Matcha and Stress Reduction

matcha hands bowl male 9 lower res

 

Stress is probably the most pernicious force of our modern age. It diminishes quality of life, and can lead to all kinds of unpleasantries, including depression, auto-immune diseases, anxiety …. ugh, who wants to list them all. And then there’s chronic stress, which *really* wreaks havoc on the immune system.

And let’s face it: holidays increase stress for just about everyone. It’s as if we have to pile a year’s worth of living, relaxing, and UNstress into a few days, a week at best. We’re expected to make these days off meaningful, but expectations of heightened meaning create …. stress.

What to do? If all the usual things we should be doing anyway–a decent diet full of real, wholesome food, some modest but regular exercise, treating everyone in our orbits with more kindness–sometimes seems like too much, you might consider how a regular cup of matcha can help alleviate stress.

Part of the stress-relieving aspects of matcha are, of course, placebic. We decide to take a few minutes for the mindful exercise of preparing, and sipping, a gorgeous cup or bowl of green tea, and it ipso facto becomes an anti-stress endeavor . The very act of deciding to make it a mindful experience, and then to actually do it, are bound to create feelings of serenity and stillness.

But the data-backed aspects of stress reduction and matcha consumption have to do with one of its major components, an amino acid called L-theanine that has been linked to both psychological and physiological stress reduction in several medical studies, including this one. Apparently it works by attenuating sympathetic nervous activation and blocking certain glutamate receptors in the brain.

Matcha is absolutely teeming with L-theanine. Regular green tea has some too, but matcha has much more due to its unique growing conditions, especially the final shading stage.When the tea plants are deprived of light, they compensate for normal photosynthesis by cranking out chlorophyll and L-theanine. And we consume them in spades when we drink matcha.

This is especially relevant to us here at Breakaway Matcha because, it turns out, the higher the quality of matcha, the more L-theanine it has. Which is a good thing if we could use a little stress reduction in our lives.

So during the next few weeks, if you’re feeling a little stressed by all the forced holiday cheer, try having a cup of matcha and observing how you feel afterward. And the first few cups are on us: get an instant $10 discount on any matcha by ordering online and typing STRESSLESSXMAS during checkout from today through the end of the year.

Happy holidays, folks. And here’s to a brilliant, and stress-free, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matcha and Gratitude: Homage to an 830-Year-Old Tradition

Plenty of people consider matcha to be a new trend. In reality it’s been a trend in Japan for roughly 830 years, started by those  crazy trend-setting zen buddhist priests. But in a sense, “plenty of people” are right: It is matcha’s introduction into the American and European palate that constitutes the current trend.

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The All-New Breakaway Matcha Blog

Hello matcha fanatics! I finally got it sufficiently together to install this new blog, I’m very happy to announce. We’ll cover all kinds of matcha-related topics and news items, and I plan on keeping the posts short, and the tone conversational, even breezy. So I do hope it becomes at least of some use to everyone reading it.

Breakaway Matcha went live almost exactly a year ago, and I couldn’t be more pleased with our progress since then. Our matcha has been served in the White House, is on the VIP menu at The French Laundry, and has been featured on Daily Candy and Aha Life. If anyone has ideas for more media coverage, let us know!

We’ve worked out most of the logistical hurdles,and tried to automate as much as we could. The result is that orders are almost always shipped out on the day we get them (provided they come in before 2 pm–UPS pick up is at 3).

Thanks, thanks, and more thanks to everyone who has purchased this remarkable tea. I’m always around to answer your questions, so please take advantage of it!