What On Earth Is Matcha?

Contrary to popular belief, it's not (exactly) green tea

Casey Chong

12 February 2022

What is Matcha?

Matcha is a fine green powder, made from grinding the fresh green tea leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant

To prepare Matcha tea, Matcha powder is whisked with hot water to form a suspension with a frothy texture. 

What's in the name?

In Japanese, "Matcha" or "抹茶" means "finely powdered tea".

"Matcha" refers to both the powder, as well as the resultant beverage from preparation of the powder.

As such, the term "Matcha Tea" is a bit of a misnomer, since Matcha already contains "tea" in it!

Here, we simply call it "Matcha".

Isn't Matcha just green tea?

While Matcha and green tea are both made from the same Camellia Sinensis plant, there are several important differences between the two.

Matcha has higher antioxidant concentration

When you brew a cup of green tea, you throw away all the valuable antioxidants and minerals left trapped in the tea leaves.

Water can only extract a fraction of the goodness inside the tea leaves.

With Matcha, you ingest the entire leaf!

Because real Matcha is made from green tea leaves ground into powder, drinking Matcha means you get all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids in the entire tea leaf.

In fact, one cup of Matcha can have 10 times the amount of antioxidants as one cup of regular green tea!

The increased amount of antioxidants naturally found in Matcha will help you get rid of free radicals and boost overall health.

When you compare what’s offered in a single serving, there is a significant difference between Matcha vs Green Tea.

Matcha is prepared differently

The preparation process for Matcha vs Green Tea is significantly different.

Green tea just needs to be steeped in water. 

Matcha is a powder, so it is prepared by mixing evenly with water to create a uniform suspension.

Remember: because real Matcha is made from ground tea leaves, it doesn't actually fully dissolve in water!

Because Matcha is actually a tea suspension, a Matcha Whisk is usually used to 'agitate' the Matcha particles into a suspension.

You'll need to sieve the Matcha powder in a bowl, add water (it shouldn’t be boiling!), then whisk the Matcha. 

Matcha is grown in the shade

When Matcha is cultivated, the tea plant is grown in the shade for several weeks prior to harvest. 

This process protects the plant from sunlight, reduces bitterness, and increases chlorophyll production. 

This is also why Matcha is often bright green compared to green tea, which is duller in colour. 

Matcha tastes richer and more intense

Despite being made from the same plant, green tea and Matcha taste fairly different.

Green tea is usually lighter, more refreshing and slightly earthy. If steeped for too long, it can also be slightly bitter.

Matcha is much richer and more intense than green tea - it can be described as grassy, earthy or vegetal. 

Matcha Lattes are popular for this reason - because Matcha is so rich in flavour, it manages not to be overpowered by the added milk.

Typically, good Matcha also contains floral tasting notes, and does not have a bitter aftertaste.

The truth is that Matcha is healthier, but also more expensive and more inconvenient to prepare. 

That being said, both of them are great, refreshing teas!

Want to try Matcha?

Here's how we can help.

Have you tried Matcha that's bitter, leaves a powdery feeling on your tongue, and just tastes like grass?

Well, this isn't that type of Matcha.

Unlike other brands that offer the cheapest Matcha available, we believe in making healthy taste good.

That's why our favourite Matcha is organic and silky smooth.

Plus, it won't burn a hole in your wallet.

It's the perfect way to get started.

Our Secret to Great Tasting Matcha

Uji Matcha is cultivated in Uji, Kyoto - the Matcha capital of the world.

As suppliers of Japanese feudal nobility, Uji’s tea farmers have perfected their craft over centuries. 

This, combined with Uji’s enviable geography of fertile soil and sloping hills, makes Uji Matcha sweeter than Matcha from elsewhere.

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