Matcha tea is a Japanese beverage that has been used for hundreds of years in that country and more recently in Western coffee shops, as well. Traditionally, matcha is made by grinding leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, into fine powder, which is then stirred into hot water.

As an ingredient, matcha is very versatile. In addition to beverages, it can be used in a variety of confections and traditional dishes, bringing a different taste and some healthful benefits to your usual coffee-shop order.

As a green tea, matcha contains caffeine, though not as much as coffee. However, matcha is reputed to boost energy at a slower pace than coffee, avoiding the drawbacks of anxiety and a caffeine crash that may follow conventional caffeinated beverages.

Matcha reputedly also helps with weight loss. One study found that regularly consuming the tea can accelerate the body’s metabolism.

Matcha tea is also rich in antioxidants, which may help slow aging and help combat some chronic diseases.

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