Did you know that tea is considered the 2nd most consumed drink after water? Well, now you know. Tea is categorized into four types, namely green tea, black tea, white tea, and Oolong tea. Among the four types, green tea is considered the most nutritious and is also known to have a wide range of health benefits.
Talking about green tea, it is categorized into different groups, including Sencha, which is the normal green tea, Konacha, Bancha, Gyokuro, Kabusecha, Matcha, etc. Among these tea types, Matcha and Sencha (normal green tea) are the most known teas.
However, most people do not differentiate these two types of green tea, which is why we have compiled this guide to shed light on everything you need to know about green tea and matcha.
Both green tea and matcha are derived from a plant known as Camellia Sinensis. Whereas green tea often comes packaged in the form of tea bags, Matcha comes in powdered form.
In essence, Matcha is 100 percent green tea leaves, but now in fine powder form. However, it is more concentrated because of being finely ground. This means that ½-1 teaspoon of Matcha is enough per cup. To put this into perspective, when drinking matcha, you are consuming the whole tea leaf.
In terms of processing, regular green tea is made by grinding tea leaves that have dried in the sun. On the other hand, matcha bushes are dried under cover to boost amino acid and chlorophyll levels.
When it comes to taste, both share the grassy undertones taste, but for matcha, it is richer and more buttery.
Let’s discuss these difference in greater depth.
As we mentioned before, both green tea and matcha are produced by the same plant called Camellia Sinensis. To make green tea, the leaves are sun-dried. After that, they are shredded to make them fit in tea bags. In this state, you just infuse them in hot water and enjoy your tea.
For matcha tea, processing is quite different. The plants are shielded from the sun in their final months of maturity. They are put in shade or cover to boost production of Theanine and chlorophyll. These two elements give you the ability to relax and calm the body's nervous system.
When processing, only the inner leaves are used, which explains why the powder has vibrant color and richer flavor. The stems and veins are removed, and the remaining parts of the leaves are ground to a fine powder that is finer in texture. To enjoy matcha, add it to hot water and whisk until the drink becomes creamy and foamy.
This is one of the deciding factors since it dictates whether you will buy it or not. In terms of taste, both green tea and matcha have a grassy undertone. You will also find others having a tad bitter taste depending on how it was dried.
However, you can reduce the bitterness level of green tea by lowering its brewing temperature. If you are an unaccustomed drinker, you can add honey or a bit of sugar to make it tastier to drink.
On the other hand, Matcha has a sweet taste, and unlike green tea, it forms a consistent cream. However, it is important to point out that there are two main grades of matcha- ceremonial and culinary.
Ceremonial grade has a sweet flavor and a pure taste. Those who have tried it describe it as tea with a perfect balance of bitterness, sweetness, and grassiness. That's why it is drunk independently as tea.
On the other hand, culinary grade matcha has a slightly bitter taste and features an astringent flavor. That’s why it is meant to be mixed with several other ingredients to make drink and food recipes.
As mentioned earlier, during processing, green tea is left to dry in the sun which means its color will be different from that of matcha, which is taken into the shade during the final month of growth.
Consequently, green tea takes brown, dull color while matcha retains its vibrant green color thanks to high levels of chlorophyll.
Standard green tea comes in tea bags, and thus is steeped in hot water or boiled at high temperatures of up to 222 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, Matcha tea is whisked with a bamboo whisk in hot water until it becomes frothy tea- Japanese way of preparation.
Elsewhere, green tea is steeped in hot water and later discarded once all the content has been drained from the tea bag. However, for matcha, you consume the whole leaf since the powdered dissolves in hot water, forming a creamy, foamy drink.
Standard green tea is normally made in a teapot and later powered in drinking cups, while matcha green tea is prepared in individual cups.
Thanks to its powdered form, matcha tea is commonly added in cooking recipes and baking ingredients as well as in other drinks such as smoothies and lattes.
Although the two are regarded as superfoods, when you dig deeper into the nutritional profile of each one of them, you will find out that matcha is better than green tea.
Because of it being steeped and its remains discarded, green team is regarded as a weaker version to matcha. Matcha dissolves fully in water because of its powder form, and thus you reap all the benefits since you are consuming the whole leaf.
However, besides this logic, the nutritional difference is evident in the antioxidant count. Matcha is richer in antioxidant as compared to regular green tea with 137 times more antioxidants. Besides, it has more amino acids, fiber, and caffeine. Matcha is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin C.
In terms of health benefits, matcha helps to boost energy and metabolism, lower cholesterol, improve memory and mood, detoxify the body of harmful toxins, and also improve skin health. Therefore, it not only serves as a tasty drink but also a refreshing and revitalizing drink that improves your overall health.
On the other hand, green tea improves brain function, increase fat burning, and has antioxidants that lower risk of some type of cancers.
In conclusion, both green tea and matcha are different types of teas in virtually all forms with the biggest differences emerging in the way the teas are processed, prepared, and how they taste.
So, are you team regular green tea or team Matcha?
Every tea accessory used during Cha no Yu- a Japanese tea ceremony is crafted using an ancient method. Raku is a classic method that was often used to make "Chawan”- the bowl used in Japanese tea ceremonies.
Raku Chawan or Raku tea bowls are recently gaining a lot of global attention, which is why it is important that you learn a thing or two about these tea bowls. After reading this guide, you will truly appreciate Raku ware.