Green tea and matcha tea are similar in that they come from the same Camellia Sinensis plant, are 1,000-year-old superfoods, and their nutritional profiles are said to provide many health benefits. While they both are green teas, their flavor, texture, color and preparation methods are different.
Experience the Difference Between Matcha and Green Tea
The experts at Art of Tea share the differences between Matcha and green tea and what makes these two green teas distinctive.
Green tea and matcha tea are cultivated differently. Green tea is cultivated under the sun, while matcha tea is shade-grown in the three weeks before it is harvested. Green tea grows dull green with a brownish tone, and matcha tea grows a vibrant green color. The shade increases the chlorophyll levels in the leaves that turn matcha its bright color.
During harvesting, green tea is cut by a machine and sent directly to a processing plant where it is steamed to stop fermentation. The leaves are then blown-dried by a whirling machine. Matcha tea leaves are harvested by hand selecting the best green tea leaves from the plant. The stems and veins are removed, and the leaves are stone ground into matcha powder.
The flavor of green tea is light and fresh with grassy or earthy undertones, and depending on how it is prepared, it can sometimes taste a bit bitter. Cold brew green tea is much smoother because the flavor is slowly extracted over several hours. Matcha tea is a soft powder that has a richer, sweeter flavor and a frothy texture.
Both teas can be prepared hot or cold. Matcha is whisked into the hot water or shaken with our Matcha Shaker when preparing iced Matcha whereas green tea leaves are steeped in hot water. Green tea is best prepared at a mild water temperature of 180°-185° F, with a steep time of about 3 minutes. Water that is too hot may result in the release of tannins from the leaves, causing the tea to become astringent. Higher quality green teas can be re-steeped 2-3 times before the flavor begins to degrade. It is suggested that you use about 1 tsp per 8oz cup for optimum results.
Since matcha tea is made with the entire leaf ground into a powder, then mixed with water, it retains all of its nutrients. With green tea, the leaves are steeped in hot water, and then the loose tea or tea bags are discarded, which takes some of the nutrients with it. Following is a comparison of nutrients for matcha vs. green tea:
Catechins are powerful antioxidants that may increase metabolism, endurance, and reduces free radicals and toxins, making you less susceptible to illness.
Matcha – 134 milligrams (depending on the amount of Matcha used)
Green tea – 63 milligrams (depending on the amount of Green Tea used)
Also known as polyphenols, tannins are micronutrients that come from plants and are found in teas and wine.
Matcha – 99 milligrams (depending on the amount of Matcha used)
Green tea – 7 milligrams (depending on the amount of Green Tea used)
- Amino Acids
L-Theanine is an amino acid that offers the energy boost of caffeine without the caffeine crash. This amino acid is said to improve learning, memory, and creativity.
Matcha – 45 milligrams (depending on the amount of Matcha used)
Green tea – 3 milligrams (depending on the amount of Green Tea used)
One cup of Matcha has a much higher percentage of caffeine than one cup of green tea. Generally, an 8oz cup of green tea yields about 15-48mg of caffeine per serving. This measurement varies depending on how long the tea is steeped. The longer the steep time, the higher the caffeine content will be. The caffeine content will lessen each time tea is re-steeped.
Matcha – approximately 280 milligrams (depending on the amount of Matcha used)
Green Tea – approximately 35 milligrams (depending on the amount of Green Tea used and how long the tea is steeped)
Find the Right Tea for You
Art of Tea offers several varieties of both matcha and green tea. Give each one a try to see which one is right for you, or keep both on hand so you can choose the right tea based on your mood. A great way to do this is to join our tea club.