Why did samurai drink matcha?
Samurai drank matcha before battle to calm themselves down and to improve their ability to concentrate. Actually, caffeine and L-theanine of matcha energizes more effectively and the effect will last longer than coffee despite matcha contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
Samurai had thought that training for both of their mind and body was critical. They trained physically by using swordplay and trained mentally by utilizing the tea ceremony. So the way of tea was an important as the accomplishment of samurai. Also, it was a symbol of high status in samurai society. When Daimyo (high position samurai) handed over his responsibility to his son, the son received a Katana (samurai sword) along with tea ceremony tools as a rite of passage.
The Tea Ceremony in Samurai Culture
There is a story you must know if you have an interest in samurai and in matcha. After a famous master of tea ceremony, Rikyu died, the tradition of tea ceremony was divided into mainly two traditions. One tradition was taken over by Rikyu’s descendents and extended among mainly common society. The other is called “Buke Sado” (Samurai tea ceremony) it was taken over by Daimyo (high class samurai) and extended amongst samurai. It is said that the way of the tea ceremony and tea ceremony tools of “Buke Sado” are more sumptuous than Rikyu’s teaching because samurai had a stressful life and Rikyu’s teaching was suffocating for them.
So Why Did Samurai Drink Matcha?
They seeked mindfulness and that seeking led them to matcha which provides the calm and energizing effects from its caffeine and L-theanine. Moral of the story, drink matcha if you want samurai level focus and sharpness.