Special Feature

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Over the years, matcha tea has gained popularity in the wellness industry as a healthier alternative to coffee. What is matcha exactly? Matcha is a finely ground powder of green tea leaves that originates from East Asia. Unlike most teas that require the leaves to be steeped in hot water, matcha powder is mixed right in – making it one of the only types of tea leaves you ingest.

According to Moya Matcha, matcha was discovered in China during the 12th century by a Japanese Buddhist Monk, Myoan Eisa. Eisa brought the tea to Japan when he realized it positively affected his mediation sessions by creating a feeling of calm alertness. This calm, yet alert, feeling stems from matcha’s caffeine and L-theanine, making it a great alternative to coffee.

Not only is matcha connected to the effects of calm and alertness, but it is also linked to ceremonial and religious practices. According to Matchaful, Eisa also found matcha tea to have many health properties which later became essential to the Japanese Tea Ceremony, sometimes referred to as “Chado” or “Sado,” which translates to “The Way of Tea.” Drinking matcha aided Zen monks during meditation and became a part of attaining enlightenment. The Japanese Tea ceremony was then turned into a ritual containing several pillars, such as cultivation, consumption, and ceremony, and four basic principles, such as are Harmony (wa), Respect (kei), Purity (sei) and Tranquility (jaku).

The next time you order a matcha latte, take a moment to savor the flavor and history of matcha. Learn more about the benefits of tea and make your own tea blend at Meditation & Matcha, happening Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the SRWC East Lawn.

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