Monday, November 20, 2006

Macha green tea gaining popularity

Here's a picture of the popular Japanese macha green tea set.

Macha is green tea powder, which is made from green tea leaves raised in the shade.

Macha, which is used in Japanese tea ceremony and has been drunk for centuries, is different from traditional tea in that it is not infused but ground. It is also grown differently, and is noticeably more expensive.

Now macha is being promoted in Europe and America, primarily as a luxury tea flavour and is in the same league as champagne.

In North America, macha is being sold in Starbucks as a sort of 'healthy coffee' alternative. The macha frappe is the new trendy drink, and the ingredient is visible in numerous smoothie chains.

This trend is also catching up in the United Kingdom, the most famous tea drinkers in the western hemisphere.

Macha green tea also has obvious health implications. Consumer awareness of the health properties of green tea has become fairly well established, and is backed up by a number of studies.

A Japanese study earlier this year for example found that Japanese adults drinking five or more cups of green tea daily were 16 per cent less likely to die from a range of illnesses, and particularly heart disease, than those only drinking one cup per day.

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