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A Comparison Between Matcha and Green Tea


Tea is one of the most popular beverages the world over and has been around longer than we can fathom. Being a favorite among many people, it not only serves a nutritional purpose but is also used for ritualistic purposes and even ceremonial roles such as the famous traditional Japanese tea ceremony. There are several types of tea, and these include matcha tea and regular green tea.


Matcha Tea

matcha


Matcha is a smooth, velvety powder that is obtained by finely grinding specially grown and processed tea leaves derived from the Camellia sinensis plant. The tea leaves are said to be “specially grown” because they are grown under shade for about three or more weeks before they are harvested which increases the amount of chlorophyll, a powerful polyphenol, in the tea leaves. During this shaded growth, the Camellia sinensis plant can produce more theanine and caffeine which account for the tea’s rich taste and the calming energy it gives people after drinking matcha. When its harvest time, only the finest tea buds are handpicked. The leaves are then ground slowly using millstones that are not too warm to preserve the aroma. Matcha tea is normally categorized into three grades namely the ceremonial grade, the premium grade and the culinary grade.


Green Tea

green tea


Green tea, is a type of tea made from the same Camellia sinensis plant that matcha tea is made from. Unlike for black tea, the leaves are not allowed to undergo withering and oxidation. There are several varieties of green tea that have glaring differences due to the varying growing conditions, production, processing, horticultural methods, harvesting time and even the kind of Camellia sinensis plant used.


Matcha Tea and Green Tea Similarity and Difference

matcha tea powder and green tea powder


1. These two tea types have several differences and only one significant similarity. The similarity is that both types are derived from the Camellia sinensis plant.


2. The difference between matcha and green tea include the fact that matcha tea powder has a deep, bright green color, unlike the regular green tea that can spot a brown and dull color. This rich green color is due to the high concentration of chlorophyll in the leaves. Matcha tea is also different from regular green tea regarding texture. As earlier stated in its definition, matcha tea has a fine and smooth feel when touched while green tea feels a bit rough and gritty like dried, crushed-up leaves. When it comes to taste, most people concur that matcha tea has a better taste than green tea; especially the premium grades of matcha tea. For instance, the ceremonial grade of matcha requires no sweetener or addition of any dairy products to be palatable. Green tea usually tends to have a slightly bitter taste depending on the level of quality and the duration of steeping and is therefore regarded inferior in taste to matcha tea.


3. Matcha and green tea are also very different when it comes to processing. After handpicking of the finest tea buds, the stems and veins are removed, and the tea leaves are ground into the matcha powder. For green tea, however, the tea leaves are steeped or brewed which means parts of the leaves are dipped and heated in hot water. Regular green tea also doesn’t require the special growing conditions matcha tea needs like being grown in the shade. During preparation, the best temperature for mixing matcha tea with water is 175 degrees Fahrenheit while regular green tea is mostly boiled to 212 degrees Fahrenheit which ends up having a detrimental impact on its nutritional value. The most profound and acute difference between these two kinds of is in terms of nutritional value with matcha tea emerging superior. The first reason why matcha tea is more nutritious than green tea is that in its processing, the entire tea leaf is ground into powder and therefore no nutrients are lost as when the tea leaves are boiled in water when preparing green tea. Matcha tea also contains 137 times more antioxidants than green tea and also more polyphenols and amino acids which all have numerous nutritional benefits to the body like boosting immunity and enhancing metabolism.


Which One is More Better?

matcha tea brewing


In careful consideration of all these factors, from taste to texture to nutritional value, matcha tea is, on the whole, better than green tea. Green tea also has its benefits, but those of matcha tea greatly overshadow them. So if you are looking to take in a lot of nutrients in just one cup, then matcha tea powder should be your number one choice.




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