Think all green tea is the same? Well, you're in for a surprise!

Though matcha and green tea come from the same green tea leaves, there are some major differences between them. From the way they are grown to the way they taste, matcha and green tea are not two birds of a feather. 

So, matcha vs green tea: what’s the difference, and which one is the winner in the battle of green teas? Keep reading to discover the answer. 

What’s matcha?

For the uninitiated, matcha might seem like just another trend – something that’s popular for a while and then quickly forgotten. But this powdered green tea that comes from Japan has been around for centuries, and it’s recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. 

Simply put, matcha powder is a type of green tea that is made from whole, ground tea leaves. It’s a bright green powder that’s packed with a smooth flavor. When mixed with cold or hot water or milk, it creates a frothy, slightly sweet beverage. Matcha is also often used in cooking, and it can be added to everything from matcha lattes to baked goods. 

Matcha is high in antioxidants, and it has been linked to numerous health benefits. For example, matcha has been shown to boost metabolism and burn fat. It is also rich in fiber, and it can help to regulate blood sugar levels. And, if that wasn’t enough, matcha has a high caffeine content, so it can be used to replace coffee for a much healthier option. 

What is green tea made of?

Green tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is also used to make matcha powder, and white, and black tea. The difference is in the processing: green tea leaves are steamed or pan-fried, while matcha is grounded into a fine powder. Then, regular green tea leaves are simply dried and then brewed to create the final product. 

Because of the brewed green tea leaves, this type of drink tends to be lighter in flavor than matcha and, even though it still has amazing health benefits, they are less than the matcha powder benefits because the leaves are dried and steamed, which can lessen the advantages of green tea over matcha powder. 

Is matcha and green tea the same?

Although matcha and green tea come from the same plant, they are actually quite different. Matcha tea is made from the whole leaf, while green tea is made from just the buds and leaves. This means that matcha has a higher concentration of nutrients, including antioxidants, amino acids, and Chlorophyll. As a result, matcha is often touted as being healthier than green tea.

So, what are the main differences between these green teas? Let’s unwrap it: 

Difference between matcha and green tea 

1. The cultivation process

Matcha is a type of green tea that is grown and processed in a very specific way. The leaves are shaded from the sun for several weeks before harvest, which boosts the chlorophyll content. After harvest, the leaves are steamed and then dried. They are then stone-ground into a fine powder, which is used to prepare the tea. 

In contrast, most green teas are simply dried and rolled before being steeped in hot water. The different cultivation process results in a tea with a much higher concentration of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. 

2. The flavor

Green tea is typically light with a slightly sweet aftertaste. On the other hand, Matcha green tea is rich and creamy, with a more intense, sweet flavor without needing sugar. 

The difference in flavor is due to the way the teas are made. Green tea is made by steeping leaves in hot water, while matcha green tea is made by grinding whole leaves into a powder and whisking the powder in hot water. The different production methods result in different flavors, so be sure to choose the right tea for your taste buds!

3. The color

Traditional green tea is, well, green. But matcha green tea is a brighter, more vibrant green. It's the difference between forest Green and neon green. 

And that's because matcha green tea is made from young leaves that are shade-grown before being ground into a fine powder. This process increases the chlorophyll content, which gives matcha tea its characteristic vibrant green color.

4. The preparation

Green tea and matcha are prepared in two different ways: first of all, matcha tea is made by mixing powdered green tea with hot water with a bamboo whisk to dissolve the powder. Then, you can add more water or milk, and mix it with a father or mixer to create a cold or hot frothy drink. 

On the other hand, to prepare green tea you need to steep the leaves to create a loose-leaf tea or dip the tea bags in hot water. As a result, when you prepare matcha, it has a more intense flavor than green tea, and it also contains more caffeine. 

5. The benefits

The different ways both green tea and matcha are grounded also affect their health benefits. 

Since green tea matcha comes from pure tea leaves, this powder is more nutritious than traditional green tea. As for the benefits, matcha contains three times more antioxidants than green tea, making it a great choice for boosting your immune system. It also has greater levels of caffeine, so it’s perfect for an energy boost. 

And last but not least, matcha provides a gentle calming effect thanks to its content of the amino acid L-Theanine.

All in all, drinking green tea or matcha powder is beneficial because they come from the same tea leaf, however, matcha has more concentrated health benefits that the other type of tea. 

6. The history

As for the history, green tea is thought to have originated in China, while matcha is believed to have originated in Japan. 

Matcha became popular in Japan during the 12th century, when Buddhist monks began using it as a way to stay awake during long hours of meditation. Over time, matcha became associated with the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and it remains an important part of that tradition today.

However, it’s said that both teas originated in China 200 hundred years ago, the difference is that, when green tea arrived to Japan, it got transformed into matcha. 

7. The types

While there are no types of traditional green tea, matcha does have two different types of powders: 

  • Ceremonial grade matcha: it’s made from the youngest, most tender leaves of the tea plant. The leaves are shade-grown for three weeks before they're picked by hand and ground into a fine powder. ceremonial grade matcha has a bright green color and a light, delicate flavor. It's perfect for making matcha lattes or enjoying on its own. 

So, when you drink matcha, the best option is to choose organic, ceremonial grade matcha which is the one with the best quality and flavor.

  • Culinary grade matcha: it’s made from lower quality leaves and has a more bitter taste. It is typically used for baking or in mixed drinks. 

8. The price

If you've ever been to a Starbucks, you know that matcha is the new black. But what exactly is matcha, and why is it so darn expensive? 

Matcha is a type of green tea that is made from finely ground powder. As we said before, the powder is produced by stone grinding the tea leaves, which results in a more concentrated flavor. Because of this process, matcha generally has a higher price tag than regular green tea. However, many people believe that the increased flavor and health benefits are worth the extra cost and prefer drinking matcha over green tea. 

So, which is better, matcha or green tea?

The great matcha vs green tea debate has been raging for centuries, and there is no clear consensus on which is superior. Both teas are made from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis plant, and they both offer many advantages. However, they don’t have the same health benefits.

Matcha is slightly higher in caffeine than green tea, and it also contains more antioxidants because it’s made from the whole tea leaf. So, if you’re looking for a way to keep your caffeine levels, increase your metabolism, stay calm, and protect your immune system, drinking matcha is your way to go. 

On the other hand, if you're more interested in a light, refreshing beverage with a milder flavor, then green tea might be a better choice! And don’t get us wrong, regularly drinking green tea has almost as many health benefits, like weight loss. 

Some people prefer the slightly sweeter taste of matcha, while others find green tea to be more refreshing. Ultimately, there is no wrong answer when it comes to choosing between these two healthy beverages.

So, drink green tea or drink matcha, it’s your choice!

Where to find high-quality matcha? 

Tea consumption has increased over the years, and, If matcha is the final champion of this battle for you, then it’s time to ditch green tea and include a good quality matcha morning cup in your routine! 

There’s no doubt that matcha has more health benefits than green tea since it’s made from the entire leaf, unlike green tea. So, if you’re looking forward to preparing a delicious cup of matcha tea with high-quality matcha tea leaves, you should visit Enjoy Shade and get the best organic ceremonial-grade matcha leaf powder you’ll ever taste!

From traditional Japanese kits, so you can experience the ancient matcha ritual, to a FREE starter kit so you can kickstart your morning routine with the perfect matcha cup, you’ll find everything you need to make the frothiest, most delicious matcha latte or drink at home!

November 15, 2022 — Paige Rife


Talia Moser said:

Thank you for the accurate descriptions. I enjoyed traditional matcha years ago prepared by Japanese friends. We enjoyed the calming effect of preparing the tea with the bamboo whisk. Now I’ve been diagnosed with cancer and will seek out matcha again. Thank you.

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