Matcha Tea - All You Need to Know About Japanese Green Tea

by Somya Agrawal

Are you confused between green tea and matcha tea? If yes, this article will help you understand everything about Japanese matcha tea. Read till the last to dig deep.

What is matcha tea?

Finely crushed into a powder, matcha tea is a variation of green tea. It originated in China but is most closely associated with Japanese tea ceremonies and Zen Buddhism. The process of making matcha involves shading the tea plants for several weeks before harvest to increase chlorophyll content and enhance flavor. Following harvesting, the leaves are dried, steam-pressed, and processed in traditional stone mills to a fine powder. 

Matcha is known for its vibrant green color and unique flavor profile, which can be described as rich, earthy, and slightly bitter. Because matcha is consumed in powdered form, it is typically whisked with hot water rather than steeped like loose-leaf tea. This method allows for the consumption of the entire tea leaf, resulting in a beverage that is higher in antioxidants and caffeine compared to other types of tea.

Matcha is also popular as a culinary ingredient and is used in a variety of dishes, including desserts, smoothies, and savory dishes. It is prized for its vibrant color and distinctive flavor, as well as its potential health benefits, which include improved focus and concentration, increased energy levels, and antioxidant properties.

Is matcha the same as green tea?

Matcha and green tea are both derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, but they are not exactly the same. Some of the major differences between the two are as follows: 

1) Preparation: Matcha is made from finely ground green tea leaves that have been specially cultivated and processed. The entire leaf is consumed when drinking matcha, as it is ground into a powder and whisked with hot water. On the other hand, green tea is typically made by steeping whole or loose tea leaves in hot water, and the leaves are then discarded after brewing.

2) Flavor: Matcha has a distinct flavor profile that is rich, earthy, and slightly bitter. Since you consume the entire leaf when drinking matcha, its flavor is more concentrated and robust compared to green tea. Green tea can vary in flavor depending on factors such as the variety of tea plant, growing conditions, and processing methods, but it generally has a more subtle and delicate taste compared to matcha.

3) Nutritional Profile: Matcha is known for its high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Because you consume the whole tea leaf when drinking matcha, you get more nutrients compared to steeped green tea, where some of the antioxidants and nutrients may be left behind in the discarded leaves. Matcha is also higher in caffeine compared to green tea, which can provide a more sustained energy boost.

4) Uses: While both matcha and green tea can be enjoyed as a hot or cold beverage, matcha is also commonly used as a culinary ingredient in recipes such as desserts, smoothies, and savory dishes. Its vibrant green color and distinct flavor make it a popular choice for adding flavor and nutritional benefits to various dishes.

Overall, while matcha and green tea share similarities as both are derived from the same plant, they have distinct characteristics in terms of flavor, preparation, and uses.

Health benefits of matcha tea:

Matcha tea is often praised for its potential health benefits, thanks to its unique composition and preparation method. Some of the potential health benefits of matcha tea include:

1) High in Strong Antioxidants: Matcha is generously loaded with catechins( a type of strong antioxidant). Catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), are believed to have various health-promoting properties, including body detoxification, reducing inflammation, and lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

2) Boosts Metabolism: Some studies suggest that the combination of caffeine and catechins in matcha tea may help boost metabolism and promote fat oxidation, which could aid in weight loss or weight management efforts. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of matcha on metabolism and weight loss.

3) Enhances Mental Focus & Concentration: Matcha contains a moderate amount of caffeine, which can help to improve alertness, focus, and concentration. Unlike coffee, matcha also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which has calming and mood-enhancing effects. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha may promote a state of relaxed alertness without the jittery feeling often associated with caffeine consumption.

4) Supports Cardiovascular Health: Some research suggests that regular consumption of green tea, including matcha, may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides, as well as improving blood pressure and endothelial function.

5) Provides Vitamins & Minerals: Matcha tea is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients are crucial for health and well-being.

6) Improves Skin Complexion: Matcha contains chlorophyll, which is responsible for its vibrant green color. Chlorophyll has detoxifying properties and may help to purify the skin and promote a clearer complexion. Some people also claim that topical application of matcha can help to reduce redness and irritation and promote an even skin tone.

It’s important to note that while matcha tea has potential health benefits, it should be consumed as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Does matcha contain caffeine?

Yes, matcha tea does contain caffeine. On average, one teaspoon (about 2 grams) of matcha powder contains roughly 30-40 milligrams of caffeine. This is slightly lower than the caffeine content in a similar amount of coffee, which typically contains around 95 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup.

2) How to store matcha powder?

Matcha powder is sensitive to air, moisture, light, heat, and odors, so it’s best to store it in an airtight container. Choose a container with a tight-sealing lid to prevent air from getting in and affecting the quality of the matcha.

3) Can I add milk to matcha tea?

Yes, you can absolutely add milk to matcha tea to create a creamy and delicious beverage known as a matcha latte. This is how to prepare a simple matcha latte.:


  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons sweetener of your choice (such as honey, maple syrup, or sugar)
  • 2 ounces hot water
  • 6-8 ounces milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • Optional: frothed milk for topping


  1. Sift the matcha powder into a bowl or cup to remove any clumps and ensure a smooth texture.
  2. Add the sweetener of your choice to the matcha powder.
  3. Heat the water to just below boiling and pour it over the matcha powder.
  4. Use a bamboo whisk or a small whisk to mix the matcha powder and water together until smooth and frothy. This process is known as “whisking” or “mizudashi” in Japanese.
  5. In a separate saucepan or milk frother, heat the milk until it reaches your desired temperature. Strictly avoid boiling the milk.
  6. Pour the heated milk into the matcha mixture and stir gently to combine.
  7. If desired, top the matcha latte with frothed milk for an extra creamy texture.
  8. Serve the matcha latte hot and enjoy!

Adding milk to matcha tea creates a creamy and comforting beverage that balances the earthy flavor of the matcha with the sweetness of the milk. You can adjust the sweetness and milk-to-match ratio according to your personal preference to create the perfect matcha latte for you.

4) What is the best time to drink matcha tea?

The best time to drink matcha tea can vary depending on individual preferences and lifestyle. However, many people enjoy drinking matcha in the morning as a substitute for coffee due to its caffeine content and potential health benefits. Matcha provides a steady energy boost without the crash often associated with coffee, making it a great choice for starting the day. 

Additionally, some people enjoy matcha as an afternoon pick-me-up or even before a workout for an extra energy boost. Ultimately, the best time to drink matcha tea is whenever it fits into your routine and provides you with the desired benefits.

5) Is it okay to drink matcha tea every day?

Yes, drinking matcha tea every day can be perfectly fine, especially when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.


    Matcha tea is often referred to as a “superfood” due to its high antioxidant content, nutrient density, and potential health-promoting properties. Incorporating matcha into your diet regularly can be a delicious and nutritious way to support your overall health and well-being.