Matcha vs. Green Tea: What Are the Differences?
Matcha is everywhere these days — from your local coffee shop to the ingredient list on pancake mixes, ice creams, drink cans, cookies … But do you know exactly what it is? Can you tell the differences between matcha and green tea? And what about the benefits of this popular superfood? Here’s everything you need to know.
Matcha vs. Green Tea
Matcha is a specific kind of green tea that’s long been popular in Japan and China. It is grown differently so the leaves turn a darker green and produce more amino acids than what we think of as “regular” green tea. The veins and stems are removed from the leaves, which are stone-ground to form matcha powder. Because it is so concentrated, matcha contains more antioxidants, and significantly more caffeine, than a standard cup of green tea. That said, thanks to its strong flavor and caffeine content, you don’t usually consume much matcha at once and it is usually diluted in milk or in baked goods, as opposed to green tea, which is typically simply brewed in hot water.
What Are the Benefits of Matcha?
Since matcha is a concentrated form of green tea, it is believed that it packs the same health benefits, but even more so. That means what is true of green tea is probably true of matcha, but more-specific research on matcha is needed. Matcha may support brain function, concentration, mood and relaxation. Green tea is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, so this may apply to matcha as well. Another potential benefit is that it could reduce the risk factors for diabetes.
Is It Safe to Drink Matcha Every Day?
Short answer: Yes, matcha is safe for everyday use. The most-important aspect to be aware of when it comes to how much matcha you consume is its high caffeine content. As with coffee, you should drink (or eat!) matcha in moderation, listen to your body, and avoid caffeine later than mid-afternoon. Most adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine daily, so depending on how much caffeine is in your matcha product (check the box, because it varies), you should be able to have up to about 5 teaspoons daily. The caffeine in matcha has the benefit of giving you more-sustained energy and making you feel less jittery than coffee does. If you are pregnant or have a caffeine intolerance, however, consult a physician before adding matcha to your diet.
What Are the Best Ways to Use Matcha?
A prepared matcha drink mix is the easiest way to enjoy this product. Om’s Matcha Latte Blend is a hassle-free, delicious option made using ceremonial-grade matcha blended with functional mushrooms that are packed with health benefits for immune support: Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Turkey Tail and Chaga. It also contains Tulsi for balance and vibrant health. Just mix one sachet with 8 oz of your favorite milk or water, or try it cold in almond milk. An iced matcha latte is a great drink to serve at your barbeque party and you could even use it as a liquid base for smoothies. If you have ceremonial-grade matcha powder and don't know how to use it, this mushroom-powered matcha recipe is a great place to start. We also like it in white-chocolate chip cookies and panna cotta.
Matcha is a delicious way to get a natural energy boost, and is such a versatile ingredient. It’s a great one to start your day in style, whether in a latte or your weekend flapjacks.