matcha craze heat up. It’s Matcha madness! Matcha tea was even featured on CBS News, during which the owners of a New York-area matcha bar touted some of l-theanine’s benefits: calm, focused energy. Disclaimer: While matcha is trendy, the flavor may take some getting used to. If you determine that matcha tea is not for you, or if matcha is not yet available near you, l-theanine’s many benefits are easily available in supplement form as Suntheanine.
Consumed for centuries in Japan
While it may be new to Americans, matcha plays an important role in the Japanese culture. It is used by Japanese monks to help center and calm their minds during meditation; it is also used in traditional tea ceremonies. Now it has evolved to become more of a mainstream drink.
Matcha is powdered tea. In its un-powdered form, it is called tencha. Top-grade matcha is a bright shade of green. As a rule, the lighter green varieties are sweeter; the darker ones are more astringent. When the new shoots on the tea bush have two or three leaves, they are shaded from sunlight with straw, reed or cloth screens for two or three weeks.
In tencha processing, the leaves are dried after being steamed but are not rolled, unlike most other green teas. During the drying process, all of the leaf veins and fine stems are removed before the leaves are ground into a fine powder in a mill.
Matcha completely dissolves in water when well mixed; thus the leaf is consumed in its entirety, providing more nutrients. Matcha is also becoming a popular ingredient in savory dishes as well as desserts.
Vitamin content comparison
For every 100 grams of dry tea leaves, matcha contains more vitamins than other popular tea varieties. It contains:
- 28.9 mg of carotene compared to 17.4 mg found in black tea
- 0.60 mg of vitamin B1 compared to 0.13 mg found in oolong tea, and 0.10 mg found in black tea
- 1.35 mg of vitamin B2 compared to 0.86 mg in oolong tea and 0.80 mg found in black tea
- 60 mg of vitamin C compared to 43 mg found in oolong tea and 32 found in black tea.
Another thought: Taken 30 minutes before bedtime, L-theanine helps to calm your mind so that you may get a better night’s sleep. You may not want to consume a big cup of tea that close to bedtime, which makes Suntheanine a more logical choice.