Matcha green tea. You may have seen the name at your local coffee shop or health store. This green treat has skyrocketed in popularity recently with matcha lattes, teas, smoothies, desserts and even matcha shots showing up everywhere you look!
My first experience with matcha was back in 2009 when I was a barista at Starbucks, during our training we were required to try all the beverages to learn the recipe and be able to describe it to a customer. I was told we would be making a “Green Tea Latte,” and when my trainer handed me the cup, I was a bit taken back by the bright green drink that was presented to me.
I took a sip and was taken over by quite a unique, complex flavor. It was creamy, slightly sweet, and had an earthy “green” flavor with a lingering aftertaste. My love for matcha had officially been initiated. Upon more research, I discovered how healthy matcha is and all the benefits it has on the body (We’ll talk about this in a bit.) Since then, I have always sought ways to get my matcha fix. Due to the higher calorie content of the lattes, I resorted to enjoying them as an occasional treat (Booooo…) and consuming regularly brewed matcha tea as my staple source or blending it into my smoothie bowls!
When I came across the company Matcha Bears through a fellow blogger, I was instantly intrigued as they are the world’s first matcha gummy supplement. The idea came about when two tea enthusiasts Adam and Jahangir realized the abundance of matcha cakes, and cookies and other sugar-filled treats, but there was no healthy form of edible matcha. Their goal was to create a product that provides you the “closest way to harness the powers of matcha without drinking a hot cup of it.” Before we get going into the review, let’s take a second and talk more about this magical elixir.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a finely ground powder of specifically grown green tea leaves. The leaves, which are typically grown and produced in Japan, are shaded from the sun for the last few weeks of their growth to increase chlorophyll content which creates the vibrant green color. Once matured, the leaves are picked and stone ground into a fine powder. Since the entire leaf is consumed, unlike other forms of tea which are strained prior, it makes matcha the most potent green tea in the world.
Though matcha didn’t face a cultural adoption until the 21st century, it is far from a newfound treat. The first tea plants were reported to have been grown in the Yunnan Province in southern China around 2700 B.C.E. and brought to Japan by Zen Monk Eisai in 1191 A.D. He was the first person to grind and consume tea in powder form. 
Top Health Benefits of Matcha
Loaded with Antioxidants
Since the whole leaf is consumed in matcha, it tends to have more catechins (a natural phenol and antioxidant found in tea plants), so it contains about 10 – 12 times as much antioxidants as regularly brewed tea! Antioxidants help stabilize free radicals, harmful compounds that damage cells and cause chronic illness. This magical nutrient also helps fight against UV radiation effects, giving a more youthful appearance to the skin.
Improved Energy and Endurance
The noble warriors of medieval Japan, Samurai, would drink matcha before going into battle due to its amazing energizing properties. Though there is naturally occurring caffeine in green tea, the boost is mainly due to the unique combinations of nutrients. Matcha contains the amino acid L-Theanine which promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain. The glutamate molecules in L-Theanine quickly enter the blood-brain barrier and stimulates these waves which indicate a state of alertness and consciousness, similar to the “up” you feel when you drink coffee or take caffeine pills. What’s different though, is that L-theanine alters the effects of the caffeine present in the tea, which helps avoid the unpleasant effects following caffeine consumption such as jitteriness or “crash.” 
Enhanced Cognitive Performance
The L-Theanine also promotes the production of dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals in the brain that contribute to enhanced mood, better concentration and improved memory. Studies show that those who drink matcha have improved attention rates, reaction times, and memory recollection.  Elderly people who consumed 2 grams of green tea powder daily for two months, showed improved cognitive function compared to those who did not. 
Promotes Weight Loss
Green tea is known for its ability to enhance weight loss by speeding up the metabolism and increasing energy expenditure, ultimately leading to fat burning. In fact, it was found that taking a form of green tea in conjunction with moderate exercise can increase fat burning by 17%.  Unlike other “diet aides,” matcha contains no negative side effects such as high blood pressure or increased heart rate.
Fortifies the Immune System
Catechins have antibiotic properties that can help with overall health and strengthening of the immune system. One serving of matcha contains substantial amounts of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, protein, calcium and iron! It has been concluded that drinking matcha everyday enhances the response of the immune system and assists with the production of T-Cells which reduce inflammation and fights pathogens. 
Product Review: Matcha Bears
So what exactly are matcha bears?! Well, they’re non-gelatin gummy supplements that are organic and made with “ceremonial, imperial-grade” matcha. Just two of these delicious gummies packs the same amount of antioxidants as an entire cup of matcha powder, or TEN cups of tea.
I received my package in the mail, and I was so excited to try these little guys out. The bears are very dark green, which intrigued my fiance to ask, “what the heck kind of gummy bears are those?” Instead of bombarding him with the health benefits that these supplements provide (and because I know how hesitant he is to try out new foods) I merely offered him two and told him to give them a try. He somewhat resistantly popped them in his mouth, and I did the same.
Holy matcha, Batman. They had a robust, authentic green tea flavor and they were quite delicious! The texture was a little different than what I expected; they’re not as chewy as one would typically associate with a gummy product. Instead, they’re a bit gritty and more of a soft taffy texture.
I’ve been taking these cute little supplements once a day for a week now, and I have to say, these will absolutely be a staple in my routine for a long time to come. I have found that my energy has increased since incorporating Matcha Bears into my diet. I’ve noticed an increase in energy, more alertness during my workday and even a noticeable difference in my skin complexion.
❥ As always, I am here to help in any way I can.
You can reach me at email@example.com