Snapchat might be full of stories on matcha vs green tea, but do you know the actual value of (matcha) green tea? Is it any different from regular green tea or is the hype superficial? In this post, we inspect this kind of green tea and compare matcha vs green tea. We also look at matcha green tea bags and matcha green tea cakes.
So, take a seat, relax, and enjoy a journey into traditional Japanese cuisine. Better yet, hit the kitchen and brew yourself a cup of this antioxidant dense alternative to regular tea.
Want a Drink?
Matcha is a special tea. It is special in its preparations and special in its benefits and tradition. To make (matcha) green tea, you use a different process from what you use in making regular green tea.
First off, it involves removing the stems and veins of green tea leaves and crushing the leaves. Crushing the leaves gives you the matcha powder which is what you use in matcha green tea bags. You can also use the powder directly rather than as matcha green tea bags.
For the best brew, mix the powder with water no hotter than 175° F. Depending on your preference, you can add sugar, milk, or take it with just water. The difference between matcha vs. green tea is that green tea has a different requirement.
A perfectly brewed cup of green tea typically needs hot water at around 212° F. unlike regular green tea, (matcha) green tea takes more time and effort to prepare. It is also significantly costlier – but that is understandable given its benefits.
In the recent past, it has become popular and has a nearly cult-like following with wellness enthusiasts. But why is this traditional Japanese trend catching up with the rest of the world so fast? Have you been missing out on the goodness of tea?
Unlike other types of teas, it gives you the holistic goodness of tea. The preparation process of the matcha powder involves grinding young tea leaves. With (matcha) green tea, you use the whole leaf as a component in your tea guaranteeing you more nutrition.
Think of it this way – drinking regular tea is akin to boiling spinach and drinking the water while you toss out the more nutritious greens. The matcha tea blend uses the whole tea leaves with all the nutrition and antioxidants.
Because of the use of ground tea leaves, a single cup of matcha tea has as many antioxidants as three cups of regular green tea. The taste of matcha might be grassier, but the health benefits are nothing short of remarkable.
1. Jam-packed with antioxidants
All green teas are dense with catechins, an antioxidant with the potential to reduce the damage to body cells and prevent chronic diseases. Green teas also boast a high count of polyphenols whose potential health benefits are immense.
Polyphenols have the potential to improve digestion, help with weight and diabetes management, and prevent or reduce the impact of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. It boasts a mammoth dose of polyphenols and catechins.
2. Boosts your energy levels
Compared to other green teas, it boasts three times the amount of caffeine as that of green tea. To put it into perspective, that is nearly as much caffeine as you get from a cup of coffee (caffeine in different coffees is different).
If you need a jolt of energy from a hot beverage and don’t fancy coffee, then (matcha) green tea is a good alternative.
3. Reduces anxieties
A big problem with coffee is that it leaves you with a caffeine crash. It can not only cause anxiety, but it can also lead to stress when you can’t be as alert and you would like. (Matcha) green tea mitigates this thanks to L-theanine.
Research shows that the amino acid L-theanine potentially reduces stress, making this tea an ideal alternative if you suffer from anxiety. L-theanine also boosts your alertness so you feel more energized for longer.
4. Boosts productivity & potentially prevents cancer
According to a study in 2017, researchers found that matcha tea drinkers had heightened attention and cognitive speeds after an hour of consuming (matcha) green tea. The result was likely due to the combined benefits of EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate), and caffeine.
EGCg boasts a host of potential health benefits. For starters, researchers think it has anti-inflammatory properties, help with weight loss and aid in the prevention of heart and brain disease. Researchers also agree that EGCg helps prevent cell damage from free radicals.
Of all catechins in matcha green tea bags, EGCg is the most potent. Although there is no definite proof that these green tea bags have anti-cancer properties, the potent antioxidant linked to cancer prevention makes it a contender for anti-cancer foods.
Many studies have shown that EGCg has cancer inhibiting properties that may kill malignant cells.
An additional benefit of EGCg is its properties that reduce LDL in the body. LDL is bad cholesterol – the type that leads to blocked arteries leading to a heart attack and strokes.
5. More satisfying than coffee or brewed tea
It is made from matcha powder which makes the tea heavier and more nutritious than traditionally brewed tea. Typically, it is mixed with dairy milk or a non-dairy substitute such as oat or almond milk. The blend makes it more satisfying than the average tea.
However, if you are buying your matcha tea from a café rather than making it at home, ask what the barista uses in the mix. A pre-made mix has fewer benefits than the actual matcha powder blend made on site and is less flavorful.
6. Amazing natural food dye
If you don’t fancy a cup of (Matcha) green tea, there are other ways of enjoying the benefits of the matcha powder. One of those ways is by using the powder to bake matcha green tea cakes. Because of the strong green hue of matcha tea leaves, matcha powder boasts properties that make it an ideal food dye.
To make matcha green tea cakes, mix your dough with some matcha powder for additional nutritional value. Matcha green tea cakes also boast a tinge of green color thanks to the strong chlorophyll of matcha tea leaves.
Now that we understand the value of matcha vs green tea, let’s review some matcha teas you can buy for home brewing. We will also look at matcha tea brewing accessories.
Matcha vs Green Tea – The Review
Before we get into the matcha vs green tea review, it is important to state that according to Japanese culture, the tea bag variant of green tea is not necessarily matcha as matcha means powder in Japanese. So, essentially, the only tea that qualifies as matcha is a blend of water and the fine powder of green tea leaves.
Buddha Teas Organic Matcha – Best Matcha Tea Bag
The Buddha teas pack of matcha green tea bags combines unbeatable nutrition with convenience. Unlike the traditional powder green tea that takes longer to prepare, tea bags are ideal for on-the-go preparation.
If you don’t have the time to brew and whisk a cup of matcha tea at home, the next best option is to use tea bags. Buddha teas pack each tea bag with antioxidant-rich matcha powder to help you brew your favorite cup of tea on days when there’s not enough time to whisk a cup.
The antioxidants in each cup of matcha tea will help you maintain your blood pressure and offset the effects of harmful UV rays have on your skin. For natural purity, Buddha teas use fully organic tea leaves giving you a product free of preservatives, synthetic flavors, or fillers.
The tea is tasty and gives you more energy than a cup of latte without the effects of a caffeine crash.
Rich in antioxidant, a matcha powder to help you brew your favorite cup of tea on days. It's tasty and gives more energy.
Jade leaf Matcha Ceremonial Grade Powder – Best Ceremonial Green Tea Matcha Powder
Getting to the real authentic stuff, our first choice of real premium Japanese matcha is the Jade leaf powder. For a background, traditional matcha comes in two versions – premium ceremonial grade and culinary matcha.
We use culinary grade matcha for matcha green tea cakes, shakes, and smoothies.
Ceremonial grade matcha like Jade leaf is used in ceremonies to brew tea. The biggest difference between the two is that ceremonial matcha is made with younger tea leaves. The younger tea leaves give the ceremonial Matcha a smoother flavor and texture.
Jade leaf has a relationship formed over the years with family farms in Japan’s Uji region in Kyoto prefecture. It is from the Uji region that jade leaf sources their premium, organic sencha green tea leaves that are traditionally stone ground for the most authentic matcha.
If you are looking for the real organic deal, jade leaf’s green matcha powder is 100% certified organic by the USDA. Jade leaf uses tea leaves that have been grown under shades and that are 4 weeks from harvest.
By picking the tea a month from harvest time, the company ensures the leaves have a higher nutritional value. The leaves are picked selectively and they remove the stems and veins to improve smoothness and enhance the taste. Stone grinding ensures optimal nutrient retention for a brew fit for a king.
This tea is made with younger tea leaves, is 100% certified organic by the USDA with great flavor and texture.
Zenato Culinary Green Tea Matcha – Best Culinary Matcha
If you are looking for a multipurpose matcha, the Zenato bag of culinary green tea matcha makes its entry on our list of top three thanks to its versatility. Zenato’s matcha is ideal for bakers, smoothie and latte lovers, and for all-around culinary experts.
Heck, one user on Amazon even made a video using Zenato matcha powder topically. If you are wondering about the topical benefits of matcha, here is a quick list:
• Improves skin complexion
• Reduces puffy eyes and dark circles
• Fights aging signs
• Treats acne and pimples
• Works as a skin toner
• Stimulates hair growth
• Protects against sun damage
• Makes hair shiny
• Shrinks open pores
• Exfoliates skin
No, you did not read that wrong. As long as your matcha is 100% natural and USDA organic with no additives, you can use it topically to enjoy the benefits. If you thought the only way to enjoy the benefits of matcha is as a drink, you know better now.
If you don’t want to drink it, why not make a mask and wear it?
Matcha is also great if you are on a diet as it has detoxifying properties on top of all the benefits of whole tea leaves. Zenato stands out as, despite its grade as a culinary matcha which is typically inferior to ceremonial matcha, it is smoother and more aromatic than most other culinary matchas.
Zenato’s matcha is 100% organic, ideal for bakers, smoothie and latte lovers, and for all-around culinary experts.
Now that you understand the benefits of matcha tea and with our top choice of premium green teas above, what else do you need to brew a cup?
Making green tea matcha requires special tools kits. Apart from the powder, you need a chasen whisk and whisk holder, a scoop, a sifter, and a bowl. And keeping to the original Japanese fashion of preparation, your toolset should be made out of bamboo.
If you have come this far, you are officially an Otaku, and it’s about time to order your powder and matcha set so you can brew yourself a cup of green tea matcha. Matcha might not be your regular beverage but if you are looking for a healthier, more nutritious alternative to your everyday cup of coffee or tea, switch to matcha.