First things first. What is matcha?
Matcha is powdered Japanese green tea. Essentially, it's the whole tea leaf that is hand picked in Japan and ground into a powder through a very delicate and precise process (which explains the higher price compared to other green teas). The difference is that when you drink matcha you receive all the benefits of the whole leaf, not just what seeps into the water.
Traditionally in tea ceremonies, matcha is mixed with water through a very special and ritualistic technique. It is typically prepared very precisely with an exact water temperature to maintain the integrity of the flavor and its health benefits. To make it easy for myself and avoid using the thermometer, I like to simply heat up the water and let it cool until the point where I can put a finger in and not burn.
Since matcha is heat sensitive, I like to also eat it raw by adding it to smoothies, raw treats and chia puddings. Matcha can also be used in ice creams, pancakes, cookies, cakes and other desserts.
What makes it so great?
How to buy and store it.
Matcha is incredibly sensitive to light and heat, so to preserve the flavor and health properties, it is best stored in a dark/solid container preferably in the fridge.
Freshness is important too, matcha is delicate and will loose significant amount of its benefits quite quickly. So buying a small quantity more often is better.
Like in most cases, quality matters, specially when talking about health benefits and flavor. Opt for organic varieties whenever possible, and if budget allows go for the ceremonial matcha (you wont be dissapointed!)