Matcha Tea for Relaxation
By Madalina Hubert
Matcha tea has become increasingly popular in North America in recent years. Recipes and pictures of matcha tea, matcha latte, matcha ice cream, and matcha cookies abound.
The vibrant colour, creamy taste, and myriad of health benefits have made this green powder a hit with many people. Yet did you know matcha is a key ingredient in Japanese tea ceremonies?
Originally developed in China from the Camellia sinensis plant, the introduction of matcha in Japan was during the late 12th century by Eisai, a Zen Buddhist monk. It was then incorporated into Zen Buddhist meditation practices and then later into samurai rituals. Eventually, it evolved into the traditional tea ceremony that is still prized in Japan today.
Matcha Tea Ceremony: A World of Tranquility
Mindfulness is an important part of the Japanese tea ceremony. Before preparing it, the host cleanses the utensils with a silk cloth in front of the guests. The purpose of this ritual is to empty the mind and create a peaceful atmosphere.
During the process of preparing and serving the matcha tea, the host must single-mindedly focus on every move. This allows them to observe the four principles of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquillity, performing each small motion with purpose.
According to instructor Takeda Rie, the Japanese tea ceremony is a “moving Zen meditation.” Watch here as she demonstrates the basics of a Japanese matcha tea ceremony.
Perform Your Matcha Tea Ceremony at Home
While the opportunity to attend a traditional tea ceremony is hard to come by, many people are incorporating some of its elements when making tea at home.
In her guide to matcha tea preparation, Japanese American home chef Namiko Chen praises the therapeutic qualities of this process. “For me, the act of whisking and partaking the emerald green cup of tea reminds me to take a slower pace of life and appreciate the beauty of simplicity.”
You can watch Namiko’s simple steps to making matcha tea in this video.
Enjoy the Benefits
Matcha tea powder is a highly concentrated form of green tea and has a myriad of health benefits.
Here are some of the top health benefits of matcha:
- Boosts brainpower and relieves stress
- Helps you lose weight
- Promotes heart health
- Fights cancer
- Improves skin and tooth health
Read more about its remarkable benefits here.
Not only does the powder have many health properties, but its bright green colour is also a mood booster. People often associate ‘green’ with calm, energy, kindness and new life. Green is the colour of nature and it also represents spring. Matcha really embodies all these meanings as it is in fact harvested in May! The green colour in matcha comes from an abundance of chlorophyll, which has detoxifying and liver cleansing properties.
Learn more about plants with liver cleansing properties in these articles:
Savour Matcha Desserts
In addition to drinking matcha tea, you can also incorporate the green powder in many delicious desserts. Here are some great resources with recipes you can easily prepare:
- Matcha Smoothie Bowl Recipe – Dumpling Connection
- Matcha Swiss Roll Recipe – Dumpling Connection
- 12 Matcha Recipes You Must Try At Home • Just One Cookbook
That said, hope you enjoy your matcha experience and take advantage of the mindfulness and relaxation it offers. Of course, if you combine matcha tea with meditation and peaceful exercises, such as Yoga, Tai Chi, or Falun Dafa, the effects will be that much more powerful.
Madalina Hubert is a Toronto-based writer specializing in art, culture, travel, and culinary explorations.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are purely informational and educational in nature. The information is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.