Ancient matcha tea a hot new trend in LA

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Shade grown, hand-picked green tea leaves are ground into powder to create a hot, foamy antioxidant rich brew that offers a smooth extended energy buzz. (KABC)

Silver Lake is known for its hip coffee houses, but it just got a bit cooler with the new Matcha Bar.

"People say, 'Are you worried about a fad?' and I say I've never seen a 1,200-year-old fad before," said owner Max Fortgang.

Matcha is a green tea grown in the shade. Because it's straining for sun, the plant works harder to survive. But that's a good thing.

"They're shading the leaves and restricting their sunlight and making them work really hard to stay alive, building up their chlorophyll content. They hand-select only the leaves that grew in the shade, grind them down," said Fortgang.

The end result an incredibly potent matcha powder.

Well beyond goji berries and blueberries, one cup of matcha tea is said to equate to 10 regular cups of tea in terms of antioxidants.

The caffeine is not that upfront mainline buzz you get with coffee or energy drinks and the energy is more of an extended release. Matcha naturally contains the amino acid l-theanine with helps keep you calm and centered.

Consuming quite a bit won't give you the shakes or tummy aches of overdoing java.

Fortgang's tea bar has matcha lattes in all kinds of flavors.

The traditional matcha whisking process is slow and ceremonial, but his bar uses electric blenders to get that beautiful green foam lightning-quick.

There's also bottled matcha and matcha powder to take away at his Matcha Bar and online. But in no surprise, he's not alone. Matcha powder has hit Trader Joe's which has stores all over the Southland.

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