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The Amazing Benefits of Matcha For the Skin
Beautiful and glowing skin is on top of the list of pursuits when it comes to beauty and skincare. Clear and healthy skin is not only a sign of good looks but also our overall health, as skin is the largest organ responsible for the detoxification of our body. One of the most popular beauty ingredients that are widely used in the East Asian culture is not commonly seen or referred to as a beauty ingredient at all, but rather a delicious and healthy drink: Matcha.
What is “Sado”? All About the Japanese Tea Ceremony
Everywhere else in the world, matcha is just a drink. In Japan, matcha is the focus of a centuries-old ritual that is still practiced today, and a huge part of Japanese culture. Known to most people as the Japanese tea ceremony, “sado”, as it is called in Japan, is a practice that wouldn’t exist without matcha.
What is Sado?
Making and drinking tea is something a lot of us don’t give too much thought to in our day-to-day lives. Sado on the other hand, makes the process of drinking matcha a special event.
The history of sado can be traced back to ancient times, when matcha was first introduced to Japan. Because the drink was primarily consumed by monks in monasteries, sado first emerged as practice in Zen Buddhism. As one might expect, there is a great emphasis on mindfulness and simplicity, instead of embracing abundance. Practitioners of sado therefore take great care in every step of the brewing process, and attention is given to everything and everyone involved, down to the seating position of guests and decorations within the tea room.
The Process of Sado
Sado is always performed by a host who welcomes their guests into a tea room, usually a traditional Japanese room with screen doors and tatami mats. In Japan, the host is always dressed in traditional clothing, such as a kimono for women.
The tea room is decorated with seasonal flowers and ornaments, and guests are invited to view them while the host prepares for the ceremony. In preparation, the host will ritually cleanse every utensil used for the ceremony, such as tea whisks, scoops, and bowls. Then, the host begins the tea preparation. Water is boiled in a cast-iron kettle, and matcha powder is carefully measured into tea bowls. After adding hot water to the bowls, the host carefully whisks the mixture with a special tea whisk and serves them to their guests. The tea is usually accompanied by wagashi, which are Japanese sweets.
The host will engage guests in conversation during the whole ceremony, some of which may last up to several hours.
What Sado Teaches Us
In our fast-moving modern world, the most valuable thing the Japanese tea ceremony can teach us is perhaps the appreciation for simplicity, living with intention, and taking it slow. The room in which sado takes place is always simple, yet great care is taken in selecting furniture and decorations that guests use and see. When superfluous items are taken away, then the beauty of every object left shines through.
Then, by taking great care in making, serving, and drinking tea, one is able to find pleasure in the process, and savour the resulting flavours. If you’re ever in Japan, why not try out a sado experience for yourself? And even if you’re not travelling any time soon, you can incorporate elements of sado to your every day as well just by remembering to be mindful when you make and drink your daily cup of tea!
Cool Down This Summer with an Iced Matcha Latte
Our favorite season has arrived and with it so did spontaneous beach trips, staying up late binging your favorite shows, and finally taking that vacation you’ve been dreaming of! As you spend your days enjoying the warmth of the sun kissing your skin and taking long walks along the beach, there is only one thing that could make these moments even more relaxing. If you guessed matcha, you are correct! Despite being a tea, matcha is a perfect summer beverage. Healing for both the body and the soul, this vibrant green drink is the ideal companion for the hot summer months!
Benefits of Matcha for Summer
While we all desire beautiful sun-kissed skin, the harmful effects of the sun on the skin can outweigh the bronzy glow we’re all after. Fortunately for matcha drinkers, this antioxidant-packed delicious beverage is the warrior you need to fight off those UV rays as you bask in the sun! Matcha and green tea contain large amounts of polyphenols, which have been confirmed to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun, in particular UV rays. They also protect your skin against pollutants and neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, one of the key contributors to premature skin aging. Matcha is a holy grail in achieving that healthy glow to the skin and is especially beneficial during warm months when we spend more time outdoors and in the sun.
Summer is all about fun, adventures, and relaxation. Vitamin sea can certainly improve your mood, but it is matcha and its relaxation-promoting qualities that make for a truly serene time. Matcha is high in a catechin called EGCG, which promotes an alert calm and raises energy levels while preventing the caffeine jitters and anxiety, side effects that often prevent people from enjoying caffeinated drinks. By releasing caffeine slowly into the bloodstream, unlike the rapid release from coffee or energy drinks, matcha can sustain our energy levels for our summertime adventures and prevent a crash later during the day. Promoting both relaxation and fun, these alert-calm-inducing drinks make for a perfect summertime treat!
Summer Treats with Matcha
While the sound of tea may not be appealing on a hot summer day, there are plenty of refreshing drinks and food ideas featuring matcha to help you cool down and stay hydrated all day long! Perhaps the most infamous way of drinking matcha is an iced matcha latte. The sweetness and creaminess of the milk and earthy taste of matcha powder over ice make for a perfect summer treat that will leave you energized and refreshed.
To amplify the matcha flavor and benefits, consider replacing your ice cubes with homemade matcha cubes! Simply brew matcha the way you usually do and place it in a freezer for a tastier alternative to ice cubes that will not water down your drink and keep it potent as the matcha cubes melt.
Matcha ice cream is another delicious way to enjoy matcha and its benefits in dessert form. Summer months call for ice cream and frozen treats. Matcha is becoming a popular flavor among ice cream lovers for its refreshing and mildly sweet taste and can be easily found in all supermarkets and ice cream parlors. For fans of homemade ice cream, consider making your very own matcha popsicles!
As we all enjoy the warmth of the summer months, we must remember to stay hydrated and protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the sun. While SPF does its job from the outside, we can provide our body with additional support in fighting off harmful UV rays through a delicious treat like matcha! Delicious and effective, matcha is a must-have this summertime!