What is matcha?
Matcha is a finely powdered green tea which is ground from high-quality, shade-grown tea leaves that give the powder its bright green colour. The tea dates back to the 8th century, when it was originally used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Unlike most teas, with matcha, you're not drinking a tea-infused water-based concoction, you're actually consuming tea leaves in a powdered form.
Matcha tea has recently been gaining popularity across the world, not only for its flavour but also for its many health benefits: from fortifying the immune system, to increasing metabolism, to helping prevent cardiovascular diseases. Matcha is also being used in many dishes from ice cream and brownies, to lattes and smoothies simply for its unique flavour. However, to reap the full health benefits, it is recommended in its traditional form of tea.
In a conventional sense, matcha is mostly associated with Zen Buddhists who used the tea in their ceremonies for its deeply calming effect. The tea's popularity even today can be mainly attributed to its soothing properties that help re-energize and relax.