The short answer is: Yes, Matcha is healthier than loose-leaf (sencha) tea except for the fact that matcha has more caffeine than loose-leaf tea.
The main reason that matcha is healthier than sencha is not because of the differences in the tea itself, but in how you drink it.
Matcha comes in a powdered form where you are consuming the entire tea leaf. Conversely, when you drink loose-leaf (sencha) tea, you are steeping the tea using teapot or some other filter. (Read more about the differences between matcha and sencha.)
Regarding Matcha, by consuming the entire tea leaf, you get the maximum health benefit that comes with the tea.
In spite of its benefits, matcha has more caffeine than sencha. As you may know, caffeine is not necessarily considered a healthy element of tea. (Read my other article where I explain everything about tea and caffeine.) Authentic matcha is grown in shade before the harvesting which the tea leaf creates more caffeine during this period.
Powdered Green Tea, AKA konacha, is produced by powdering regular sencha. With this in mind, if quality sencha is used for powdering the green tea, this will make the tea as healthy as matcha while containing less caffeine.
The problem is that most powdered teas are produced by using low quality green tea. As you can imagine when processing green tea, there are “left over” tea leaves or stems which are perfect for powdering. Obviously, the stems of tea leaves, otherwise considered leftover parts, are not thought to be particularly healthy.
There are exception to these, however. For instance, if you are able to find powdered tea which are powdered from premium green tea, you get the best of both of worlds i.e., consuming entire tea leaf + less caffeine.
Japanese Green Tea Company’s Green Tea with Lemon and Green Tea with Orange or Benifuuki Powdered Tea which are good for allergy are all examples of this, but you will find many more quality powdered tea online.
Just make sure that you order powdered tea that is claimed to be powdered from first crop or top-quality part of the tea leaf.
Regardless, if you don’t mind the caffeine and love that sweet bitterness of matcha, then matcha is indeed healthy for you!
If you have ever thought that Green Tea is an “acquired taste” or that it is “too bitter” to enjoy, we’re here to change your mind! We want everyone to experience the health benefits of Green Tea and show you that this can be an amazing, refreshing, and delicious drink when made correctly. With just a few tips on how to brew this powerful leaf we can change your mind about the taste and enjoyment of drinking Green Tea.
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Bento Box Magazine features Kei Nishida's article in three months sequence series titled "The Matcha and Green Tea Trends in Japan".
Bento Box Magazine is Toronto based and Canada’s first Japanese culture and entertainment magazine which is published in English. Bento Box authors include companies such as Ito En, Calbee, Acura and Muji.