Is Matcha Green Tea?
Matcha is green and it is tea…So is it the same thing as green tea?
The Short Answer
Matcha is technically green tea as they both come from the same plant. They are harvested and prepared differently.
The Long Answer
Matcha comes from green tea leaves, same as normal green tea. So technically they’re the same thing. The difference between these beverages, in everything from taste to nutritional qualities, comes down to how they’re harvested and prepared.
When you order green tea, you’re infusing the leaves of a green tea plant into hot water and then discarding the leaves when you’re done. When you make matcha, you’re actually drinking a powdered version of those same leaves. Matcha is green tea leaves ground into a powder and made into a solution by mixing it with hot water. You then use a bamboo brush to whisk the matcha powder into the water until it froths.
When green tea leaves are harvested to make matcha, they are first covered with shade cloths. This forces the leaves to grow with better flavor and texture. Those leaves are harvested by hand, steamed to stop fermentation, and dried/aged in cold storage. This is done to deepen the flavor. Once the leaves are dried, they are ground by stone until they form a fine powder.
Most green tea is found to be especially bitter, but matcha has a far more pleasing taste, according to most. When someone drinks green tea they’re tossing the leaves away at the end, but a matcha drinker ingests the entire leaf, which has some great health benefits.
For starters, matcha has more nutrients and antioxidants. These have been known to protect against heart disease and cancer, while also regulating blood sugar and blood pressure. Matcha also has been tied to anti-aging and the boosting of a person’s metabolism.
Something to remember about matcha is that is has a high caffeine count, far higher than traditional green tea. In fact, a cup of matcha has the same caffeine content as a typical cup of brewed coffee.
So, while these two teas come from the same plant, they are wildly different with completely separate health benefits.