Is matcha the same as green tea? Read this article to find out! Below we outline 3 key differences between matcha and green tea.
- Matcha is grown in a different way than green tea
It is not surprising that some people confuse matcha with green tea as both of these beverages come from the same plant Camellia sinensis. However, due to differences in the cultivation two distinct drinks can be obtained from the same plant with one of them being regular green tea and the other one being matcha.
The former is grown with a lot of exposure to the sun while the latter is shade-grown during its last month before harvest. When matcha is kept in the shadows its chlorophyll levels increase and the leaves get darker.
Nowadays most of the world’s green tea comes from China whereas most matcha is produced in Japan.
- Matcha is prepared in its own unique way
It is not only the distinct sun exposure levels that make all the difference. Matcha and green tea are not only grown but also processed in different ways.
Firstly, green tea usually stays in loose leaf form whereas matcha is stone-ground into green powder. In fact, the word matcha in Japanese means “fine grounded tea”. Because of its powdered form matcha is prepared in its own unique way, the most basic form of which is mixing a spoon of the powder and boiled water with a bamboo whisk. The purpose of using the whisk is to gain clear consistency by removing clumps from our matcha. Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly popular to also add milk to the matcha and get a delicious matcha tea latte.
Preparing green tea is much easier in comparison or at least it is a process most Europeans are more used to as it involves simply pouring filtered boiled water over green tea leaves in a tea bag or loose leaf form.
- Matcha is healthier than green tea
As matcha and regular green tea are both derived from the same plant they share most of their chemical structure and hence most of the health benefits they offer are similar. However, because of the differences in processing the qualities of green tea are multiplied in matcha. This is due to the fact that as green tea comes in a leaf form you take the leaves out of the beverage once it is ready. On the other hand, as matcha comes in a powdered form, while drinking it you are not only drinking a tea infusion but you are consuming the plant itself.
It is widely believed that both green tea and matcha have health benefits such as being good antioxidants or L-theanine sources. However, because of the direct consumption of tea leaves in matcha it is likely that the intake of these substances is more efficient while drinking tea in this powdered form.
The workings of L-theanine, that matcha is so rich with, are especially interesting as it may increase the activity of alpha waves in your brain and as a result lead to better relaxation and stress reduction. A lot of people claim that matcha can increase their focus and alertness without the drowsiness that often comes in hand with coffee consumption.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.