We all know that some teas are healthier for you than others, and with so many varieties, there’s sure to be one for every person’s liking. In recent years, there has been much research into the health benefits of Green Tea; a tea leaf which originated in China and is the most popular tea of that country. Green tea has reached worldwide popularity in the last decade and is consumed for its many benefits such as reducing the risk for stroke, high blood pressure, and containing antioxidants which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Matcha is another type of tea that comes from the same plant as traditional Green Tea called Camellia Sinensis, which is a small shrub native to China. Green tea is made from the top of the leaves which are diluted by sunlight. Matcha is made from the leaves on the underneath of the plant which are shaded from the sun, thus producing a stronger flavor and more vibrant green color. Despite deriving from the same bush, these teas vary in their nutritional value among other differences. We will look at Matcha vs Green Tea and see which is better for consumers overall.
How It Is Made
The biggest difference between Green Tea and Matcha Powder is how the tea is made. Green Tea is made by steeping tea leaves in hot water until the flavors are infused into the water resulting in a faintly greenish-gold brew. Matcha Green Tea is made by infusing hot water with the Matcha powder, thus resulting in a frothy bright green tea drink. The drinks are very different in terms of flavor, strength, and nutritional content.
Different Processing Methods
Green Tea is cultured from the Camellia Sinensis bush in its natural form. Matcha is also cultured from the same bushes, but from ones that have been shaded for an extended period of time. This allows for a stronger concentration of chlorophyll which increases the intensity of the flavor, nutrients, and color. The leaves also undergo removal of their stems and veins whereas green tea is brewed from the entire leaf with its parts intact. Matcha leaves are shaded at the end of their growing cycle, cut, steamed, air dried, the stems and veins removed, then they are ground between grinding stones until the soft fine brightly green Matcha powder is remaining. Green Tea leaves are grown, cut, steamed, then rolled, and finally dried to the leafy tea that we have come to recognize.
As we look at Matcha vs Green Tea we learn that there is a drastic difference between the two types of tea. Green Tea has an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, and alkaloids; chemicals that stimulate the human brain (caffeine) which gives the tea a slightly bitter taste. Matcha contains over 137 times more antioxidants than an average cup of Green Tea from a tea bag. Not only is it a more nutritional drink, but it also is more versatile; you can use Matcha powder in many different recipes. It can be sprinkled on top of a favorite dessert, whipped into a smoothie, or added to a chilled summer fruit drink.
Matcha powder has also been traditionally used in Japanese Tea Ceremonies for centuries. These ceremonies have become a spiritual exercises that symbolize harmony, tranquility, and purity. Each movement that is made to prepare the traditional Japanese Tea is expertly carried out with precision and purpose. A traditional bowl or chawan is used into which several scoops of Matcha Powder is placed with a chashaku or Japanese spoon; essentially a long flat wooden stick which is curved at the end. A tiny amount of hot water is then added and blended into a paste with a chasen or whisk. After the paste is made, more hot water is added and the mixture is precisely stirred in zigzag motions until the mixture is frothy and smooth. The resulting tea should be foamy on the surface and bright green in appearance. There is great care and delicacy in the preparation of this ceremonial representation and it can take several hours from beginning to end.
With the comparison of Matcha vs Green Tea, it is easy to see how Matcha edges ahead as the superior nutritional drink; providing millions of people everyday with a perfectly blended boost of energy, antioxidants and vitamins keeping more people healthy each day, all over the world.
So, which do you prefer? Matcha Green Tea or Green Tea Bags, tell us below.