What are matcha vs green tea most important differences? Green tea is a king among teas. People from the entire world drink green tea every day for the pleasure and for different kinds of reasons. Matcha is also a very popular tea these days; we can see matcha recipes all over the internet. But what is the difference between these two teas? What is better to drink, matcha or green tea?
Let’s see what green tea and matcha have in common and what are the main differences you should know about.
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is a type of Japanese green tea that has been used for many years as natural refreshment. It is primarily prepared as a tea. Did you know that it is also used in Kit Kat Chocolates, and even in the Coca-Cola in Japan?
This green tea powder is prepared from a special type of green tea that has many positive effects on physical and psychological well-being and supports the body’s natural resilience and vitality. This tea is the most popular these days and people love to prepare matcha as a tea, latte and in different culinary recipes.
Matcha allows monks to go into a higher state of consciousness because of the L-theanine amino acid. It stimulates the formation of alpha brain waves, which are characteristic of the awake and at the same time relaxed state.
In addition, it promotes the formation of dopamine and serotonin, which improve mood, memory and concentration. Samurai drank it before the fight, which in this way provided the necessary energy.
Matcha will surprise you with its taste, as it is very specific, nutty and slightly bitter. The darker the shade of tea is, the stronger aroma it has. Matcha is highly appreciated because it increases concentration and preserves cleverness. It balances energy and improves body metabolism. Matcha grows and prepares in a very special way.
Matcha has many health benefits and these are just a few:
- It contains many different antioxidants, including effective EGCG
- It stimulates metabolism and calorie consumption
- Efficiently and naturally detoxifies the body (detox)
- It calms and releases the body
- It is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
- Improves well-being and helps with concentration
- It contains vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
- It prevents the development of the disease
- It lowers the level of cholesterol and sugar in the blood
If you want to prepare matcha on a traditional way you should have a matcha set that includes a matcha bowl, a bamboo spoon and a bamboo whisk.
Green tea is one of the world’s healthiest beverages, proving the long and healthy life of the Okinawa inhabitants, who place this fragrant drink daily on their menus. Numerous scientific research confirmed exceptional healing powers of green tea.
Green tea is a real tea which is made of a plant named Camellia sinensis. It is the only tea that is not fermented. Green tea is heated immediately after harvesting, which prevents fermentation. In this way, green tea also keeps all the natural substances and characteristics.
China and Japan produce the most green tea in the world. Most of the tea production is done manually in China. This type of tea is very expensive and wanted the most.
Drinking Green Tea for Health
Green tea has a positive effect on our health. It contains many antioxidants that actively affect well-being. Catechins, polyphenols, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, amino acids and other medicinal substances are found in this tea. Therefore we consume important ingredients for health by drinking it. In addition, we can enjoy and relax at the cup of tea at the same time.
This slightly bitter yellow-green potion has been known in Asia for thousands of years as a source of health and youth. In addition to protecting body cells from free radicals, it also helps them to protect themselves from damage caused by sunshine, which is why it is recommended to drink in the summer. Regular consumption of green tea should significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, relieve symptoms of diabetes, and increase the possibility of getting pregnant.
The beneficial effects of green tea on cancer include testimonies of many cancer patients who have managed to overcome the disease. Scientists have also confirmed its preventative properties in this disease. Green tea is a helpful companion in discomfort, such as diarrhea. As an antioxidant, green tea is an excellent anti-aging tool for maintaining a youthful appearance. Thanks to an exceptional combination of caffeine and other active ingredients; it also helps with weight loss.
Green Tea Types
In general we know over 1500 types of green tea. Let’s just mention the most appreciate ones.
Chinese green teas
Chinese green tea is harvested only in the early spring, which means that the tea leaves have only a short time to grow. Chinese does not only harvest leaves, but also young buds. More than 600 different varieties of green tea are grown in China, thus providing a rich choice of green tea.
When processing green tea, the leaves are mostly roasted in a pan to dry them well. In rare cases they are dried in ovens, in the sun or with a steam. Further processing is done manually. The farmers twist the tea leaves into various shapes, such as balls, curves, spirals, spears, etc.
When preparing Chinese green tea, use water with a temperature between 70 and 80° C and soak up the tea for up to 3 minutes. This helps to extract a flavor that is stronger and richer than in a grassy Japanese tea.
Long jing or dragon well is the most famous and respected green tea in the world. It is considered as a number one among Chinese green teas. Farmers harvest the tea leaves in the spring before the rainy season starts. They select only the youngest tea leaves that give the tea a characteristic emerald color and a gentle aroma.
Bi Luo Chun is an exceptional tea, which occupies the second place in terms of popularity and quality. The farmers pick it close to the fruit trees that give a tea a special flavor. Tea is processed manually in a typical snail form. This tea has a fresh and sweet taste.
Japanese green teas
Japanese harvest the tea tree leaves for a longer period that last from late spring to autumn. This allows the leaves on the tree to grow longer. The farmers harvest both smaller and younger leaves (for Sencha tea) as well as mature and larger leaves (for Bancha tea).
It is interesting that for a variety of Japanese green teas only one species of tea tree is grown, and that is Yabukita. We know gyokuro, sencha, bancha, matcha, tamaryokucha and others. What does matcha vs green tea have in common? They both come from the same tea plant.
Gyokuro is a quality green tea from Japan, which definitely belongs to the very top of green teas. Tea shrubs grow in the bamboo shade. Therefore tea leaves produce more chlorophyll and contain less thein. The tea in the cup develops a sweet and softer taste with a subtle floral aroma.
Sencha is green Japanese tea, which is one of the most popular and recognizable. It has an extremely strong flavor with a subtle flavor with dominant note and is therefore especially suitable for those who enjoy the aroma of more powerful green teas. Since Sencha is harvested in the spring, it has a higher content of thein and also contains a lot of antioxidants.
Bancha is a green tea, which undoubtedly belongs to Japanese classics. This tea is harvested at the end of the growing season and contains less thein. It is also known as a daily tea, because you will not have problems with insomnia while drinking it. Bancha is a basic drink at a macrobiotic diet.
Tamaryokucha is a green Japanese tea, which is a good choice for all green tea lovers. The taste of tea itself is extremely rich in aromatic taste, which stimulates and contains antioxidants. Due to all its characteristics Tamaryokucha ranks in the very top of Japanese teas.
Japanese Vs Chinese Green Teas
The main difference between Japanese and Chinese green tea is of course in processing. In Japan, green tea is steamed after harvesting to prevent fermentation. The dried tea leaves form into elongated needles of the same size and shape (Sencha tea) or grind them in fine powder (Matcha tea) with a special machine.
For the preparation of Japanese tea, soak the tea leaves in a hot water, which has 70 to 80° C, but no longer than 2 minutes. The taste of green tea with its fresh and grassy aroma reminds us very much of the spring. Japanese green tea has slightly more antioxidants, making it a healthier choice.
Matcha Vs Green Tea
There are some crucial differences between matcha and green tea. Let’s see which features make matcha even more powerful than green tea.
Matcha and green tea are made from the same plant – Camelia sinensis. But there is a difference in production process of matcha powder. Its special production process begins a few weeks before collecting the tea leaves, when tea trees are covered with tarpaulins to protect them from direct sunlight. It slows down their growth, while the leaves retain a lot of chlorophyll, which is also evident in the vibrant green color of matcha tea.
Harvested tea leaves are processed with steam, dried and all stems and impurities are removed. At the end the tea leaves are grounded with fine stones so we get matcha powder. Green tea is not grounded so this is one of the vital differences also. Due to a low crop quantity and demanding production of matcha, it is reasonably more expensive than green tea.
Matcha is a sort of green tea. When we prepare a classic green tea, we soak the green tea leaves of the tea tree Camelia sinensis in the hot water and then remove them. When we drink matcha, we consume whole green tea leaves because they are ground in powder. So, with drinking matcha you consume whole tea leaves and not just their extract as in green tea, which means more antioxidant intake.
One cup of powdered matcha tea is equivalent to 10 cups of normally cooked green tea in terms of nutrition. We take the whole leaf and consequently all its nutrients when drinking matcha green tea. Matcha green tea powder contains 137 times more antioxidants than usually cooked green tea. 100g of matcha has 5 times more L-theanine than equal quantity of green tea, which means more creativity, learning ability and memory.
Losing Extra Weight
If you are considering for a detox or/and weight loss, you should decide for matcha. Matcha has more chlorophyll than green tea because of tarpaulins which cover the tea trees before harvesting. Chlorophyll is wonderful for a detox because it will purify your body of toxins, heavy metals and help your digestive system. Matcha has more concentrated amount of antioxidants which should have a greater fat burning effect than green tea itself.
When preparing a green tea, all you need is to boil the water and leave it for so long that it will reach the temperature between 70 and 80°C. Take a green tea bag or green tea loose leaves and pure them with water. Wait for about 2-3 minutes, remove a tea bag or tea leaves and your green tea cup is ready.
Matcha prepares differently and is a little more demanding than green tea preparation. It is best to prepare matcha tea in a matcha cup with a bamboo whisk and a bamboo spoon. Boil the water and cool it down to a maximum of 80 and at least 60 degrees. Pour about 100 ml of hot water over 1-2 tablespoons of powder (1-2 g).
Take a bamboo whisk and mix it immediately in a W shape and don’t let the whisk touch the bottom of the cup. You can sift matcha and prevent the formation of lumps in the tea.
Drink It and Be Healthy
Drinking green tea and matcha are very healthy choice to make. Both are a perfect hot beverage as a morning or afternoon drink that you can prepare for yourself or your friends.
Nevertheless which you decide to drink for relaxation, good health or other reasons, green tea leaves will do you much good. Both green tea and matcha contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and caffeine, just that matcha is more powerful regarding taste, health benefits and the way of preparation. I invite you to try both and decide which you prefer as your daily relaxation drink.