For the uninitiated tea drinker, the terms “green tea” and “matcha tea” might seem to be referring to the same drink. That is not the case at all! While they have quite a bit in common, they are fundamentally different types of drinks with significantly different taste profiles, price points, and caffeine content. To help guide new tea drinkers on how to choose between the two different types of beverages (commonly mistaken for one another), we have collated a simple Green tea vs matcha guide to get you started!
They are Grown from The Same Plant but Made Differently
Green tea is prepared by harvesting tea leaves, steaming or pan-firing them. This stops the oxidation process to retain its colour and original full-bodied taste, then packed into tea bags or as loose tea leaves.
In contrast, matcha tea is prepared by harvesting tea leaves after they have been specially grown under shaded conditions. This results in a higher and more intense level of chlorophyll, L-theanine and antioxidants when compared to normal tea leaves. This gives rise to the famous vibrant green shade of matcha that we are all familiar with, as well as a much more intense and flavourful taste profile. After harvesting, it is steamed, dried, and further converted into a fine powder via stone-grinding ready for consumption.
Different Nutritional Benefits of powdered tea vs tea leaves
While both these low-calorie drinks are popularly known as healthy beverages, due to the differences in both the production process & consumption, matcha tea tends to provide a comparatively higher nutritional value compared to green tea:
- Matcha contains 137 X more antioxidants than low-grade green tea
- A normal cup of matcha tends to have 2 -3 X more caffeine than a cup of normal steeped green tea.
- Matcha contains up to 5X more of L-Theanine (an amino acid that helps encourage relaxation and inhibits bad side effects of caffeine) than normal green tea
- It also contains a much higher dose of bio-active nutrients like vitamins and minerals compared to green tea.
Additionally, since matcha powder is consumed in its entirety versus green tea that is steeped in water, fewer nutrients are lost in the preparation process.
In short, you can consider matcha tea a powered-up version of green tea in all aspects.
Different Ways to Consume Green Tea vs. Matcha
Green tea, like most other types of teas, is prepared by steeping the tea bags or loose leaves in hot water. The tea leaves or bag is then separated from the liquor.
On the other hand, preparing matcha requires you to blend the matcha tea powder (preferably with a whisk to break up the lumps) in either hot or cold water thoroughly before consumption.
Different Taste Profiles of Tea
Due to the altering production processes and nutritional profiles, green tea and matcha tea taste different. Obviously, taste will vary from tea to tea. That said there are some signature tasting notes which can be highlighted for both. Tasting profiles are as follows:
Green tea: Texture is thin and lush with satisfying vegetal notes, cut grass and asparagus.
Matcha tea: Texture is soft and creamy. Thick yet smooth mouthfeel. Flavour is sweet oats with a nuttiness and fresh spring greens.
Neither tea should be bitter. If they are the water used to brew the tea was too hot or the product quality could be improved.
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Know the Differences Between Green Tea vs Matcha
Because of their drastically different production processes and nutritional benefits, matcha is typically more expensive than green tea. That has not stopped unscrupulous sellers from selling green tea powder as matcha. Here we are trying to empower our consumers so they know what they are getting!
Now that you have learnt about the difference between the two types of tea, hopefully, you will be able to make the right choice for your needs.