Health Benefits of Matcha vs Coffee: Which Should You Choose?

matcha vs coffee

Matcha tea has become a popular beverage in coffee houses and specialty shops around the world. It’s linked to most health benefits, plus its caffeine steeps it a nice alternative to coffee. When thinking about Matcha as an alternative to coffee, nevertheless, how does it add up?

If you have ever been curious about how Matcha and coffee compare in terms of health benefits, you have come to the right spot. After a lot of testing, science, and conversations, we have uncovered the advantages and disadvantages of each drink.

Scroll along below to get a detailed look at which of these caffeinated drinks is the best bet for you and your health.

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Brief Matcha History

Matcha is a form of green tea that comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Instead of adding the leaves to hot water and allowing them to steep as you would with green tea, Matcha is the method of grinding the leaves in a powder then add it to hot water.

Meaning powdered tea, Matcha was first consumed by the Chinese. It was a Buddhist Priest named Eisai who introduced the concept in Japan after studying at a Buddhist Monastery in China in the 12th century.

More commonly known as “beaten tea”, Japan’s elite priests and samurai warriors made Matcha popular. It is still part of the Japenese tea culture, and it’s often combined with mediation. This ceremonial tea-drinking experience is called “The Way of Tea” still today.

As travel became more common and attainable, Matcha hitched rides to countries all over the world. Even though it remains a Japanese custom, the drink has found popularity across the globe.

a woman sipping a coffee
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Brief Coffee History

Coffee originates from the tropical evergreen plant known as Coffea. The roasted beans we grind for coffee are seeds extracted from the fruit of the Coffea plant. Unfortunately, there is no definitive record of when coffee came into existence, but there are some clues researchers have picked up to give us an idea.

Coffea plants are thought to have originated in centuries-old forests on the Ethiopian plateau. From there, it was brought to what is now known as the middle east/Arabian Peninsula in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Spoken about as the “Wine of Araby”, thousands of travelers going through the city of Mecca not only got to try the strange brew, but they likewise were able to carry it with them on their journey home. Ultimately, coffee crafted its way to Europe in the 17th century, though, it was initially not well received. Until gaining the Pope’s approval in 1615, it was thought to be the devil’s ingest.

Further travelers brought coffee to the United States in the mid-1600s, and the 1773 Boston Tea Party sealed its fate as a national favorite. It was around the same time coffee found its home in Central and South America where it has gone on to be one of the major cash for the various countries.

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Overview of Matcha:

Matcha can be consumed at home or in cafes. It has become popular for its unique taste, smooth energy, and health benefits. There are two grades of Matcha, as well: ceremonial grade and culinary grade. Ceremonial tea is more expensive, and it generally has a better taste. Culinary, which you find at most cafes and in stores, ranges in cost and quality.

matcha powder and tea on a dark background
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How To Consume Matcha

Matcha is brewed by combining the powder with hot water. Green tea leaves are ground into a fine powder typically utilizing a granite or stone grinding bowl. The powder is then strained to remove any clumps.

The bright green powder is then whisked into hot water using a zig-zag pattern. Traditionally a bamboo whisk is used to combine one to two teaspoons of powder with two ounces of water just short of boiling temperature.

Matcha powder can likewise be added to milk for Matcha lattes. Additionally, lots of people use matcha powder in smoothies and other food such as bread, cakes, ice cream, soup, and various other recipes.

Matcha Taste and Flavor

Essentially a concentrated form of green tea, Matcha is known to have a smooth taste that’s a little grassy-spinachy to match its bright green color. Even though it’s not necessarily bitter, it can have a slightly astringent flavor. The better the quality, the less astringent it will be.

Some people likewise describe Matcha to have a rich and creamy mouthfeel due to the foam created by whisking. It can likewise be rich with a hint of sweetness. Sometimes compared to wheatgrass, Matcha is a full-bodied consume.

The color, or hue, likewise plays a function in the taste. As explained above, better-quality tea powder will have a less grass-like taste. Typically, the more yellow or grainy the Matcha appears, the more likely it’s a lower grade. Higher grades will be a bright green color with a richer, creamy, sweeter taste.

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matcha tea on a table
Picture Credit: owencarver, Pixabay

Health Benefits Of Matcha

The antioxidants in Matcha provide drinkers with a lot of health benefits that range from being beneficial to lifesaving.

Take a look at the the majority of common side effects:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Fights cancer
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Helps weight loss
  • Fights heart disease
  • Lowers blood sugar

Unfortunately, it has not been determined that Matcha is the base cause of these benefits. Although studies have been done, they are popular studies and not clinical research study. That being said, popular studies have proven most positive benefits. We will dive into the science more below.

Pros

  • Easy to make
  • Unique flavor
  • Many health benefits
  • The powder can be used in lots of recipes

Cons

  • Health benefits are not scientifically shown
  • Quality can differ

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Overview of Coffee:

Coffee is a staple in lots of people’s diets. There are endless cafes, coffee shops, brands, and varieties available. Overall, the two main forms of coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is far more common, though it is fairly easy to get your hands on either. Like Matcha, but, there is variation in coffee quality that can affect taste, smell, and color. Plus, coffee likewise has its share of health benefits.

a coffee cup with coffee beans background
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How To Consume Coffee

Coffee typically comes as either whole beans or pre-ground. Most coffee lovers prefer whole beans as the flavor is better if the coffee is made shortly after its ground. Utilizing a grinder, the beans are reduced to a sand-like compound. Hot water is then filtered through it and the grounds discarded.

For a classic espresso coffee, the ratio is 1:2 coffee to water. This means if you have 20 grams of coffee, you needs to end up with 40 grams of coffee. This ratio can alter depending on the type of brewer and coffee, but.

Coffee is now served in lots of ways. Common additions to the beans and water are milk, cream, and sweetener, nevertheless numerous people also add chocolate, caramel, vanilla, fruit extracts, etc.

Instead of the traditional shot of espresso, there are lattes, cappuccinos, iced coffees, and more. Coffee is also added to several other recipes and foods like candy, ice cream, and cakes come in faux-coffee aromas.

Coffee Taste and Flavor

Coffee’s taste likewise has a wide range depending on where it comes from, how it’s grown, and how it’s prepared. In general, coffee has a slightly bitter, rich, and bold flavor. Other notes can be floral, fruity, nutty, or have traces of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. The possibilities are endless.

Be that as it may, the quality of coffee plays a large role in the mouthfeel, after taste, and aroma. Lower quality beans are often more bitter and weaker. On the other hand, higher grade coffee can be very concentrated with the wonderful amount of acidity.

Personal preference plays a large function in what someone would consider a excellent coffee, as well. While some prefer a concentrated, nutty, slightly bitter brew, others like a weaker, sweet concoction.

coffee in a teal cup ang saucer
Image Credit: Julia Sakelli, Pexels

Health Benefits of Coffee

Coffee has been shown to have several health benefits for the moderate drinker. Like lots of things, moderation is key with coffee as too much can have the reverse effect.

Take a look at the health perks coffee drinks are in store for:

  • Increased energy
  • Better athletic performance
  • Supports brain health
  • Helps weight loss/management
  • Reduces risk of liver issues
  • Helps with depression
  • Promotes heart health
  • Increase life expectancy
  • Lowers risk of type 2 diabetes

There has been a lot of science study on the impacts of coffee. While some of the befits have clinical research behind them, some are based on popular studies. We will look more into this later on., as well.

Pros

  • Several options for brewing and drinking
  • Many health benefits
  • Can be used in other recipes
  • Vast amount of buying options

Cons

  • Quality can vary
  • Some scientific research study is not conclusive

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How Matcha Is Produced

matcha powder in wooden container
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Matcha comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant and is crafted from the leaves typically used for green tea. Tea plants are grown around in a number of countries including China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and the United States. A lot of green tea and Matcha originates from China, however.

Tea bushes thrive in cooler climates with most rainfall. The bushes are likewise planted in shady areas to increase the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves which helps enhance the color and boost the nutrients in the leaves.

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The recipe of producing Matcha is a difficult one. The window to pick the leaves is small and only during early spring. Only three leaves off each branch are removed, as well. Picking the leaves is done by hand as is a lot of of the recipe.

Once the leaves have been picked, any stems and veins are removed. They are steamed then ground down into a fine powder. The grinding is done in the dark to help protect nutrients, as well. Although China produces the the majority of green tea leaves, the highest quality Matcha typically comes from Japan.

How Coffee Is Produced

arabica coffee beans
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Coffea plants are better grown at high altitudes in tropical climates. Mainly produced near the equator or “the bean belt”, the top producing countries are Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia with Brazil exporting the many. That being said, dozens of counties in Asia, Africa, South and North America (except Canada) grow Coffea plants.

There are a few ways coffee beans are produced. First, the fruit (or cherries) are picked from the plants. From there, the seeds need to be extracted by depulping the outer fruit. This is done in among three ways; the dry process, wet or washed technique, and the honey process.

The dry technique is the a lot of popular and is done by laying the fruit in a thin layer to dry in the sun. The wet process is done mechanical depulper that eliminates the majority of the flesh. The seeds are then added to water to fermate and remove the remainder of the fruit. The honey procedure is also done with a mechanical depilper, however this time more flesh is left before the seeds are set out to dry.

Once the seeds (beans) are separated from the fruit, they are dried out. This is done by either the sun or with machines but is more often done naturally with the sun. From there, they are either packaged as whole beans or ground down to be sold as ready to brew.

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A Deeper Look at the Benefits

Both Matcha and Coffee have lots of health benefits. The difference comes in how these benefits are measured and whether they have been demonstrated to be the causation in the benefit.

Matcha Benefits

iced matcha latte recipe
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock

Matcha’s antioxidants are the primary reason behind its health benefits. Specifically, it contains a class of antioxidants discussed as catechins. Matcha is high in this kind of antioxidant which has been linked to several positive body impacts.

One of the a lot of important catechins in Matcha is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This is a plant-based, powerful antioxidant that has been associated with cancer-fighting properties by reducing the damage by free radicals.

EGCG is also thought to fight heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A 2008 study shows a link between this antioxidant and cardiovascular health. In a 2007 study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed Matcha or other beverages with EGCG were noted to have better blood sugar levels.

As you can see above, the EGCG antioxidant is associated with a number of other benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and boosting metabolism. Unfortunately, the science into this plant-based compound is fairly new. There is little to no clinical research, though the popular studies conducted show positive outcomes.

Another benefit of matcha, but, is caffeine. Caffeine has been commonly studied for its outcomes on the human body. It has been linked to weight management, mental agility, increased physical performance, and anti-aging.

Coffee Benefits

brewed coffee and beans
Picture Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

Coffee gains its health perks not just from caffeine, but from antioxidants, as well. The beans are full of the antioxidants hydrocinnamic acid and polyphenol. Like the antioxidants in Matcha, they are linked to several health benefits, however they also have more clinical backing.

For example, these free-radical fighting agents have been linked to fighting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and depression.

Other studies have also suggested positive reactions between coffee and liver disease and longevity. Of course, the caffeine in coffee, which is higher than Matcha, likewise plays a function in your health.

Like Matcha, caffeine in coffee has been proven to increase alertness, boost energy, increase performance in athletics, and have anti-aging properties.

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Caffeine: Matcha vs Coffee

Since we brought it up, among the other frequently asked questions is which beverage contains more caffeine? In a nutshell, coffee wins this contest with a good portion more caffeine than Matcha or green tea.

That being said, the amount of caffeine can vary depending on the make, brand, and concentration of either drink. Matcha, for example, had approximately 70 mg of caffeine per serving. More to the point, it has anywhere between 19 and 44 mg of caffeine per gram.

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Coffee, on the other hand, has about 95 mg of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. If you regularly have double-shots of espresso coffee or brew coffee weaker through a drip brewer, the levels can vary.

Outside of the actual levels, Matcha is known to provide more mellow alertness than coffee. Matcha drinks often describe it as an “alert calmness”. It is also said not to have the jittery side outcomes or after crash that coffee often provides.

matcha tea vs coffee drink
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The Drawbacks

Not only do both of these beverages have their benefits, but they also have their drawbacks. Take a look at some of the downsides to each:

Matcha Drawbacks

One of the more common concerns associated with Matcha is lead. It is often found in green tea and because you are having the leaves instead of soaking them, fret over lead has been a genuine concern.

That being said, numerous tests have been done and no discernible levels of lead have been found in Matcha or green tea leaves, in general. This is also the case for pesticides.

There has been a link between hot beverages and esophageal cancer, but. While it is true for hot liquids across the board, it is something to be aware of when downing Matcha.

Coffee Drawbacks

Coffee likewise has its drawbacks; a few of which we have pointed out already including jitteriness and esophageal cancer. Some of the other threats include it causing anxiety, worsening high cholesterol, and insomnia.

Additionally, bad batches of coffee have been known to be toxic while consuming too much coffee in a short period of time can be lethal. Although both of these are very rare occurrences, some attention ought to be paid.

To give you a full look at the different properties of these two caffeinated drinks, take a look at the chart below.

Matcha Coffee
Calories 5 2
Sugar
Carbs 1g
Caffeine 19-44 mg per gram, 95 mg per 8 oz
Protein 1g 0.3g
Fat 0.5g
Fiber
Antioxidants Approx 400-600 mg per cup Approx 200-550 mg per cup

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Quick Look: Our Top Choices

Photo Product Details

Our Favorite Matcha

Winner

Akira Matcha
Akira Matcha
  • 100% Organic
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Authentic Japanese Matcha

  • Our Favorite Coffee

    Second place

    Lifeboost Low Acid Coffee Beans
    Lifeboost Low Acid Coffee Beans
  • Organic low acid coffee
  • Pure, clean, and mycotoxin free
  • Single-origin, high altitude grown

  • Our Favorite Matcha: Akira Matcha

    Akira Matcha

    Our Favorite Matcha is the Akira Matcha which is a ceremonial grade green tea powder that is USDA and JAS certified. This high-grade tea is produced from the first harvest and is made without sugar, additives, and radiation. It is shade-grown and organic, as well. The all-natural powder has no fillers, and it has the bright green, smooth taste we look for in Matcha. Even though more expensive than the average brand, it’s well worth it.


    Our Favorite Coffee: Lifeboost Low Acid Coffee Beans

    Lifeboost dark roast ground coffee bag

    Lifeboost dark roast beans are our favorite preference for a delicious coffee. This is a USDA organic, fair-trade coffee that is third-party tested for mycotoxins & pesticides. The single-origin beans are flavorful with low acidity. It has a robust mouthfeel with a chocolate aftertaste. Grown at a high altitude in Nicaragua, it’s a coffee that hits all the right notes.

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    Conclusion

    Both Matcha and coffee have a lot going for them. They both provide a boost in energy while likewise providing the benefits of various antioxidants. Matcha is often seen as the healthier option of the two, yet the research study is yet to catch up with popular opinion. Coffee, on the other hand, has been the long-standing caffeine of option, yet comes with drawbacks of its own. What it comes down to is personal choice in what caffeinated hot brew is your favorite.


    Featured Image Credit: Left – dungthuyvunguyen, Pixabay | Right – Ozgu Ozden, Unsplash

    Table of Contents

    The methods used to make coffee can alter the aroma and taste of the coffee. They can limit exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. Here are a few of the most well-known methods of brewing. A French press coffee maker is among the most efficient methods of making coffee. This is accomplished by heating hot water, then steeping the coffee for several minutes. The coffee grinds are separated by the plunger/filter. It is a medium-bodied drink with a slightly lower acidity than drip, espresso coffee, or coffee. It is full-bodied and delicious in flavor.

    This post was inspired by the article published at Coffee-Brewing-Methods.com, where you can read other coffee brewing tutorials, equipment buying guides, and coffee beans reviews. You can check the original article here: here.

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