Green Tea vs. Matcha
As soon as people hear the word matcha, green tea also comes to mind because they are similar. How are green tea and matcha similar? How are they different?
In this article, we will determine the differences between each one and which one is better (spoiler alert: it’s matcha!).
What is Matcha?
Matcha is technically a green tea in a very fine powder form. Since matcha is so popular, the Matcha powder can come in several grades of quality, which we discuss further in this article. Good quality matcha (like our Koko Riko Tea Ceremonial Matcha Green Tea Powder AAA+ Grade) has a very bright vibrant green color and is very fine and in the texture. Ceremonial grade Matcha powder is almost like a paste when it is spread on paper. matcha has a umami flavour that is vegetal as some people describe it. We go into more detail about the flavour in our article here.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is the medium processed tea between white and black tea. Green tea can come in a wide variety of quality grades as well. Instead of being turned into powder, green tea is picked as the whole leaf of the camellia sinensis plant. After being picked from the tea bush, the leaves are processed by either roasting, steaming, or withering to achieve the desired taste.
What does matcha look like?
Matcha comes in a powdered form, but its appearance can vary greatly due to the wide range of qualities available in the market. Ceremonial grade matcha is a very fine powder, and it is a vibrant green. The taste of ceremonial grade matcha is pure and vegetal, with very little bitterness. On the other hand, low quality matcha is murky, and it could even be yellow in colour. The taste of low quality matcha is very bitter, so that’s why you see a lot of added sugars in many of the matcha products that you see on the market today.
What does green tea look like?
Green tea comes in two main forms: bagged tea varieties and loose leaf tea varieties. Similar to other teas, loose leaf green teas are usually higher quality than bagged teas. With bagged teas you will most likely see the cut tear crush (CTC) method used on the leaves whereas loose leaf teas try to keep the entire leaf intact. With certain green teas you may see different additions within the blend such as brown rice, flour petals, and fruits. Green tea may also come with added flavours to make the tea more palatable.
How much does matcha cost?
Matcha is hands down more expensive than green tea but with good reason! Ceremonial grade matcha is labor-intensive and tedious to produce. We go into more detail of how matcha is made in our article, Matcha Tea Ceremony In Japan.
How much does green tea cost?
Green Tea has a wide cost range, from just a few dollars for a good amount of tea bags to £30 or more per ounce. The reason why you can get green tea for very cheap is because green tea is not held to as high of a production standard as matcha. Often times, the green tea sold in tea bags are the “fannings” of tea production. Fannings are the pieces that fall off the equipment in tea production.
How can I make matcha at home?
Matcha can be prepared in many ways because it is a powder. You can bake with matcha, you can cook with matcha, and more! But our favorite method of preparing matcha is the Japanese traditional tea ceremony method, where you whisk the matcha powder into water with a bamboo whisk called a chasen (you can read more about the chasen in this article that we wrote, The Matcha Whisk).
How can I make green tea at home?
Green tea is prepared by steeping loose leaves or tea bags in hot, room temperature, or cold water for a specific amount of time depending on how strong you want it. The preparation of green tea is a bit more limiting because the green tea leaves must be steeped in water first. In order for the green tea not to dilute whatever recipe you’re preparing, you must make it in a concentrate, and even then the flavour might not show up as strongly as matcha.
Nutritional (it's not even close!)
Matcha has a stronger nutritional profile than green tea! Green tea has all of these nutritional compounds, but at low amounts compared to matcha.
Matcha is packed with antioxidants and are the compounds that protect your cells and tissues from damage.
Matcha is also very high in EGCG which is a compound that bites inflammation in your body and helps promote cell repair healthy arteries and general inflammation in the body
Matcha has high levels of L-Theanine which helps calm and relax the mind and counteracts the high level of caffeine that is naturally in matcha which gives you a more sustained energy throughout the day instead of a jittery crash.
We go into more depth about the nutritional aspect of matcha in our Matcha Tea vs. Coffee article.
Good quality Matcha has a very bright vibrant green colour and is very fine and the texture of ceremonial matcha powder is almost like a paste when it is spread on paper.
Green tea is the medium processed tea between white and black tea. Green tea can come in a wide variety of quality grades as well.
Matcha comes in a powdered form but the way that it can look can vary greatly due to the wide range of qualities available in the market. Ceremonial grade matcha is a very fine powder, and it is a vibrant green.
Green tea comes in two main forms: bagged tea varieties and loose leaf tea varieties. Similar to other teas, loose leaf green tea’s are usually higher quality than bagged teas.
Because matcha is in powdered form it is much more versatile in the way that you can use it but the best way is in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony preparation.
Green tea is a little harder to work with and it’s not as versatile as much as you can pretty much just drink green tea as is and that’s it!
Nutritionally speaking, matcha is far above green tea in terms of caffeine L-Theanine mean EGCG and antioxidants.
Switching up your daily cup of green tea for a cup of Koko Riko Tea matcha? Tag us on Instagram @kokorikotea
WRITTEN BY TEABINX