Matcha vs. Green Tea: What’s the Difference?

by Charlie
Matcha and Green Tea

Matcha and green tea both come from Camellia Sinensis, a species of plants (Family Theaceae) used for tea production. They are essentially the same since Matcha is primarily a type of green tea. However, there are differences between matcha and green tea.

What’s the difference between matcha and green tea? The primary difference between matcha and green tea lies in their form. Matcha comes in powdered form, while green tea usually comes in loose-leaf form.

What are Other Differences Between Matcha and Green Tea?

There are more differences between matcha and green tea. One major difference is in packaging. Matcha powder is sold in airtight canisters and jars, while green tea leaves are sold in bags or tisanes. You may also buy loose leaves in big packs or jars.

There is also a difference in content and concentration. When you drink green tea, you only consume the extract. But when you drink matcha tea, you consume 100% green tea leaves.

Matcha powder is composed of finely ground whole green tea leaves. It is a concentrated form of green tea, and you get to drink all of it. On the other hand, green tea leaves are brewed then discarded. In effect, you are only drinking the extract and not whole green tea leaves.

Matcha and green tea also differ in taste. Both may have the usual bitter taste. However, matcha tends to be more intense and rich in flavor because it is concentrated green tea.

Another difference is in caffeine content. A cup of matcha contains larger amounts of caffeine compared to green tea.

Matcha and green tea also differ in nutritional profiles. Matcha provides more antioxidants than green tea. It may be more beneficial in lowering blood pressure levels, increasing metabolism, and many more benefits that antioxidants provide.

Matcha, in particular, contains higher levels of Theanine. A previous study and testing at the University of Shizuoka, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Japan) indicate that consuming 3 grams of matcha in 500 ml of water significantly reduced stress levels among students who participated in the study.

Matcha and green tea are also different in price points. Matcha, especially higher quality types, is more expensive to buy compared to green tea (even premium types).

Matcha is also different from green tea in terms of shelf life. Green tea leaves may last up to 6 months. However, matcha has a shorter life compared to green tea. It can go bad and lose potency within two months after opening. So consider buying matcha powder in smaller quantities.

Another difference between matcha and green tea is in regards to their cultivation. Manufacturers of matcha powder choose leaves from shade-grown plants, then dry and pulverize them to produce matcha powder. Regular green tea products do not come from shade-grown trees and leaves.

Matcha is also more versatile in use. It has more culinary uses. People use matcha to make ice cream, lattes, smoothies, and noodles. Bakers also use it to make desserts such as mochi, panna cotta, macarons, cakes, or pies.

Lastly, matcha and green tea differ in preparation methods. Let’s discuss this preparation below:

How Do You Prepare Matcha Tea?

Enjoy a cup of invigorating matcha tea using the simple steps below:

  • Measure out ¼ teaspoon of matcha powder.
  • Sift the powder to break down any clumps.
  • Place matcha powder in a mug.
  • Boil 8 ounces of water. Set aside and rest it a bit.
  • Pour 2 ounces of hot water into the mug and onto the matcha powder.
  • Whisk vigorously using a whisker until the powder is fully absorbed and you see a good foam layering on top.
  • Pour 6 more ounces of hot water. Mix and stir.
  • Sweeten to taste with some honey or syrup.

You can go for a latte by using 6 ounces of steamed milk in place of 6 ounces of hot water.

How Do You Prepare Green Tea?

Enjoy a cup of refreshing green tea using the simple steps below:

  • Boil clean, filtered water.
  • Pour about 8 ounces in your mug.
  • Drop your chosen green tea bag. Alternatively, measure out 2 to 3 spoons of loose green tea leaves and drop them in your mug.
  • Steep your tea from 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on the variant and quality of your tea product.
  • Enjoy with some sweetener and a squirt of lemon juice if you like.

How Do You Store Matcha and Green Tea?

Store opened matcha powder and green tea leaves in airtight containers. Keep them in a cool, dark, and well-aired place. Teas absorb odors so keep them away from other ingredients with strong odors. As always, don’t place your teas near chemicals, detergents, scents, and oils.

How Much Matcha and Green Tea Should You Consume?

Green tea contains caffeine so drink matcha and green tea in moderation. People find 3 to 5 cups of green tea a day beneficial while 2 to 3 cups of matcha tea is deemed healthy. It is wise to consult with your doctor before incorporating matcha and green tea into your daily diet especially if you have a medical condition since overconsumption of green tea leaves may cause heart palpitations, lower potassium levels, and other adverse effects.

Final Thoughts

  • Matcha is available in powder form, while green tea is available in loose-leaf form.
  • Matcha powder is sold in airtight canisters and jars, while green tea is sold in tea bags or tissanes.
  • A cup of matcha is higher in caffeine than a cup of green tea.
  • With a cup of matcha, you consume 100% whole green tea leaves.
  • With a cup of green tea, you only consume the extract.
  • Matcha has a richer and more intense flavor compared to green tea.
  • Matcha provides more antioxidants than green tea.
  • Most of the time, Matcha is more expensive than green tea.
  • Unlike regular green tea leaves, powdered matcha green tea leaves come from shade-grown plants.
  • Matcha (2 months or less) has a shorter shelf life than green tea (6 months or less).
  • To make a cup of tea, you steep green tea leaves in hot water while you whisk matcha powder in hot water.
  • Matcha has more culinary uses compared to green tea.

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