Breakaway Cook

Matcha and Health

And the matcha story continues.

We’ve received so many requests for allotments of Breakaway Matcha that it’s been a bit overwhelming, though this is exactly the sort of problem I was hoping to have! New clients are in agreement: this matcha really IS like a world-class wine.

I’ve talked about its similarities to wine in this space before, and thus won’t repeat myself, but I did promise to follow up that post with a short description of the health properties of matcha.

It’s a unique challenge for me to present something as both 1) an epicurean experience unlike any other, and 2) a superfood that is quite possibly the healthiest substance one can put into one’s body, bar none. To my knowledge, no food or beverage can make both claims.

Great wines are some of life’s finest pleasures, but anything more than small quantities can have adverse effects on health (not to mention make you drunk or bankrupt you).

Superfoods, including pomegranate, gojiberries, wild blueberries, acai berries, mackerel, sardines, fresh turmeric, ginger, cacao, avocado, dark winter greens, walnuts, pumpkin, and regular green tea — among others that make up the bulk of the bulk of the breakaway diet — are both healthful and delicious, but, even in the hands of very skilled cooks, they don’t really qualify as “transcendental” epicurean experiences in the way that, say, a glass of Romanée Conti does.

Drinking highest-quality artisanal matcha is like drinking Romanée Conti AND getting at least 10x the health benefits of the superfoods listed above. This has been a true epiphany for me: it’s as if my doctor told me that the greatest gift I could give my body and brain is have a few glasses of DRC with every meal, AND that it would result in better focus/concentration, weight loss, fresher breath, bolstered immunity, and an elevated mood that sure feels like what the Buddhists call satori, a kind of calm euphoria. Where do I sign?!

Some basic health facts about matcha:

*   It’s got boatloads of antioxidants, which act as anti-inflammatory and antiviral agents in the body. You can actually measure the antioxidant contents of foods, with something called ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) units. Here are some ORAC numbers for common superfoods: gojiberries 253, dark chocolate 227, pomegranate 105, wild blueberries 93, acai berries 60, broccoli 31.

*   You can break down the term “antioxidants” into lots of components, but one key antioxidant is actually a flavanoid/catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), and matcha is crazy full of EGCGs. It has roughly 140x the EGCGs of regular green tea, for the simple reason that matcha is consumed whole. It is not steeped or, worse, extracted (beware of health claims for extracted green tea — much of it is bogus). The soluble and insoluble fiber in matcha work in synergy, something that can’t happen in tea that is steeped. It’s this synergistic effect that is responsible for its off-the-charts EGCG count. Wikipedia lists a bunch of studies that have shown that EGCG in quantity can be beneficial in treating brain, prostate, cervical, and bladdercancers. Other studies have posited that matcha helps stave off dementia, promotes fat burning, aids digestion, improves oral hygiene, and helps bolster immunity.

*   Matcha drinkers have reported (to me, and to others) clearer and quicker thinking, improved memory for things like names and numbers, increased alertness and awareness, elevated moods, “calm euphoria,” and improved concentrative abilities for studying, working, or driving. These claims have definitely rung true in my own case.

Lots more to say about it but this post is already getting lengthy. In short, matcha is a bajillion (to use scientific language) times better for you than other teas because all the action is in the leaves, which are savored and swallowed.

Other exciting Breakaway Matcha news: the ceramics have, at long last, arrived! I can’t tell you how these cups and creamers elevate the experience of drinking matcha. I’ll post some photos and descriptions of them in the next entry, but if you don’t want to wait, email me and I’ll pass along some photos.

(photo by Wakeford Gong)

Comment using your facebook account: