Matcha green tea or simply Matcha tea is not your average tea. It’s not as common as other varieties and has more health benefits than green tea. Read on to learn why.
In this post, we explain what Matcha green tea is, look closely at its health benefits, compare it to green tea, and show you how to make it the right way.
We’ll also take a look at potential side effects and the optimal daily intake.
Let’s start with the basics.
What Is Matcha Green Tea?
Before harvesting, the plants are covered with shade cloths to enhance the flavor and texture of the leaves.
After harvesting, the leaves are steamed, dried, and aged to enhance the flavor even more. Once the leaves are dry enough, they are grounded into a fine green powder.
Matcha tea is a type of powdered drink rather than an infusion. When you make green tea, you steep the leaves for a few minutes and then throw them away.
With Matcha, you whisk the powder in your cup with a special bamboo whisk until it dissolves in the hot water. In other words, you drink the leaves.
Did you know: Matcha powder is also used in health supplement or as an ingredient in the kitchen for smoothies, homemade granola bars, or oatmeal.
For additional information, you can watch this interesting video which explains the complete matcha green tea process.
History of Matcha Green Tea
Even though Matcha has only recently become popular in the West, it has been around for hundreds of years.
This timeline will show the most important developments of matcha up to the superfood status that it has now achieved.
Matcha Green Tea Health Benefits
With the many beneficial nutrients that are found in Matcha tea, it has a lot of potential health benefits. Multiple researchers have found through the years that Matcha Green tea can:
Increases Energy Levels
Caffeine found in Matcha green tea provides the body with additional energy and focus. What’s more, unlike coffee, Matcha tea doesn’t have a caffeine crash.
A caffeine crash brings with it tiredness, irritability, and can make it hard for you to concentrate. It occurs if you drink too much coffee.
EGCg, a powerful antioxidant found in Matcha tea, can boost metabolism up to 40% while regular green tea can only boost metabolism up to 8%.
In other words, matcha is one of the best weight loss teas for shedding unwanted pounds and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Fortifies the Immune System
Matcha Tea contains catechins, polyphenols, and EGCg’s which carry the ability to boost the immune system.
Detoxifies the Body
The special processing method of growing the leaves in the shade results in higher levels of chlorophyll in Matcha tea.
Chlorophyll works by detoxifying the body and cleaning heavy metals and chemicals from the blood.
Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
Matcha green tea can lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and enhance HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
LDL is bad cholesterol; HDL is good cholesterol. By increasing HDL levels, you can help your body cleanse the arteries of LDL resulting in a lower risk of heart and vascular disease.
Matcha Green Tea and Antioxidants
One of the many things that make Matcha green tea a superfood is its high antioxidant content.
Goji berries, dark chocolate, pomegranate, and other superfoods have lots of antioxidants. But Matcha tea has considerably more.
Here’s a graph that shows just how many antioxidants Matcha tea has.
Matcha tea is especially rich in a specific antioxidant called EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate).
In addition to helping with weight loss, EGC has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits and promotes heart health and brain health.
Antioxidants like EGCg are a great way of getting rid of free radicals and harmful toxins in the body.
In addition, it has been scientifically proven that EGCg has the ability to boost fat metabolism and increase thermogenesis.
With this increase in thermogenesis, the body can burn up to 25% more calories.
Matcha Green Tea and L-Theanine
One of the multiple things that Matcha tea is known for is its high level of L-theanine. This is an amino acid with numerous health benefits.
L-theanine promotes mental relaxation by creating alpha brain waves. These are specific brain waves that occur when the brain is daydreaming or practicing meditation.
By creating these alpha brain waves, L-theanine improves creativity, learning, memory, and may even reduce depression.
Furthermore, L-theanine may improve gamma delta T cells which prevent infections in the body and can fortify the body’s immune system.
Fact: Compared with green or black tea, Matcha tea contains up to five times more L-theanine.
Matcha Green Tea Side Effects
The tea plant Camellia Sinensis absorbs arsenic, fluoride, and lead from the surrounding soil. Around 90% of the lead is found in the leaves.
During the manufacturing process of other true teas, most of those leaves are not used–they are discarded during processing.
With Matcha green tea the whole leaf is grounded to a fine powder and then consumed. This means this type of tea contains up to 30 times more lead in comparison with other teas like green tea or black tea.
Good to know: You may want to avoid drinking more than one cup of Matcha tea a day. Children and pregnant women should best avoid this drink.
In addition, Matcha green tea contains a fair amount of caffeine. If you are sensitive to caffeine or consume too much Matcha tea you might experience common caffeine side effects.
These side effects may include headaches, irritability, insomnia, and diarrhea.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t put more Matcha green tea powder in your cup than the recommended amount on the package and not drink more than one cup a day.
Matcha Green Tea vs Normal Green Tea
Matcha tea uses the entire tea leaf and undergoes much less processing than green tea. This makes Matcha a more powerful drink that contains far more beneficial nutrients.
Matcha green tea contains:
- 2 times more EGCg
- 5 times more l-theanine
- 10 times more antioxidants
- 14 times more tannins
- 16 times more vitamin C
- 17 times more iron
- 31 times more fiber
- 47 times more potassium
- 65 times more calcium
- 86 times more protein
What About Caffeine?
Since with Matcha you’re drinking the tea leaves instead of discarding them, you’re also taking in a lot more caffeine.
A cup of green tea has around 35mg of caffeine. By comparison, a similarly sized cup made with four tablespoons of high-quality Matcha tea powder has 280mg of caffeine–that’s eight times more caffeine!
Tip: If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you could try decaffeinated Matcha tea.
Nutrient Profile Matcha Green Tea
Matcha tea is filled with beneficial nutrients, the image below shows how much of each nutrient is in one gram of matcha green tea.
How to Make Matcha Green Tea
By now you’re probably curious to taste Matcha tea if you haven’t already. Making it is not hard but you will need the right tools and to follow a few simple instructions.
Tools you’ll need:
- Good quality Matcha green powder
- A Matcha tea whisk
- A bowl
- A bamboo scoop (or teaspoon)
Follow these simple steps to make your own delicious Matcha green tea.
Step 1 – Make Sure You Use High Quality Matcha Tea
High quality Matcha powder is bright green and finely ground. Lesser quality varieties are a more faded color. Buy organic if available.
Good to know: Good Matcha tea is pricey compared to other teas. The manufacturing process takes time and can’t be rushed.
Step 2 – Choose Your Matcha Tea Variety
There are two main types of Matcha green tea: Usucha and Koicha.
The difference between the two is that Usucha is a thin tea containing less Matcha and Koicha is a thicker version containing more Matcha.
Koicha Matcha tastes more bitter. We recommend trying both to decide which you prefer.
Step 3 – Don’t Use Boiling Water
As is the case with green tea, you don’t want to pour boiling water over Matcha as that will kill beneficial antioxidants and give it a bitter, unpleasant taste.
Boil the water and let it cool to below 80 degrees Celsius–this means waiting around two minutes for the water to cool once it reaches boiling point.
Step 4 – Get the Quantities Right
You don’t want to spoon too much or two little Matcha into your cup. Here are some general measures to guide you:
– Usucha: 1.75-gram matcha with 75 ml of hot water
– Koicha: 3.75 gram with 40 ml of hot water
For best results, follow the instructions on the package.
Step 5 – Whisk It!
Now comes the fun part.
After you pour warm but not boiling water over Matcha powder in your bowl, use a bamboo whisk called Chasen to whisk the tea rapidly until the powder almost completely dissolves.
Why a bamboo whisk? It’s lightweight and easy to use.
Warning: A metal fork or spoon will influence the unique flavor of your Matcha tea and may also damage the bowl you make it in.
Best Matcha Green Tea Kits
Don’t have a whisk or a Matcha bowl? Well, most people in the West don’t! Matcha tea kits are easy to find and quite affordable.
If you like Matcha, getting one will not only help you get the best taste out of every spoonful, but also contribute to your overall tea experience.
Here are some popular kits you can buy online.
- Prepare ceremonial matcha with the traditional tools
- Natural bamboo whisk and scoop, with stainless steel sifter
- Comes with a full color step by step guide to preparation
- ☕ HEIGHTEN YOUR MATCHA TEA EXPERIENCE Whisk up a delicious cup of frothy lump-free matcha with our...
- 🍵 MATCHA TEA AT ITS BEST! Taste the difference! Conventional metal whisks leave you with bitter...
- 🎁 UNIQUE GIFT IDEA: The Matcha Tea Set makes a beautiful and useful gift. Impress your loved one...
- COMPELETE SET: Matcha whisk, traditional scoop, matcha bowl, matcha powder caddy, ceramic whisk...
- NATURAL BAMBOO: The entire set is constructed of all natural bamboo. No mysterious varnishes or...
- AUTHENTIC TEA CEREMONY TOOLS: Professional and perfect Japanese matcha tea ceremony tools, it is the...
Best Matcha Powders for Sale
The quality of Matcha green tea powder can vary a lot from brand to brand, which is why we recommend that you do your research and choose the best quality you can afford.
Low-grade Matcha doesn’t taste great, doesn’t have as many antioxidants, and may have a higher concentration of lead and other harmful substances owing to the fertilizers fed to the plant.
Here are some of the better Matcha tea powders out there.
1. Encha Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
After being disappointed with the quality of matcha powder that was being sold in the US Dr. Li Gong (founder of Encha) decided to go on a journey to find high-quality organic matcha.
- Ceremonial grade Encha is the premium first-harvest organic matcha green tea powder, ground from the...
- The 60g size of Encha ceremonial matcha is great for one-month supply if you drink 1 level tsp (2...
- All Encha matcha is USDA certified organic. The organic certificate, the report of no radioactivity,...
This search has led him to a matcha farm that has been growing matcha organically for over 30 years.
USDA organic certification aside, this powder exceeds normal one in terms of taste and overall quality.
While conventional matcha uses synthetic chemical fertilizer to influence taste, this is not the case with Encha organic matcha powder.
If you are looking for high-quality organic matcha powder, this is an inspired choice.
2. Ujido Matcha Green Tea Powder
Ujido Matcha powder is produced by a traditional Japanese company and is sourced and packed in Uji, Japan. The matcha leaves are hand-picked.
- Traditional Japanese Matcha from 183 year old Uji City Manufacturer *** NOT MADE IN CHINA, NO HEAVY...
- Highest Antioxidants - 10 times higher than Goji berries.Counteracts the effects of free radicals...
- Sugar Free Ultimate Weight-Loss Superfood: Matcha can burn the fat right off your belly (and...
To ensure the best quality only the first and second harvests are used. We like that this brand has a policy of refunding unsatisfied customers. So you run no risks buying this one.
3. Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder
Jade Leaf Matcha powder is one of the best-selling matcha brands on Amazon. However, in comparison with other matcha powders, this one is culinary grade instead of ceremonial grade.
- 100% USDA Certified Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder - Pure Shade-Grown Green Tea Leaf Matcha Powder...
- Authentic Japanese Origin - less than 1% of tea fields in Japan are certified organic for strict...
- Create Amazing Matcha Tea Recipes - Culinary Grade Matcha is an affordable way to add a delicious,...
Ceremonial grade matcha powder is the best collection of harvest and often first or second harvest.
Culinary grade is matcha from later harvests which makes it cheaper and more suitable to mix into different recipes as an ingredient instead of a traditional matcha tea.
If you are looking for affordable matcha powder to use as an ingredient, this is the one for you.
Matcha Green Tea Frequently Asked Questions
Find below some of the most common questions about Matcha green tea that we keep hearing together with our answers.
If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section at the end of this post.
What does Matcha green tea do for you?
Matcha green tea is rich in antioxidants and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and can boost your immune system, promote weight loss, and improve heart and brain health and prevent diabetes and certain types of cancer. Read more about all the health benefits of Matcha tea.
Is Matcha better than green tea?
Matcha is a type of powdered green tea that has more antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. It is a more concentrated and potent version of green tea. At the same time, it also has around eight times more caffeine.
Is it safe to drink Matcha everyday?
You can drink Matcha every day if you limit your intake to one cup. This way you will avoid potential side effects.
Important: Children and pregnant women should avoid drinking matcha or consult a nutritionist.
How much Matcha green tea should you drink a day?
One small cup of Matcha green tea a day in the first part of the day is the usual recommended quantity. This keeps your caffeine intake under control and reduces the amount of lead you ingest.
Whisk Your Way Beyond Green Tea
Whisk? Check. Bowl? Check. Matcha powder? Check.
Matcha green tea is a special tea with remarkable health benefits and an authentic Japanese feel to it.
The fact that you have to use a whisk to make it makes it all the cooler–and will probably help you stick to the one small cup a day recommended quantity.
If you enjoy green tea, you will appreciate Matcha and may even become a lifelong fan.
Have you ever drank Matcha green tea? What was your first experience with this tea?
We’d love to hear from you.