Matcha tea is a type of green tea that contains a good amount of caffeine.
The positive effects of caffeine are well known, and coffee is another hot drink that contains caffeine.
I wanted to know how the caffeine content in coffee compares to that found in matcha tea, and here’s what I found.
Regular green tea is brewed using the same method as other common teas such as oolong tea, English Breakfast tea, Ceylon tea, and Earl Grey tea.
Matcha is made a bit different because it’s a fine powder.
Below, I will explain how matcha is made, why its caffeine content is different, and if it’s OK to drink matcha everyday.
Does Matcha Tea Have More Caffeine Than Coffee?
A morning cup of coffee is a very popular way to start the day but tea is also very popular.
Which one you decide to have is a matter of personal preference and both provide a boost to your energy levels due to their caffeine content.
Due to these facts about matcha and coffee, a person can theoretically drink more matcha than coffee.
This means you can enjoy more hot drinks throughout the day.
But, the general recommendation is to not consume more than about 2 to 3 cups of a caffeinated beverage per day.
Matcha tea is made by pouring hot water over the matcha tea powder.
The brewing time of matcha tea and regular tea is about the same.
But, they are made in very different ways.
Matcha green tea has numerous health benefits such as being a good source of free radicals, more on this later.
The highest grade of matcha tea is made using the youngest leaves.
It’s known as ceremonial grade matcha. It’s traditionally made by pouring hot water over a scoop of matcha powder.
It’s then whisked with a special bamboo whisk.
Good matcha is dark green in color, and it doesn’t have the bitter taste that what is called ‘food grade’ green tea has.
Food-grade green tea is used to make desserts and sweet baked goods.
The bitter flavor that food-grade matcha has is masked by adding sugar and other flavors.
The best grades of matcha are darker green in color.
The green color of plants indicates a high chlorophyll content.
Multiple cups of coffee or tea can cause diarrhea.
I explained this in more detail in this article about whether it’s possible to drink too much tea.
The side effects of too much caffeine is an upset stomach, anxiety, nervousness – also called caffeine jitters, and difficulty concentrating.
Caffeine in amounts below the recommended daily intake, and spaced out fairly often is known to improve cognitive function, focus, provide a boost of energy, and increase alpha waves in the brain which help promote a feeling of calmness.
But, it can also increase your heart rate.
The energy boost can often last for 30 minutes and medical experts say that the effects of caffeine can take as long as 10 hours to go away (source).
The benefits of drinking matcha tea
Green tea powder (matcha) has a range of potential health benefits.
The health benefits of matcha, including boosting the immune system and helping reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases.
Also, the antioxidants in foods and drinks are known to help eliminate free radicals.
Which reduces the risk of high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Teas such as green tea, and matcha also contain chlorogenic acid and important amino acids which are beneficial for your overall health.
There is also what is called a matcha latte.
This is where matcha is brewed in a very small amount, about the amount in a shot of espresso coffee.
Then steamed milk is poured over it to fill the cup, producing something incredibly similar to a latte made from coffee.
Here’s a video that shows how it’s made:
Instant coffee contains about the same amount of caffeine that green tea, and green tea matcha has.
Your best bet for reducing your caffeine intake is to drink matcha green tea.
Matcha tea is a powdered tea that is mixed with water.
The main difference is that regular tea bags or loose leaf tea don’t leave nearly as many particles of the actual tea in the cup of tea.
Drinking green tea or matcha tea is a matter of personal preference.
If you’re trying to reduce your caffeine intake then matcha tea is a healthier alternative to coffee.
But, the same as black teas such as English breakfast, or Earl Grey.
The key difference between types of black tea such as oolong, and white tea is that green tea is dried very soon after harvesting.
And is superheated to lock in the green color.
The amount of caffeine you should consume: how matcha compares
Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, colas, and energy drinks have varying caffeine levels.
It’s recommended that healthy adults not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day.
Here’s the amount of caffeine in 1 cup of each of these:
- Tea – such as green tea, matcha, and English breakfast – 27mg
- Coffee – 95 mg
- Colas – 39 mg
- Energy Drinks – 111 mg
A teabag of green tea weighs about 2 grams, whereas a teaspoon of matcha powder is about 4 grams.
Therefore, a cup of matcha contains about twice the caffeine found in a teabag of green tea.
By contrast, decaf coffee has 2.85 milligrams of caffeine but doesn’t have nearly the same flavor as regular coffee.
Green tea and other types of tea can be a good option for weight loss provided you don’t use too much-added sugar.
Many people like unsweetened tea and coffee. Sugar in general is high in calories and carbs, which need to be kept in check for weight loss.
But, there is a range of options to sweeten tea that are lower or contain zero carbs and calories.
I explained what these are in this article about the best sweetener for tea.
The caffeine boost provided by these drinks is highest in energy drinks.
The source of energy they provide occurs because of the chemical reaction of the caffeine in the coffee beans with the human body.
How much matcha you can drink can also be more than coffee, because the caffeine content is less.
Which in some cases makes it a better choice.
This has a direct effect on how much coffee you can drink because the more coffee you drink the more energy and focus it will give you.
But, over a certain amount, you reach diminishing returns, and it can have negative effects on your mood.
The high caffeine content in coffee makes it ideal to give you a boost of energy before a workout, before studying, and to wake you up in the morning.
However, coffee consumption can lead to a caffeine crash and does affect some people.
This can leave a person feeling tired a few hours after drinking coffee.
However, I’m a very avid coffee drinker, and I very rarely if ever experience a caffeine crash.
Due to green tea and green tea matcha having less caffeine than coffee, it can be a better option as the highs and lows of the caffeine content aren’t as pronounced, and your mood and energy levels are more even.
The type of green tea, either ceremonial grade or food grade is determined by where on the tea plant the leaves are harvested from.
Ceremonial grade leaves are harvested from the very tip.
Whereas, food-grade green tea or matcha is made from green tea leaves harvested below the tip.
Bright green powder is more common in food-grade matcha.
Whereas, ceremonial grade green tea has a darker color.
Matcha is green tea leaves that have been ground down to a very fine consistency.
Whereas, regular green tea is considered to be a whole tea leaf.
Where the leaves are dried and then shredded into smaller pieces.
Coffee tends to give you bad breath because of the strong aromas produced by coffee.
Matcha is the powder form of green tea.
It’s now reasonably common to find matcha in coffee shops.
It can be prepared in a few different ways, ice, latte, or hot. Standard green tea is believed to originally have been developed in China.
Is Matcha Tea Healthier Than Coffee?
Matcha tea and coffee are both quite delicious either plain or sweetened.
Matcha tea is made from the leaves of the tea plant, whereas coffee is the seeds of the berries of the coffee plant.
Therefore, they have different levels of nutrients, here’s which is healthier.
Therefore, coffee is a better option based on nutrients.
Some people have a bad reaction to caffeine especially if they don’t consume foods that are high in caffeine such as coffee, and tea.
If this is the case for your tea is definitely a better option because you can drink more of it before getting the negative effects that a lot of caffeine can give you.
And the amount of caffeine you prefer is a matter of personal preference.
Is It OK to Drink Matcha Everyday?
Matcha tea is a calming and invigorating drink.
So, you might enjoy drinking it everyday, or even have a few cups per day.
Each food and drink is unique, and some shouldn’t be consumed too often, so here’s an explanation about whether it’s ok to drink matcha everyday.
A good rule of thumb is to drink a cup of matcha in the morning before breakfast, or for morning or afternoon tea.
But, it’s generally not a good idea to drink green tea or matcha as a replacement for water.
Is Matcha a Good Caffeine Replacement?
Caffeine is fine to consume in moderate amounts but, because of the positive effects of caffeine sometimes it’s easy to go overboard and drink too much.
In other cases, you may be looking to reduce your caffeine intake.
Here’s an explanation about whether matcha is a good way to replace other drinks that contain caffeine.
Other foods that can provide an energy boost and could be a potential replacement for caffeine are guarana, chicory root, maca, carob, and taurine according to the dieticians at Mind Body Green.
Another option is to consume the decaf version of popular hot drinks like coffee, and tea.
Is Matcha Stronger Than Caffeine?
Matcha is not so well known outside of Asia, unlike coffee which is known to have high amounts of caffeine.
But, how does the caffeine content in matcha compare, and is it high in caffeine?
Tea contains other chemicals that make the caffeine content released more slowly than the caffeine found in coffee.
So, if you want an immediate energy boost, coffee is a better option.
Whereas, if you want a more even release of energy then go with tea such as green tea, matcha, or oolong.