BlueSky Business Aviation News

Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering.

Matcha Tea’s Secret is out of the bag
and it's not for just for drinking anymore.

sn’t is a beautiful vibrant almost electric color? Doesn’t the color alone magically seem to give you energy and awaken you? (More about why it is so green in a minute).

Matcha Tea originated in China around the 10th century and shortly after it was adopted by the Japanese as part of the Japanese ceremonial Tea ritual. Matcha Tea was, and still is, believed to have superhero powers. (Sorry, those are my words to explain all of its goodness and unlimited powers).

I believe because of our global ability to share information and ideas, Matcha Tea is seeing an explosion in popularity primarily for its health benefits. Our world is latching on to and adopting heathier lifestyles at record rates, and any product that can aid in the process of this lifestyle becomes part of those super foods - our present day super hero foods.

However, Matcha Tea is centuries old and we are now sharing the knowledge of the early monks regarding its numerous benefits. Trivia

tidbit; In the Japanese culture, the Zen Buddhist monks drank Tea Matcha to remain alert and calm during long hours of meditation. Today, its secret is out and it has taken on a new life. Chefs and health foodies are jumping in and experimenting with its use in all kinds of formats. I bet you are asking what those other claims to fame are that make this such a popular item, so here is a brief list.


Matcha Tea is filled with antioxidants. Antioxidants are something that all health-conscious individuals seek from such foods as raw fruits, green veggies, and (let’s not forget dark chocolate.) Look at the vast differences in our current super foods with super powers to those found in Matcha Green Tea.

Matcha Antioxident Levels
6.2 times that of Goji Berries
7 times that of Dark Chocolate
17 times that of Wild Blueberries
60.5 times that of Spinach

The first amazing benefit of Matcha Green Tea is that just one bowl provides over 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food. And here is the science behind it: “Green Tea contains potent antioxidants called Catechins, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals in the body. The most powerful catechin found in Green Tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen. A 2003 University of Colorado study confirmed that drinking 1 cup of matcha green Tea has 137 times the amount of antioxidant EGCG compared to a conventional cup of Green Tea."

Matcha Tea provides all day energy & focus

Matcha Tea will lift your vitality and concentration with the slow release of natural energy. “Matcha green Tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green Tea. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive properties, capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain. Stress is known to induce the brain's beta wave activity, leading to a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure. Another side effect of L- Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration” . . . something that will benefit all of us.

“Although matcha contains some caffeine, the relaxing properties of L-theanine counterbalance the "jittery" effects of caffeine. Therefore, a cup of Matcha Green Tea promotes concentration and clarity of mind without producing any of the nervous energy typically associated with coffee.”

Try a cup of matcha green Tea as an afternoon or long flight leg "pick-me-up" anytime you need extra focus. Matcha Green Tea gives most people a feeling of well-being.

Calorie Burning Booster

Back up your weight loss goals with an all-natural way to increase your body's metabolism. And here is the science to back it up: “A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that Green Tea extract rich in catechins has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the Tea's caffeine content. It was found that consuming Green Tea increased thermogenesis (the body's rate of burning calories) from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure. Another study demonstrated that exercising immediately after drinking Matcha green Tea resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise. Both studies suggest Matcha Green Tea can enhance both resting metabolic rate and fat burning “

Finally, I can have some dieting success! That’s it, I am headed to buy myself a case of Matcha Tea powder.

Anti-aging Properties

Matcha Tea has the ability to combat inflammation, oxidation and aging. “One of the locales in the world where people live the longest is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawan people's longevity has been partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha Green Tea.”

Matcha Tea Lowers LDL "Bad" Cholesterol

“A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that consuming green Tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations.”

Matcha Green Tea Powder can be purchased in a health grade for multiple uses which is not as expensive as the ceremonial grade Matcha (more about this in a minute). The health grade Matcha works fine for cooking and as a component, but stick to the higher quality to drink. You will find it more delicate, smoother and silkier than the health grade. Why are not all onboard snack and beverages filled with Matcha?

  • Matcha Tea has 137 times the antioxidants of brewed green Tea primarily because it contains the entire Tea leaf which dramatically increases the nutritional content.
  • In just one bowl of Matcha Tea we find it contains substantial quantities of naturally occurring vitamin A & C, potassium, iron, fiber, protein and calcium. The catechins in Matcha Tea have been shown to have antibiotic properties which promote overall health.
  • Detoxifier: Matcha is grown in the shade, which is why it is richer in chlorophyll than other green Teas. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving leaves their green color. Chlorophyll is purported to detoxify the body, but this has yet to be scientifically proven. I wanted to mention it because of its supposed ability to clear the body of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.
  • Matcha Tea contains natural fiber: Matcha green Tea leaves contain a high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber include its ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

I promised to tell you a bit about what makes Matcha Tea, Matcha Tea. What is the difference in powdered Green Tea and powdered Matcha Tea? There is a very big difference! Matcha - literally means "powdered Tea" - it is a special type of Green Tea: with special harvesting techniques. The plants are shaded for at least three weeks prior to harvesting, then once hand-picked (yes always individually selected and hand-picked!) the stems and veins are removed and the leaves are ground into the jewel green powder you see in the images.

Trivia tidbit: Samurai, the noble warriors of medieval and early-modern Japan, drank Matcha Green Tea before going into battle due to the Tea’s energizing properties. Powdered Green Tea is different from powdered Matcha

Green Tea. Beware as you will encounter numerous copycat imitators, sold with the illusion the product is Matcha, but in fact is just green Tea. Real Matcha has a sweetness and delicious creaminess to the taste.

If you are preparing Matcha Tea on the aircraft, here are some simple instructions

How to Steep a cup of Matcha Tea

Traditional brewing - a trivia note: Do NOT add matcha to boiling water or you will find you are drinking a beverage that tastes like “ yard grass”

  • Warm the Matcha bowl and whisk/chasen by setting the whisk in the bowl and adding hot water. After a minute, discard water
  • Place 1 tsp Matcha (2 bamboo chashaku Tea scoops) in bowl. Pour in 4oz of hot water (175-185 degrees)
  • Rapidly stir until a fine foam appears on the surface.

Contemporary Brewing (thin Tea)

  • Use 1 tsp Matcha per 8oz of hot water (175-185 degrees)
  • Whisk with bamboo chasen, milk frother or shake (if using water bottle) until a fine foam appears.

There are two grades of Matcha Tea powder. The first is known as ceremonial-grade Matcha, meaning that the Matcha powder is good enough for the ancient Tea ceremony ritual. The second is known as culinary-grade matcha. However, there is no standard industry definition or requirements for either. Within the culinary grade you will find the health grade and commercial grade which are good as an ingredient in a food. Different Matcha manufacturers do provide their own grades and definitions of their standards. BUT, remember that the best Matcha Tea comes from Japan. The most popular growing regions in Japan are in the southern half of the country: Uji, Nishio, Shizuoka, and Kyushu.

Matcha is usually made in two forms: Usucha and Koicha. Usucha translates to "thin tea," and is the most common preparation. Generally what cafes and restaurants serve. Koicha is "thick tea." It’s made with half the amount of water and twice the amount of Matcha powder as usucha. Instead of quickly whisking, the tea is gently kneaded using the chasen or bamboo whisk. The result is a very thick (imagine the texture of paint) tea. Koicha is usually prepared during traditional tea ceremonies and is made from the highest quality of matcha powder. As compared to usucha which is made from the second highest grade of Matcha powder. The Matcha Tea powders used to make Usucha and Koicha can’t be simply interchanged.

Now that you are wanting to add this super hero to your aircraft for passengers and crew, you ask me how. If your catering source cannot prepare specialty Matcha Tea items, you may simply add them to standard catereerd foods. So here are a few examples to experiment with on the aircraft (but remember to use only one of the top grades of pure Matcha Tea and not a copycat or mis- represented green Tea powder.

  • Add depth to a tofu scramble by stirring in Matcha when you add other spices (try curry powder, paprika, Thai seasoning, and cumin). If you don't like soy, this works great with eggs too, so play around with adding matcha to omelets, quiche, and more.
  • If you find store-bought granola to be too sweet, sprinkling Matcha on top will balance things out
  • Use Matcha instead of salt, pepper, or other spices to season vegetables with an herbaceous hint
  • Instead of sugar, use high-quality Matcha (it should be vibrant or electric green) to add a sweet aftertaste and antioxidants to your coffee
  • Tabbouleh's ingredients - bulgur, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil - are naturally sweet. Matcha counterbalances those notes to make the flavors pop in this Middle Eastern dish. Add it to your recipe with the tomatoes and parsley
  • Add Matcha Tea to hummus, pesto, guacamole and other sandwich spreads
  • Create ice cubes to chill drinks or make smoothies on board with matcha Tea and yogurt, fruits and berries or create popsicles with roasted blackberry and matcha Tea
  • Stir Matcha Tea powder into ice cream
  • Add Matcha Tea snacks to the aircraft snack drawer.

Experiment with Matcha green Tea and marvel at the beneficial effects on your passengers and crew.

If you want recipes for foods mentioned here, contact me and I will be happy to provide these ideas and more so you can include Matcha Tea in your diet.



References for this article: | | | Xin-Xin Zheng, Yan-Lu Xu, et al. Green Tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials Am J Clin Nutr August 2011 | Abdul G Dulloo, Claudette Duret, et al. Efficacy of a green Tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans | American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 6, 1040-1045, December 1999.

Let me introduce myself . . . 

My name is Paula Kraft and I am founder and President of Tastefully Yours Catering, an aviation specific caterer, located in Atlanta, Georgia for over 35 years.

Aviation Catering is a science not taught in Culinary School; it’s a function of experience, experimentation, basic trial and error, with constant feedback from flight crews and clients. It is a two-way communication. It is vital that this information and knowledge be shared throughout the industry. To this end, I have worked as the Chairman of the NBAA Caterer’s Working Group, a subcommittee of the NBAA Flight Attendant Committee, the NBAA Caterer Representative to the NBAA Flight Attendant Committee, for 9 years. 

Currently I am an active member of the NBAA Flight Attendant Committee Advisory Board and the NBAA International Flight Attendant Committee, Women in Corporate Aviation, Women in Aviation International, National Association of Catering Executives, International Flight Catering Association, the International Food Service Association and the International Caterer’s Association.

I have coordinated training programs and clinics for NBAA and EBAA conference attendees for over 10 years, created mentoring programs for caterers and flight attendants to broaden their aviation culinary skills, and to assist them in adapting to the unique challenges and constraints found in catering for general aviation. I recognize the need for training and have worked closely with flight departments, flight crews, schedulers and customer service reps at the FBOs to ensure that catering specific training provides information and skills necessary to reduce risk while assisting them in their job duties that include safe food handling, catering security, accurate transmission of food orders, and safe food production, packaging and delivery.

I fell into aviation catering quite by accident. I was the in-house caterer and bakery supplier for Macy’s department stores in Atlanta when catering was ordered for a Macy’s customer which was soon to change my life. After the client enjoyed the catering provided, I was summoned to the client’s corporate office to provide several of the items delivered through Macy’s to the executive dining room. Within a week, I was providing food for the flight department and my first order was for the President of a foreign country (as I was too be told soon after). So, here I am, some 35 years later, still loving every minute of every day in aviation catering.

Got a question?

Paula welcomes your comments, questions or feedback


©BlueSky Business Aviation News | 31st August 2017 | Issue #429
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