A good matcha meditation can be game changing when it comes to mental clarity, focus and achieving peace of mind. In this article, we’re going to show you how matcha has been used for centuries to help improve focus during meditation and how you can enjoy the benefits of matcha meditation in your very own home.
We’ll also show you how the ritual of matcha preparation in and of itself can be a form of moving meditation.
Let’s get started! 🍵 🧘♂️
Improve Meditation with Matcha - Matcha Meditation Benefits
History of Matcha Meditation
Matcha meditation isn’t some trendy new thing, it has its roots as far back as the Tang dynasty between the 7th and 10th century. It was during this time that Japanese monks would travel to China to learn about Buddhism from the Chinese monks.
If you want to learn the full history of Japanese green tea, I highly recommend you read this article 👉 History of green tea in japan & Tea ceremony
The Gift of Focus
In addition to bringing back knowledge and insights, they also brought back tea as well. The Japanese monks found that by drinking tea, they were able to improve their focus during long periods of meditation.
The tea consumed at the time consisted of tea leaves pressed into a cake. The leaves were gradually broken off and ground into a powdered tea, resembling the matcha we know today. So this is where matcha meditation really got its start!
Matcha Beyond the Temples
At this time, matcha was mostly consumed by the monks, but by the 1200s, people all around Japan were beginning to take note of the impressive benefits that came from drinking the tea.
It’s no doubt that they were also taking advantage of the matcha meditation effect.
Why Matcha Meditation is so Effective
We now know that the reason the monks found matcha meditation to be so effective has to do with the caffeine and theanine in the tea leaf. Let’s briefly talk about each of these components and why they make matcha meditation so effective.
Caffeine and Meditation
Caffeine can be a big factor when it comes to why matcha meditation is so effective. Caffeine is very similar structurally to adenosine, which signals to the brain that the body is tired. Caffeine can bind to the adenosine receptors in the brain and make it feel less tired.
When you are sitting in meditation for long periods of time, it can be difficult to not drift off. This is why caffeine can be a helpful part of the matcha meditation ritual.
How much caffeine is in matcha? For that, you'll want to read our full matcha caffeine guide 👉 Does Matcha Have Caffeine? It’s the most Caffeinated Tea
Theanine and Meditation
Unlike other caffeinated drinks, matcha also contains theanine, an amino acid that can induce a calming effect on the brain. This is why tea drinkers report having this calm alert sensation that lasts throughout the day.
The theanine in matcha is also thought to buffer some of the negative side effects that come with caffeine like the jitters, the anxiousness and the crash. This is how theanine can help make your matcha meditation even better.
There are so many other components in matcha that come with great health benefits. If you want to learn about them, you can read this article here 👉 What do Scientists say about Matcha Benefits? Find Out Here
Benefits of Matcha Meditation
So besides the concentration, are there any other benefits to matcha meditation? The theanine in matcha is thought to stimulate alpha brainwave activity, which is the same brainwaves stimulated during long periods of meditation.
What are Alpha Brainwaves?
Alpha brainwaves are characterized by their frequency range of approximately 8 to 13 Hertz (cycles per second) and are typically associated with a state of wakeful relaxation.
These brainwaves are often considered conducive to creative thinking, problem-solving, and overall mental clarity, making them a key component in achieving a balanced and peaceful state of mind.
The Ritual of Matcha Meditation
In addition to drinking matcha during meditation, the preparation of the tea itself can also be a great way to experience a moving matcha meditation.
By focusing the mind on something simple like preparing a cup of matcha, you can get a lot of the benefits of meditation. Here are a few steps you can follow.
Sifting the powder
Before you prepare the matcha, you will first sift it. Place a metal sifter on the top of a bowl and open up the matcha package. Slowly take two small scoops of powder out and place them into the sifter.
As you sift the powder into the bowl, take note of the sound you hear as the chasaku scrapes against the metal sifter. Watch as the green matcha powder cascades down and collects as a fine powder on the bottom of the bowl.
Pouring in the water
Once you have a finely sifted powder at the bottom of the matcha bowl, gently pour in a small splash of water and watch how the water combines with the powder. Take your bamboo matcha whisk and mix the matcha into a paste, making sure all the clumps are smoothed out.
Once you have a nice smooth paste, take in the aroma of the matcha. It should fill your nose with a refreshing, steamed vegetable scent.
Mixing the Matcha
Add in the rest of the water and gently use your whisk to stir the matcha powder into the water. Observe how the small, individually carved bristles interact with the water. Do they carve right through or are they met with resistance.
Whisking the Matcha
Once the matcha has been easily combined with the matcha, begin to whisk the matcha quickly in zigzag motions using your wrist. Let the gentle sound of the matcha splashing comfort you as a bright green foam begins to appear.
Soon, this green foam will cover the entire top of the matcha. Gradually slow your whisking down and observe how the foam has changed the consistency of the tea.
If you want to master the proper whisking technique, you may want to check out this guide 👉 How to Make the Best Matcha
Tasting the Matcha
Before taking a sip of the matcha, take in its aroma and reflect on all the work that went into making it. This drink before you was once a leaf, grown with love and care on a small farm in the Japanese countryside.
After you have expressed gratitude, take your first sip and observe how the texture interacts with your palate. Then take a minute to reflect on what taste profiles you notice, and what other foods it reminds you of.
Making the Most out of Your Matcha Meditation
As long as you take the time to slow down your matcha meditation ritual and devote all your 5 senses to it, you will emerge from your tea session with a clearer mind and a more peaceful state of being.
It can be tempting to prepare matcha quickly, but most of the benefits come from preparing it slowly with intent and appreciating all aspects of the tea.
The Best Matcha for Meditation
If you want to try your own matcha meditation at home, I’m sure you’re wondering what is the best matcha to use for it. For this, you will want to use high quality, ceremonial grade matcha. This matcha is smooth enough to drink plain, so you can enjoy it without milk or sugar.
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Finding the Best Matcha
After traveling around Japan for the past few years, we’ve met with dozens of farmers and sampled hundreds of different matcha teas. We are happy to share our favorites with you, with free shipping worldwide!
If you want to learn what differentiates a good matcha from a bad matcha, you may want to check out this article 👉 A guide to Matcha Grades that actually makes sense
Matcha Meditation - The Final Verdict
Matcha meditation can be a great ritual to incorporate into your daily routine. Whether you drink matcha to improve your focus during meditation, or you treat the matcha itself as the meditation, you will no doubt begin to see the benefits.
Just remember to slow things down. Take a minute to reflect on all that went into bringing the cup of tea before you. See if you can pick up on small nuances when it comes to the color, the aroma, the taste and the texture of the matcha.