Matcha green tea is a variation of the regular green tea, one which is more rich, aromatic, and nutritional. Basically, matcha has all the ingredients of green tea but in a higher percentage of each. So doesn’t that naturally mean that matcha has higher caffeine percentage than the regular green tea? In short, yes it does. But is there enough caffeine to warrant swapping out your morning coffee with healthy matcha? Let’s find out here.
First Let's Recap on the Basics
When brewing a cup of matcha green tea you'll start by purchasing some matcha powder. Retailers obtain this powder by drying and then finely grinding the nutrient packed matcha green tea leaves. You can then choose to either purchase the matcha powder directly (recommended) from retailers online or in store, or simply buy your matcha ready made at a coffee shop that sells it or a specialised matcha brewery. This powder is then sifted and blended with hot water to obtain a bright green, frothy beverage called matcha green tea. It is naturally bittersweet but people usually add a little sugar to make it tastier.
We can't be sure what your local starbucks may or may not be mixing with your matcha, so for the purposes of this article we will assume you have purchased the powder and you are making brewing it yourself.
So How Much Caffeine Does It Contain Anyway?
According to Caffeine Informer, the caffeine content of an average cup of matcha green tea is 70mg caffeine per per 8 oz cup. Note this is based on 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of Matcha powder dissolved in 8oz of water. You need to take into account also that Koicha matcha, the thicker blend, is made by using twice the amount of powder for the same amount of water for a richer blend. Hence, this variety naturally contains higher caffeine content of 140mg per However, it contains higher levels of antioxidants, chlorophyll, and vitamins A & C as well.
How Does It Compare to Coffee?
Well, it turns out matcha is surprisingly similar to coffee with regards to its caffeine content! Your average single shot espresso contains 77mg of caffeine, which is not dissimilar to a standard cup of matcha green tea, but there are two things to keep in mind...
Firstly, most coffees will contain 2 espresso shots bringing the caffeine total to 154mg.
Secondly, matcha contains so many anti-oxidants, amino acids, and beneficial chemicals such as L-Theanine in addition to the caffeine, which all work in unison to benefit your health and your body. The L-Theanine is a calming and rejuvenating chemical that also causes the caffeine to be released at a much slower, more gradual pace into the body so you won't get that caffeine "hit" like you would with a cup of coffee.
So Should I Swap My Coffee with Matcha?
While it's true that more and more people are swapping their cups of coffee for matcha and reaping the benefits, the truth is that it's up to you. If you really need that big caffeine hit, matcha is just not going to give that to you.
On the other hand it will give you a little boost, and comes with numerous other benefits as well. There's nothing stopping you from incorporating both into your regime if you want that caffeine hit from coffee as well as the healthy weight loss properties, immune system strengthening, calming and relaxing effects of matcha tea, then just have both!
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