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Watch out Starbucks...

By Christopher Guerriero
Weight Loss and Energy Expert
Updated: November 02, 2008
Forget the espresso and Starbucks’ chai tea. Thick, light green mustaches are appearing in some parts of the West Coast and the trend seems poised to sweep across North America. A very potent green tea called Matcha is the cause. It’s become all the rage in Vancouver—right in Starbucks’ backyard— and interest is ramping up in California.

East Coasters are still forced to sort through the seaweed and sushi rice on the shelves of Asian markets for Matcha. But that’s about to change. It’s expected to begin taking over coffeehouse menus and going mainstream in lattes, smoothies and facials.
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Matcha, imported from Japan, is completely different from other teas or coffees. You don’t make it by passing hot water through the leaves. The matcha leaves are literally crushed by the server into a concoction to which water is added. In other words, you end up consuming the actual leaves. And that’s why matcha contains much higher concentrations of catechins and vitamins than your average tea.

In addition to offering the lowest caffeine level of any green tea, Matcha’s high L-theanine content has been said to relax the brain, muscles and blood vessels (but our research is still not conclusive). And it’s also an antioxidant powerhouse. A cup of Matcha contains 70 times the antioxidants of a cup of orange juice and nine times the beta-carotene of a serving of spinach.

For these reasons, a growing legion of customers is willing to wait the 3 minutes it takes for their matcha to be mixed in a traditional Japanese bowl with a wooden whisk. The entire Matcha plant is ground into a pow­der. Each cup is individually blended by hand into water that is heated to a precise temperature.

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