Matcha is a high-quality type of green tea that is in powdered form. It comes from the young buds and leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, mainly grown in China and Japan. Often the tea leaves are heavily shaded during growth for about 2-4 weeks, specifically before the first harvest. As a result, the leaves increased their chlorophyll and amino acid content, thus creating a darker green color.
Matcha can be enjoyed in various ways, i.e., on ice, as an ingredient, and with hot water (as hot tea). Matcha has a high concentration of antioxidants and components such as caffeine. However, caffeine in matcha isn’t always discussed, and that is what this post is all about.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural substance/chemical found in coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolates, among other plant products and soft drinks. It’s a stimulant; therefore, it affects the functioning of your central nervous system and the brain. Additionally, caffeine also increases the circulation of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body.
Often, caffeine consumed in small doses can make you feel refreshed and focused, while larger amounts can make you feel anxious and affect your sleep, thus keeping you awake. However, depending on your body's tolerance to caffeine, you may need larger or smaller quantities to achieve the same effect.
Does Matcha Have/Contain Caffeine?
Yes, matcha contains caffeine: matcha is caffeinated. Matcha comes from green tea that contains caffeine. Notably, because you drink the entire tea leaf and not just infusion, you get more caffeine per cup. Now, the big question is how much caffeine is in matcha.
How Much Caffeine is in Matcha?
Matcha contains about 19-44 mg of caffeine per gram, depending on the quality of matcha. It means that a standard cup of matcha contains approximately 38-176 mg of caffeine. For instance, an 8-ounce serving of matcha made with 2 grams of matcha powder will have about 70 mg of caffeine.
Below are factors that affect the caffeine content of matcha:
- Quantity of matcha powder used
- Age of the tea leaves
- Time of harvesting
- The temperature of water used to make matcha tea
- Quality of the matcha
- Brewing time
Matcha Caffeine vs. Green Tea Caffeine
As outlined earlier, matcha is higher in caffeine than regular green tea. According to a study, green tea has about 10-23 mg of caffeine per gram of tea leaves. In other words, a regular cup of green tea provides approximately 30-40 mg of caffeine, while an 8-ounce cup of standard matcha (about 2 grams of matcha powder) provides about 70 mg of caffeine.
Despite these two products coming from the same plant, the caffeine content difference is primarily due to the preparation process. For matcha, the leaves have to be shaded for at least two weeks before harvesting to increase the nutrients and chlorophyll. Once harvested, the stems and veins are removed, and the leaves are grounded into fine powder. It’s that powder you consume rather than infusing the matcha with hot water. Consequently, this makes the caffeine levels in matcha much higher than in green tea.
Does Matcha have as Much Caffeine as Coffee?
Unlike green tea, a cup of coffee will have higher caffeine content than matcha. An 8-ounce cup of regular coffee contains about 95-200 mg of caffeine. On the other hand, a cup of matcha of the same size prepared in the same way may have about 130 mg of caffeine.
However, the amount of caffeine in matcha largely depends on the quantity of powder used, its freshness, and its quality.
Is Matcha Caffeine Bad for You?
No, matcha caffeine isn’t bad for you. In fact, the caffeine levels in a cup of matcha are way less than the FDA daily recommended limit of 400 mg. Additionally, the L-theanine (a rare amino acid) in matcha prolongs the effects of caffeine; thus, you’ll hardly experience jitters and crashes as you do with regular coffee or energy drinks. More importantly, you don’t have to worry about falling asleep.
The caffeine in matcha provides more health benefits than that in coffee. Drinking quality matcha boosts your energy levels slowly and for a more extended period. Above all, the caffeine in matcha enhances your mental clarity.
Grab yourself a pack of Bluesea ceremonial grade matcha powder. It’s the ideal coffee replacement option that will allow you to explore the great benefits of caffeine in matcha tea.
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