Matcha vs Green Tea – Is there a Difference?
Are matcha and green tea the same? The answer isn’t simple but, as it turns out, there are quite a few differences between the two.
Matcha and green tea both originate from the Camellia sinensis plant. The varieties of green tea are largely determined by where the tea is grown and how it’s processed. On the other hand, matcha is created from the same plant, but is shaded from the sun for its last few weeks of growth prior to harvest. This increases the chlorophyll content of the leaves and gives matcha it’s characteristic vibrant green color.
Green tea undergoes processing which involves steaming or pan-firing the harvested leaves. This helps to prevent oxidation and locks in the color and flavor. The leaves are then dried and cut or rolled into the familiar tea we know. Matcha is processed by grinding the entire leaf into a very fine powder, which means you are ingesting the entire leaf when you drink it.
The appearance of matcha and green tea is quite different. Green tea typically looks like wrinkled, dried leaves or small pellets, while matcha appears to be a very fine, bright green, powdered tea.
Green tea usually has a slightly earthy and grassy flavor, while due to its higher specific chlorophyll content, matcha tea has a slightly sweeter and much umami tasting flavor.
Both green tea and matcha are high in antioxidants, amino acids, and offer a range of health benefits. Matcha, however, has higher levels of some of these antioxidants which may make it a better choice for those looking to maximize their health benefits.
In summary, while both matcha and green tea originate from the same plant, they are processed in different ways and have some distinct differences in terms of appearance, taste and health benefits. If you are looking for a more potent health boost and richer umami taste, then matcha may be the right choice for you.