Matcha vs Green tea
As we all know that in the West there’s a lot more hype of green tea vs matcha flavored things emerging as well but I think Japan definitely wins in terms of the sheer volume there’s just so many different green tea matcha flavored things like ice creams and cakes and biscuits chocolates Maki which is a Japanese flavored rice balls parfaits and there was actually one bagel as well that was topped with what we thought was guacamole at a turned out to be matcha cream and then, of course, there are all the drinks as well so there’s just so many things that are flavored with green tea or matcha.
Tea in Japan:
So before I get into comparing matcha vs green tea directly I wanted to talk a bit about the history of tea in Japan in general because it’s quite important so tea itself is thought to come from China in around 2700 BC and it wasn’t until the 9th century that this was brought to Japan and it was thought that monks who traveled from Japan to China and then came back to Japan brought green tea back with them it’s most likely that it was Matt sure that was the first type of tea that was consumed in Japan and that’s still the type that they use for their traditional Japanese tea ceremonies
Japanese Tea Ceremonies:
And if you haven’t heard about these tea ceremonies they’re very ritualistic ways of serving and presenting tea so it involves making matcha tea and these can take up to four hours they’re actually considered to be an art form they include specific gestures and ritual sand utensils and they serve little sweets along with the tea as well these are called wagashi these are usually made from Azuki bean paste and Maki
Matcha vs Green tea:
So let’s start comparing green tea vs matcha so what is actually the difference between green tea and matcha so starting off with green tea it’s actually made from the same tea leaves that is used to make black tea or white tea but the difference is green tea doesn’t go through the same process of withering and oxidation that produces black tea or ordinary tea and there’s so many different types of green tea available as well it just depends on where it’s grown how it’s processed and the exact type of leaf that’s used
Whereas with matcha this again the same tea leaves are used but they’re covered for about a month before they’re harvested so that means they’re grown in the shade for a month and then when they’re harvested the stems and the veins are removed from the leaf and then everything that’s remaining is dried and then it’s grown down and that produces matcha powder so matcha powder can then be mixed with water to make matcha tea or with milk to make a matcha latte and there’s different grades of matcha powder as well so there’s the cooking grade which is a lot cheaper and then there’s a ceremonial grade which is a lot more expensive and depending on how much of the powder you use you can make matcha to be either thin or to be thick so because matcha is more concentrated than green tea it tends to have a stronger flavor a bright green color as well as containing more nutrients
Matcha has a creamy texture and it’s described as having that Japanese savory taste called umami compared to that green tea is a lot more lighter and delicate in terms of texture and flavor and color so because most of the tea leaf is consumed when you have matcha tea it means it contains more of those bioactive ingredients that are thought to be good for our health.
So, for example, one cup of matcha is thought to contain more than three times the amount of the antioxidants called catechin compared to one cup of green tea and matcha is also higher in caffeine and the amino acid l-theanine and again because the whole leaf is used it contains some fiber and some vitamin A and matcha also contains more vitamin C potassium and iron compared to green tea but overall matcha or green tea aren’t particularly good sources of these kind of nutrients so they are good sources of those bioactive ingredients but not really when it comes to those other nutrients
There’s some good quality evidence that consuming green tea can reduce our LDL cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol is the type of cholesterol that we want to juice in order to keep our heart healthy there’s also some evidence that drinking green tea can reduce the risk of certain diseases like stroke and liver disease and osteoporosis but overall more research is needed into this so I’m going to do a future blog post that looks into more detail basically about and the evidence and the myths related to green tea but overall there does seem to be some health benefits of drinking green tea but for a lot of conditions the evidence isn’t really that strong.
So what is my overall verdict of green tea versus matcha, matcha is more nutritionally dense than green tea but they both contain good levels of antioxidants which might be good for our health personally I prefer green tea because it has a more subtle taste and I find the taste of matcha a bit overpowering and grassy so I’ll be sticking to green tea and that’s just purely personal preference lots of people love the taste of matcha it’s just not for me I’m also not really a big fan of the green tea and the matcha flavored foods because they tend to be flavored with matcha which again is just a bit overpowering for me but what I do really like is how green tea and matcha are still so celebrated in Japan especially due to the long history of consuming these as drinks.