Green tea, among a variety of beverages, is one of the healthiest drink on the earth. Its loaded antioxidants and nutrients provide incredible benefits to the body.
Research accepts it to be the best solution for an improved brain function, activeness in the body, weight loss, lowered risk of cancer and a lot more.
It is, in fact, now become a popular drink across the globe. Green tea is available in a lot of varieties.
One of its healthy range is the Matcha which is claimed to be more robust than all other types of the green tea.
The matcha is cultivated and prepared in a diversified manner. It involves consumption of the entire tea leaf.
Let us understand how the two are planted, prepared and what makes them different from each other.
All about Green Tea
Green tea, including its variant Matcha, originates from the Camellia Sinensis plant. You might be wondering how sources from a single type of a plant can get you so many variations?
The difference arises because of the different environments in which the leaves are grown and harvested. The amount of sunlight that the plant receives and the manner of its harvesting makes all the difference.
If the green tea is exposed to less sunlight or harvested early, it will have more quantity of caffeine. It will also have more of L-Theanine which is a non-dietary amino acid. This variant of green tea thus supports as a natural relaxant.
On the other hand, if the green tea gets more exposure to the sunlight, it converts the naturally present L-Theanine component into powerful antioxidant known as Catechin.
All about Matcha
The matcha and green tea, we know, both are originated from the Camellia Sinensis plant and are cultivated natively in China. However, the two are pretty different with their features.
In case of matcha, the tea plants are covered before the harvest for a month. The covering ensures prevention of the sunlight. The shade enhances the chlorophyll levels that turn the color of the leaf into a darker shade of green.
This happens due to amplified levels of amino acids.
Once the plants are harvested, the stems and veins are separated from the leaves. These are then stone-grounded converting it into a fine bright green powder termed as matcha.
When we drink matcha, we intake the whole leaves instead of just the water with the essence of these leaves. Thus, matcha holds more volume of some of the green tea substances. It includes all the required antioxidants and caffeine.
In one cup of matcha, a half teaspoon of the powder is usually desirable. This will have 35 grams of caffeine, i.e., a little more than what you’d have consumed in the green tea.
Matcha is sort of grassy and just like green tea has a bitter taste. It may thus be served with milk or sweetener.
Many people simply add the fine powder to warm water and have it in its raw form. It allows them to intake high quantity of nutrients. We can also use the matcha powder to make smoothies, soups, purees or in baking.
It is thus a high-quality form of green tea, differently prepared, containing more quantity of antioxidants and caffeine. Consumed in its raw form, a single cup of matcha holds the power of 10 cups of green tea.
Matcha vs. Green Tea – The Difference
While matcha is in its 100% pure powdered form, it is more concentrated compared to the green tea. Thus, it requires the addition of only a half to one teaspoon of matcha powder per cup.
While consuming matcha, we are actually absorbing the entire tea leaf.
The production process for the regular green tea is relatively longer. The tea leaves here get more exposure to the sun. But in case of matcha, we cover the leaves to increase the amino acid levels, and chlorophyll.
When it comes to the taste, both have a grassy flavor, matcha having more of it along with a buttery flavor. Let’s discuss how both make a difference:
- The internal health
- As oxidants
- Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
- Caffeine Content
- Color, texture, and taste
- Relaxation and Alertness
Green Tea to the Internal Health
Burns Fat – One of the major reasons why green tea is a popular healthy beverage is its ability to burn fat. The green tea improves the body’s metabolic rate helping you burn out the fats. Since green tea contains caffeine content, it mobilizes the fatty acids from the fat tissues increases the levels of energy in the body.
Improves Dental Health – Yes, green tea also impacts the dental health. The catechins present in the green tea prevent your teeth from bacterial growth reducing the risks of infections and bad breath.
Improves Brain Functions – While green tea has lesser caffeine compared to matcha and coffee, it still affects the body. Moreover, the L-theanine content combining with caffeine boosts up your brain functions.
Less Risk of Cancer – since there is a high concentration of antioxidants, the tea develops lower risks of cancer. These antioxidants fight against the oxidative damage causing cancers in the body.
Matcha to the Internal Health
The Matcha being a component of green tea, it has similar health benefits. However, a significant difference between the two is the effect of the nutritional value.
One cup of matcha gives ten times the nutritional value obtained from the green tea.
ORAC testing states that matcha has 130 times more calcium content and 172 times more protein compared to a regular green tea.
Matcha has 70 grams of caffeine content for every 2 grams. Thus when it comes to health benefits of caffeine, matcha has a higher capacity to contribute since it has more of caffeine compared to the green tea.
Thus, matcha tea can be a solution to gaining more alertness in the body and the brains. Excess of antioxidants and caffeine is a great solution to the weight loss too.
Matcha vs Green Tea Antioxidants
Since we know that the matcha leaves undergo cultivation 20-30 days before the actual harvest, it has plenty of antioxidants. To this, the research says that it holds 137 times the value of antioxidants present in the green tea.
With such massive quantity of antioxidants, it helps boost your immune system.
Moreover, these antioxidants are virtuous for the heart. They are known to fight against the UV radiations giving you a smoother skin. Antioxidants avert many other illnesses in the body.
The diseases in the body arise when the radical cells outbreak the healthy cells present in the body. Consequently, the antioxidants stop these cell damages taking place in the body.
The research states multiple benefits of green tea and matcha for the skin. The green tea has the ability to reduce inflammation and appearance of sun damage. It reduces the signs of aging and soothes the sensitive skin.
Green tea also helps in making the acne scars on the body disappear. This is possible because of the catechin. Components present in the green tea induce inflammation on the skin that contributes to calming the acne.
Color, Texture, and Taste
The green tea powder has a dull green color when compared to the matcha tea. The variation arises because matcha has more quantity of chlorophyll that makes them look brighter.
The matcha powder has a fine texture. It is as fine as the softness of a talc.
The green tea, on the other hand, is not at all smooth. One can easily recognize the crushed-up leaves.
Coming to the taste factor, green tea, on the other hand, tastes bitter. You will find matcha begets a better taste.
This is why, matcha is easy to consume, in fact generally consumed, without adding any sweetener or milk.
Nevertheless, one may consider adding sugar to the green tea for it to taste better.
Are there any Side Effects or say adverse effects?
Excess consumption of anything is bad. And so is the consumption of the two beverages. Identifying the side effects, we realize that excess intake of matcha may cause adverse effects on health.
Due to excess caffeine content, matcha is likely to cause a headache, insomnia, heartburn, irritation and even constipation in some people.
Thus, it is imperative to consider the quantity intake of the same.
Similarly, excess consumption of green tea is also not good for health. Especially if you are a pregnant woman or breastfeeding, do not intake more than two cups of green tea.
In general, the green tea is likely to increase the capacity of anemia in the body.
It may also cause glaucoma as it increases the blood pressure in the eyes.
Further, green tea also flushes out the calcium content through urine. Thus, extreme consumption can make your bones weaker.
Processing and preparation methods
The matcha tea powder undergoes processing until it stands in its finest form. People harvest it by hand. They separate stems and veins individually and convert it into powdered.
On the other hand, cultivators prepare the green tea from the stepping parts of the green tea leaf in hot water.
To prepare a cup of matcha, we generally add the matcha powder to the water holding temperature of 175° Fahrenheit. In case of a regular green tea, we boil it in water at 212° Fahrenheit. However, the boiling of green tea destroys a huge sum of nutritional benefits.
Which is healthier, Matcha or the Green Tea?
Considering the overall impact and benefits of each of the two beverages, Matcha wins over green tea. Moreover, when it comes to consumption, the Matcha has a better taste which makes it a preferable one.
While green tea leaves are used only for the purpose of making tea, matcha is demanded in a wide variety of food. Defeating the green tea concerning its benefits, uses, taste and healthy features, matcha wins the game.