Matcha was once a not-so-known beverage. However, it has gained much popularity in recent times. This Japanese tea has truly got it all; it provides nutrients, increases focus and regulates appetite.
This traditional tea from Japan is another member to join the category of superfoods. It is known for its befitting health properties.
Now comes the bigger question - how is matcha better than green tea? What is so special about it is that people across the globe have started consuming it every day. Let’s find out!
What is Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is one type of green tea. It is manufactured using some specialized growing and processing techniques to turn the leaves of Camellia Sinensis into matcha tea.
Manufacturers grow the plant in the shade in the last few weeks of harvest, protecting it from sunlight and slowing the growth process to impart distinct characteristics. Post-harvest, the leaves of the plant are dried quickly to reduce oxidization. The stems and veins are removed, and the leaf material is ground into a fine powder.
Dissolving thin, fine, vibrant-green powder in water makes matcha tea. Traditionally, matcha consumers used whisks to remove clumps from the powder and make the beverage smooth. However, electric milk frothers and modern whisks can help achieve similar results.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is a type of tea procured from the Camellia Sinensis plant. This is the plant used for other types of tea, such as oolong, black and white tea.
To prepare green tea, manufacturers harvest the leaves and heat them quickly. This prevents the leaves from oxidization. Besides, they may use distinct methods, such as sun drying, steaming, and pan firing, to process leaves for different types of teas.
The leaves are rolled and dried to convert them into their final form. Steeping the leaves into hot water creates green tea.
How are Matcha and Green Tea Different?
Matcha and green tea are derived from the same plant. The major difference lies in their production process and the end product.
Matcha tea undergoes a careful growth and extraction process when compared to other teas. Most green teas are not grown in the shade and aren’t protected from oxidization. The additional steps give matcha tea its unique characteristics and flavour.
The end product is also different in the case of matcha and green tea. While the flavour of green tea is refreshing and light, the flavour of matcha is often referred to as strong and earthy.
It is the boldness of matcha that makes it popular in culinary recipes. People who consume matcha can add milk and honey if they don’t prefer earthiness in flavour.
Here is a quick difference between matcha tea and green tea!
- Green tea leaves are left whole while matcha tea is ground into a fine powder
- Matcha is kept under the shade a few weeks before harvesting, whereas green tea is exposed to sunlight
- Matcha contains higher levels of ECGC
- When compared to green tea, matcha contains higher levels of L-theanine and L-arginine
- Matcha tea contains more caffeine
- Since the processing of matcha has additional steps, it is usually more costly than green tea
Reasons Why Matcha is Better than Green Tea
1- Rich in Antioxidants
We all have heard experts talking about the benefits of consuming green tea. They keep reminding the consumers that green tea is full of antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols that boost the immune system while protecting against flu, aiding in weight management, maintaining cholesterol levels, etc.
In the case of Japanese matcha tea, you get 100% of the nutrients from the leaves, and it gives a heavy dose of antioxidants which is 135 times more than regularly brewed tea. It is because of the antioxidants that matcha is known as an elixir.
2- Offers a Boost of Energy
It can take some time to get used to the earthy flavour of matcha, but let us tell you that it’s the best option if you need a kick of energy in the morning.
As per the Japanese legend, Samurai warriors used to consume matcha before going for battles as it offered the much-needed boost of energy. Experts suggest that matcha gives 3x the caffeine when compared to a cup of green tea.
3- Effective Immunity Booster
A few studies suggest that the catechins present in matcha tea have antibiotic properties, which help the human body fight various microorganisms.
Matcha tea also contains key vitamins and minerals, including potassium, iron and calcium. These help in the proper functioning of the body, regulate cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
4- Detoxifies the Body
As stated earlier, the production process of matcha tea is different from other types of teas. It keeps the tea leaves shielded from sunlight to preserve the key nutrients. Matcha tea also contains high amounts of chlorophyll that not only gives it a vibrant green colour but also helps in getting rid of toxins naturally.
Moreover, high levels of antioxidants fight against free radicals that could lead to cancer in the long run.
Final Thoughts - Which One is Better For You?
Green tea and matcha tea are great for your health. Both teas offer several benefits for the human body.
However, matcha tea contains higher quantities of a few compounds. The process of growing matcha tea in the shade boosts the levels of key compounds, including chlorophyll, L-theanine and antioxidants. While green tea also contains such compounds, matcha contains more of them!
People who are looking to get high levels of antioxidants should stick to matcha. Also, it is great for individuals who require an instant boost of energy in the morning.
However, make sure to not overdo matcha as taking too many oxidants can have an oxidative effect. Limit the matcha intake to 2-4 cups a day and enjoy its multiple benefits. Lastly, always buy matcha green tea online from trusted vendors to get a reliable and high-quality product. Sip matcha; stay healthy!