You may have seen cups filled with gorgeous green liquids. These green cups are chock-full of vitamins, antioxidants, and a caffeine energy boost without jitters.
Let's get this straight, though: matcha and green tea are not the same thing. The two teas are completely dissimilar despite sharing a common origin.
Matcha and green tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant, but they're processed differently. Both drinks have unique texture, color, and taste.
If you want to prevent any misunderstandings with the barista at Starbucks, it's best to know what you want before you go up to the counter.
The leaves distinguish matcha from green tea. Matcha is shade-grown three weeks before harvest, while green tea leaves are sun-grown.
Matcha's chlorophyll levels rise in the shadow, resulting in its green hue. Matcha leaves include L-theanine, a relaxing amino acid that adds umami sweetness.
Traditional green tea leaves are dried in the sun. Green tea leaves are duller than matcha leaves and have a more earthy and bitter flavor.
While both green tea and matcha offer health advantages, matcha requires the leaves to be crushed into a fine powder before being reconstituted with water.
Because the full leaf is consumed when drinking matcha, the health benefits are greater than when drinking conventional green tea.