Is Matcha and Green Tea the Same?
The short answer is no, matcha is not the same as green tea. Matcha and green tea are both made from the same tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, but their processing and production differ.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a unique type of green tea. Before harvest, it is shade-grown for several weeks. This process increases the theanine, caffeine, and chlorophyll in the leaves. The leaves are hand-picked and steamed, then dried and ground into a fine powder. Matcha has a sweet, vegetal taste and is used for tea, lattes, smoothies, and baking.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is processed differently than matcha. After harvest, the tea leaves are steamed to stop the oxidation process. This gives it its signature green color, vegetal flavor, and grassy aroma. The leaves are then rolled and dried, resulting in a loose or bagged tea.
The Key Differences
- Processing: Matcha is shaded for several weeks then hand-picked, steamed and ground into a fine powder. Green tea is steamed, dried and rolled into leaves.
- Brewing: Matcha is mixed with water to make a cup of tea. Green tea is steeped like other loose-leaf teas.
- Taste: Matcha has a sweet, vegetal taste and subtle bitterness. Green tea has a grassy, vegetal flavor and mild astringency.
- Caffeine Content: Matcha has more caffeine than green tea, which has been attributed to its shade-growing process.
Therefore, matcha and green tea are not the same. While they come from the same Camellia Sinensis plant, the differences in their processing, brewing, taste and caffeine content make them unique products.