“What’s the difference between Matcha and regular green tea?”—glad you asked! This is a question we get asked from time to time, and differentiating between them is quite simple. Both Matcha and regular green tea—whether in the form of loose leaf or tea bags—have different qualities that make them unique.
The first and most obvious difference is physical. With Matcha, the whole leaf is ground down into a powder. With regular green tea, the whole leaf is dried.
The second difference lies in preparation. Because Matcha is powdered, it does not need to be steeped. Rather, it is whisked in hot water. With loose leaf teas or tea bags, steeping is necessary to extract the nutrients from the tea leaves. (Learn how to make a traditional cup of Matcha here).
Matcha is extremely versatile—so versatile, in fact, that it’s been a trending topic in the culinary world for its ability to double as an ingredient. Since Matcha is a powder, it works well as a dry ingredient that can easily be incorporated into any culinary creations such as ice cream, lattes, cakes, macarons, and more.
Comparitively, if you were to extract the flavors from regular green tea, steeping is required, resulting in a more time consuming process. Even then, the flavor from the Matcha would be much more vibrant.
When you drink Matcha, you are essentially consuming the entire tea leaf. Matcha’s health benefits are substantially higher than regular green tea—about 10x more on average—because the leaves from regular green tea are ultimately thrown away after it is steeped.
With Matcha, both the water-soluble and water-insoluble nutrients of the leaf are ingested, where only water-soluble nutrients are consumed from regular green tea. Below is a graph depicting the nutritional content of green tea leaves. 65% of the nutrients come from water insoluble nutrients (like chlorophyll, proteins, and minerals) and only 35% come from water soluble nutients (like amino acids and catechins). Ultimately, Matcha provides 100% of these nutrients, while regular green tea provide around 35%. Even then, regular green tea must be steeped a minimum of 3 times in order to receive the full benefits, bringing the average nutritional benefits to about 10%.
Don’t get us wrong—drinking regular green tea still has a ton of health benefits like cancer-fighting catechins and anti-inflammatory properties. We’re just saying that a cup of Matcha has some additional perks that might just make switching worthwhile.