During the last decade, however, tea went from its relaxing place at home or in the office to everywhere on the street. Consuming ready-made tea has been spreading in convenience stores, super markets and, for sure, vending machines all over the country.
Many manufacturers have come out with products of this sort, and there are now over 100 types of bottled tea being sold. The size of the market has doubled from 80 billion yen (727 million U.S. dollars at 110 yen to the dollar) in 1993 to 160 billion yen (1.45 billion dollars) in 1999 and is expected to double again every five years.
In addition to these straight teas, there are a number of blended varieties, which combine plant essences with tea leaves to achieve added flavor and effects. Aside from the national brands produced by major manufacturers, there are also locally produced varieties with limited availability, such as turmeric and bitter-gourd teas, which are holding their own against the big guys in the marketplace.
Lab analysis shows the concentration of this multi-purpose antioxidant a whopping 137 times higher in matcha than in regular steeped green tea. The antioxidant power is also reportedly 100 times greater than Vitamin C and 70 times greater than orange juice. Matcha also contains nearly 10 times more beta-carotene than spinach.
Subsequent research determined L-theanine in green tea yields huge quantities of a T-cell activator which not only helps kill cancer cells but also speeds the elimination of viruses, bacteria, and parasites that cause colds, flu, pneumonia, diarrhea, and the plaque that forms around teeth and gums. Catechin in matcha helps preventing combustions of the teeth ridge and strengthens it naturally.
“One cup of a good quality matcha is equivalent to 8-10 cups of regular green tea. Studies show we should drink at least five cups of green tea every day. Why not just one cup of matcha instead?”
There are matcha tea smoothies, shakes, sweets, chewing gum and even vanishing crèmes. Even a matcha confectionary fair took already place showing off the latest trends in tea flavoured sweets.
In Japanese coffee shops over the last five or six years, the Matcha Latte emerged as a mellow alternative to the standard cafe latte. It is very mild, complex and lightly sweetened; you can enjoy it blended it with milk, soy milk or as a frappe or milkshake. Those coffee like products also may simplify the change from coffee to healthy tea.