When you think of matcha you probably think about the bright green matcha latte you get in the morning or as your afternoon caffeine kick. If you are a part of the Copina Co. family you probably think about it as your favorite vegan collagen support flavors packed with beauty-boosting plant botanicals that help support your body’s natural collagen production.
The truth is like many other plant-based ingredients and superfoods, there is so much more that goes into the matcha we use in our vegan collagen blends than meets the eye. We already have gone over the different ways in which matcha can be high or low quality, but let’s dive deeper into what is the matcha plant and how we at Copina Co. get the best matcha for our vegan collagen boosters.
First Off, What Is Matcha?
Matcha is different than any other green tea you’ve probably had. It’s made by taking whole green tea leaves and grinding them into a bright powder that, when combined with hot water, allows you to consume the tea in its whole form. Its origins date back to the 15th century when it was the primary drinking tea in traditional Japanese and Chinese cultures. The green tea plants used for matcha are traditionally grown in the shade for three to four weeks where the leaves are able to develop the natural caffeine that even many die-hard coffee lovers are starting to sip on. By depriving the leaves of their normal sunlight levels, farmers are able to increase the chlorophyll levels in the leaves and create a vibrant green which makes for a rich and flavorful tea that also gives the matcha more benefits. Only the finest and most mature leaves are chosen for the matcha before being laid out flat to dry. The leaves are then de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone-ground into a beautiful and bright green tea powder known as matcha.
So Am I just Drinking Green Tea?
Matcha green tea has been deemed by many as one of the healthiest beverages out there, outweighing all other white, black, or green teas. What makes matcha so incredible is that, unlike typical green teas which are consumed only after steeping its leaves in water and discarding them, matcha is consumed in its whole leaf form. This, along with its special methods of cultivation, is why it boasts more flavor and antioxidants than any other type of tea. Matcha is also far less processed than typical tea as it is never heated or grown in full sunlight. The process of making matcha allows for its natural nutrients to be preserved and for them to be consumed at their most potent level.
All About the Matcha Plant
Matcha comes from the tea plant, camellia sinesis, which leaves are used to make tea. Matcha is a part of the Japanese green tea category where it is steamed after it is harvested which gives it its bright and beautiful green color when we make our vegan matcha lattes. The tea is usually grown in two Japanese regions: the Uji in Kyoto and Nishio in the Aichi prefecture.
Why Matcha is so unique and has amazing health benefits (including benefits for your skin ) due to the way it is grown, harvested, and then produced. These conditions are how different matcha tea varieties have different colors, aromas, and qualities like taste.
The matcha plant is special in the way it is grown because of the shading process it undergoes. When dedicated to being grown as matcha, the plantations will gradually make the plant not have direct sunlight for 30 days by using overhead structures. This reduces the rate of photosynthesis and allows the plant to create increased levels of theanine. The darker the shade, the better the grade of matcha.
You might not think so, but where the leaves on your matcha tea bush are harvested actually greatly impact the grade and quality of your tea. The leaves closer to the top of the plant are made for higher grades of matcha while lower grades are made with the older and more developed leaves on the plant. Since you consume the whole tea leaf when drinking matcha, this is an important aspect of making our favorite green tea.
When the plants are ready for harvest after being properly shaded, they are hand-picked, steamed, de-vined, and then destemmed and deveined. Then the pure leave, also well known as the “tencha” is ground into a fine powder. This can be done by a stone mill, mortar, and pestle, or now also by powdering machines.
What are the Different Grades of Matcha?
Not only when you are shopping for matcha should you look at color, cost, and taste– but you should also be checking for type. Ceremonial-grade matcha should only be used with water as it is much more delicate than ingredient-grade matcha. Ingredient-grade matches can come in many varieties. Some, which are browner, are of lower quality. Look for a vibrant green and Japanese-grown ingredient-grade matcha to use in your lattes and more. Copina Co. sources this type of latte-perfect Japanese matcha.
We also made a Tik Tok video on the difference between the two that might be helpful.
- Ceremonial Grade: designated tea that is used in tea ceremonies and buddhist temples.
- Premium Grade: contains younger tea leaves from the top of the plant. This is usually for daily consumption.
- Cooking/Culinary Grade: cheapest sources usually that is for cooking purposes. Has more of a bitter taste due to production.
Ceremonial grade matcha is only to be consumed with boiling water, so we make our matcha collagen booster with premium ingredient grade matcha so you can use it at home with milk and creamers.
Benefits Of Copina Co. Matcha
Matcha green tea, unlike regular green tea, is grown in the shade rather than in the sun, enabling it to develop higher chlorophyll levels which give it its vibrant color. Matcha is an excellent substitute for coffee. One cup contains about ¼ of the caffeine of a cup of coffee and helps the person enjoying it get a steady energy boost without the crash.* Matcha is also rich in L-Theanine, an amino acid that works to promote brain function, concentration, and a sense of calmness without nervous energy or jitters.* L-Theanine can also work to reduce anxiety because of the high and raw amounts that are found in matcha.* You can find matcha in our Matcha Plant-Based Collagen Boost Drink Blend Stick Packs or 25-serving pouches which are available on our site.
- It’s an antioxidant powerhouse
- It eases stress
- Matcha contains essential vitamins
- Matcha contains high levels of chlorophyll, a green pigment found in the plant that promotes clear and healthy skin, hair, and joints.*
Matcha contains 137 times more EGCG which is an antioxidant found in regular green tea. EGCG has been researched and linked to encouraging healthy metabolism and improving signs of aging.* This antioxidant fights against DNA damage done from UV rays which in turn combat signs of aging skin.
Green tea is packed with Vitamin B2 and Vitamin E, both incredibly essential for maintaining healthy skin. B2 plays an essential role in balancing collagen levels which improves skin texture and firmness.* Vitamin E encourages cell growth and enforces hydrated and nourished skin.
If you want to learn more about how we personally make our Matcha and Matcha Collagen Lattes we have a collection on Tik Tok:
- How to Make Matcha with 0 grams of Sugar
- Talking Matcha Grades
- How to Spot a Good Matcha
- How to Make A Collagen Boosting Matcha Latte
- 3 Tips for Buying Matcha
- Skin Friendly Matcha Latte
- How to Make a Vegan Matcha Latte
Ready to be apart of the Matcha Lover’s Cult? Take a peek at some of our favorite Matcha Collagen Latte recipes: