Matcha versus Regular Green Tea

by Mariana McConnell on December 9, 2009

matcha-green-tea-powderGreen tea is green tea is green tea. Right?

Actually no. There are major distinctions between different types of green tea.

These differences often impact the level of good-for-you antioxidants traditionally found in the beverage. As we’ve discussed before, antioxidants are scientifically proven to promote longevity, cleanse the body, encourage weight loss, and slow aging.

Green tea is a provider of an essential cancer-busting antioxidant (EGCg). This key compound is highly diluted in low-quality green teas, which means you’ll lose a huge amount of benefits by drinking a cheap cup.

If you’re going to drink green tea, you should know exactly what you’re imbibing, in order to gain the best benefits of the beverage.

Matcha – finely ground, sweet green tea – is the Superman of green teas.

A single gram of matcha is teeming with the exact kind of antioxidant your body needs to promote overall health. Why is this? It’s entirely due to the processing methods employed by producers.

Different Processing Methods

Although all green tea comes from the same source, the way the leaves are prepared for consumption determines their quality.

  • Regular green tea is baked, fried, roasted, or sun-dried after harvesting to stop ripening.
  • The leaves are then rolled 4 or 5 times to get rid of remaining moisture before packaging.
  • Green tea leaves meant for matcha are farmed in a very specific way. The plants are shielded from sunlight for 3 weeks prior to picking to promote a naturally sweeter flavor.
  • After being picked, the tea is steamed once and left to dry.

For matcha green tea, only the most tender part of the dried tea leaves are selected to be ground into the fine powder we use at home.

green-tea-leaf-in-handThe rolling and drying process of regular green tea removes a huge amount of the EGCg found in the raw leaf. Other types of tea undergo fermentation, which changes the structure of the antioxidants and negates a lot of their power. 

The gentle process used to make matcha green tea preserves all of the antioxidants found in tea plant, while the grinding produces super-charged levels of EGCg. You certainly can’t say that about any other type of tea!

Differences in price

Some people complain that matcha green tea seems more expensive than regular boxed brands. The price difference is entirely due to the careful treatment and thorough processing of matcha green tea as opposed to run-of-the-mill teas found on the bottom shelves.

Wouldn’t you rather drink high-quality tea? The health benefits will increase substantially, as will the flavor.

The truth is, matcha really isn’t that much more expensive.

You only need a little powder is each cup or pot. Finely ground matcha green tea is highly-concentrated and a single gram contains 61% EGCg, along with amino acids, vitamins, and other antixodants.
 
Enjoying a single cup of super-powered matcha is equal to sipping 10 cups of regular green tea. 10 cups! That’s a lot of tea. You can skip all the trips to the bathroom by drinking matcha green tea instead of regular.

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