Green tea and matcha come from the same plant as other teas and have a lot of the same benefits, so they’re often used interchangeably. However, there are a few key differences between green tea and matcha.
How Green Tea and Matcha Are Similar
As mentioned above, matcha and green tea come from the same Camellia sinensis plant, which is grown primarily in China. They both contain antioxidants and polyphenols, but the concentration of certain nutrients is different due to the way green tea and matcha are harvested and processed.
How Green Tea and Matcha Are Different
Processing: The biggest difference between green tea and matcha is in how they’re processed for consumption. For green tea, the tea leaves are harvested and then quickly heated (this helps prevent the leaves from turning brown). The leaves are then steamed or sun-dried, and then rolled into their final form.
Matcha, on the other hand, is grown in the shade during the last few weeks of the harvest. This protects it from the sun and slows down its growth, giving matcha leaves its darker leaves. Once harvested, the leaves are quickly dried to minimize oxidation, and then the stems and veins from the leaves are removed. The remaining material is ground into a fine green powder.
Because of the extra preparation and care needed, matcha tends to be more expensive than green tea.
Preparation: Green tea is steeped in hot water, like any other tea. Matcha, since it is a powder, is dissolved in hot water and usually requires more vigorous mixing to eliminate clumps.
Taste: Green tea has a light earthy flavor and is typically only drunk as tea. Matcha is bolder, with a richer, grassier flavor. Because of its rich flavor and vibrant green color, matcha has become a common ingredient in some recipes. Matcha is a good go-to when you’re looking to add a pop of color to a dish, from baked goods to smoothies to pasta.
Benefits of Green Tea
Because of the different manufacturing processes used to produce each product, green tea and matcha have slightly different benefits. Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world and has been used traditionally for centuries to help with digestion and mental alertness. It is full of antioxidants and polyphenols, and also has a small amount of minerals that can benefit your health. Green tea also has a small amount of minerals that can benefit your health.
Green tea doesn’t have as much caffeine as the typical cup of coffee—only about half—but many people drink green tea because it helps them stay alert without feeling too jittery.
Benefits of Matcha
Matcha contains more nutrients and phytocompounds than green tea because it uses the whole tea leaf and is consumed in a more concentrated form (powder) than a tea that has been steeped. So matcha contains more of the biologically active compounds like theanine, various types of catechin, caffeine, antioxidants, and chlorophyll, giving you a bit more bang for your buck.
In addition to the antioxidant properties that matcha provides, it’s easier to prepare than green tea. Instead of heating a pot of water and letting the tea steep for 5–10 minutes, all you need to do is mix the powder in hot water and you’re ready to go. Matcha is also more versatile than green tea, which is why you’ll find it in a lot of recipes.
Which Is Better for You: Green Tea or Matcha?
Both green tea and matcha have benefits, so choosing between the two often comes down to personal taste. Some find matcha’s flavor to be too strong and prefer the light and refreshing flavor of green tea. Others prefer matcha for its richer flavor and ease of preparation. Give both a try and see which works best for your taste and lifestyle—you’ll get benefits from either one!
If you find that matcha is more your style, Unicity has two well-loved matcha products: Matcha Energy and Matcha Focus. Its unique chi-oka blend can help increase energy and concentration without the crash that accompanies most traditional energy drinks. Unicity Matcha has been specifically formulated to energize your body and mind, giving you the vitality and clarity you need to fully experience and enjoy your life.
So the next time you need an afternoon pick-me-up, consider giving matcha a try.