Top 10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Matcha Tea

Top 10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Matcha Tea

Author Avatar

Updated on April 1, 2024

As the popularity of matcha continues to soar, more and more people are discovering the wonders of this ancient beverage and incorporating it into their daily rituals. The myriad health benefits of matcha tea have made it a cherished staple in tea culture worldwide.

So, what is matcha? And why has it earned its reputation as a powerhouse of wellness? Matcha is a finely ground powder crafted from shade-grown green tea leaves and boasts a rich history steeped in tradition. The benefits of matcha tea extend far beyond its beautiful emerald hue and unique preparation method. Studies suggest it can enhance cognitive function, elevate your energy levels, and even promote relaxation.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we unveil the secrets of matcha tea, explore its origins, uncover the science behind its potential health benefits, and even address the question on everyone’s mind: Does matcha have caffeine?

What is Matcha Tea?

Top 10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Matcha Tea - What is Matcha Tea

Unlike your typical tea bag dunked in hot water, matcha tea offers a completely different experience. This vibrant green powder boasts a rich history and a unique preparation method. But what exactly is matcha tea, and how does it differ from the green tea you might be familiar with?

Matcha: The Finely Ground Green Tea Leaves

At its core, matcha is a finely ground powder crafted from specially grown green tea leaves. Unlike loose-leaf teas, where the leaves are steeped and then discarded, matcha involves consuming the entire powdered leaf, providing a concentrated dose of nutrients and flavour in every sip.

Shade-Grown for Enhanced Quality

The secret to matcha’s vibrant green colour and unique flavour profile lies in its cultivation process. Matcha green tea leaves are grown under shade for several weeks before harvest. This lack of direct sunlight slows down growth and triggers the production of chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for the green colour. The shade-growth process also leads to increased levels of theanine, an amino acid known for its calming and focus-enhancing properties.

The Art of Processing

Once harvested, the stems and veins of the tea leaves are removed, and the remaining leaves are steamed to prevent oxidation. Finally, the leaves are meticulously stone-ground into a fine, talc-like powder—this is the matcha you know and love. The grinding process itself is an art form, traditionally done with granite millstones to preserve the delicate flavour and quality of the matcha.

Does Matcha Have Caffeine?

Top 10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Matcha Tea - Does Matcha Have Caffeine

Since matcha tea offers a potential energy boost as one of its many benefits, a common question arises: Does matcha have caffeine? The answer is yes, matcha does contain caffeine, but the amount and the way it affects you differ from black tea or coffee.

While a typical cup of brewed black tea might contain around 47 milligrams of caffeine, and a cup of coffee can range from 95-200 milligrams, matcha generally packs a lighter caffeine punch. One serving of matcha, which can vary depending on how much matcha powder you use, typically contains around 30-70 milligrams of caffeine.

What truly sets matcha apart from other caffeinated beverages is the presence of another key compound: L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid known to promote relaxation and focus. The unique combination of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha is thought to create a synergistic effect, providing a sustained energy boost without the jitters often associated with coffee. This can lead to feelings of alertness and improved concentration without the crash experienced with some caffeinated drinks.

Matcha Tea vs Black Tea

Matcha and black tea are two of the most prominent and distinguished green tea varieties available today, each with its own unique history and set of qualities. Understanding the differences between the two can be helpful when choosing the perfect cup to suit your needs. Here’s a side-by-side comparison between matcha tea and black tea. 

FeatureMatcha TeaBlack Tea
Processing MethodShade-grown leaves, steamed to prevent oxidationLeaves fully oxidised after exposure to air
PreparationWhisking powder in hot waterSteeping loose leaves in hot water
Caffeine ContentGenerally higherGenerally lower
Flavour ProfileGrassy, slightly sweet, subtle umamiBolder, astringent, floral or malty notes
AntioxidantsHigher due to shade-growing, increased chlorophyllRich in antioxidants, but lower than matcha
Energy EffectSustained energy boost without jittersQuicker energy boost, can cause jitters

Origins of Matcha Tea

Top 10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Matcha Tea - Origins of Matcha Tea

Matcha tea has a rich and storied history that dates back centuries and is rooted in the cultural heritage of Japan. Let’s explore the fascinating origins of matcha tea and its historical background and profound significance in Japanese tea culture.

Early Beginnings in China (Tang Dynasty) 

Matcha has a long and interesting history that stretches back to ancient China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Back then, tea leaves were steamed, pressed into bricks, and ground into a powder for easier transportation. This was the first step towards creating the unique powdered green tea we know as matcha today. 

The Arrival in Japan (Song Dynasty)

Fast forward to the 12th century, during China’s Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), when a Zen Buddhist monk named Eisai brought tea seeds and the knowledge of tea cultivation and preparation to Japan after his studies in China. Eisai is credited with introducing matcha to Japan and promoting its health benefits and meditative properties. Thanks to Eisai, matcha tea became an essential part of Japanese culture and culinary tradition.

Zen Buddhism and the Tea Ceremony

Eisai’s introduction of matcha resonated deeply with Zen Buddhism, a school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasising mindfulness and meditation. The practice of preparing and consuming matcha became a ritualised ceremony known as the Japanese tea ceremony or “chado.” This ceremony focused on meticulous preparation, slow, deliberate movements, and a sense of tranquillity. Matcha became a central element in Zen monasteries, fostering a sense of focus and well-being during meditation practices.

Evolution and Refinement  

Over the centuries, matcha cultivation and preparation methods in Japan were meticulously refined. The technique of shade-growing emerged, further enhancing the flavour and nutrient profile of the tea. The grinding process was perfected using specialised stone mills to achieve the fine, talc-like powder we know today. 

Matcha Tea Today  

Today, matcha continues to be a cherished part of Japanese tradition. However, its popularity has soared globally, and it is embraced for its unique flavour, potential health benefits, and versatility. From frothy lattes to vibrant baked goods, matcha offers a taste of history and a potential path to a healthier, more mindful lifestyle.

10 Health Benefits of Matcha Tea

Health Benefits of Matcha Tea

Matcha tea is not just a delightful beverage; it’s also a powerhouse of health-promoting nutrients and antioxidants. Below are 10 health benefits of matcha tea that make it a valuable addition to any wellness routine.

1. Matcha Tea is Rich in Antioxidants

One of the standout benefits of matcha tea is its incredible antioxidant content. Rich in catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), matcha boasts potent antioxidant properties that help combat oxidative stress and protect cells from damage. Incorporating matcha into your daily routine can infuse your body with a powerful dose of antioxidants, promoting overall health and longevity.

2. Matcha Tea Enhances Concentration and Mental Clarity

The unique combination of caffeine and L-theanine found in matcha offers a synergistic boost to cognitive function, enhancing concentration, focus, and mental clarity. Unlike other caffeinated beverages that may induce jitteriness or anxiety, matcha provides calm alertness, promoting a state of relaxed attentiveness and mindfulness.

3. Matcha Tea Improves Energy Levels

Unlike coffee, which can lead to energy crashes and midday slumps, matcha tea provides a sustained source of energy that lasts for hours. The gradual release of caffeine, coupled with the calming influence of L-theanine, ensures a steady stream of energy without the rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. Say goodbye to afternoon fatigue and hello to sustained vitality with the benefits of matcha tea.

4. Matcha Tea Supports Detoxification

Thanks to its high chlorophyll content, matcha tea is a natural detoxifier, helping to rid the body of harmful toxins and heavy metals. It promotes overall wellness and vitality by supporting the liver and aiding in detoxification processes. Incorporating matcha into your daily routine can help you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the day.

5. Matcha Tea Aid in Weight Management and Metabolic Health

If you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight or shed a few pounds, the benefits of matcha tea extend to weight management as well. Studies suggest that matcha may boost metabolism, increase fat oxidation, and aid in weight loss efforts. Incorporating matcha into a balanced diet and active lifestyle may help support weight management goals and improve overall metabolic function.

6. Matcha Tea Supports Digestive Health

Matcha tea contains compounds that may support digestive health, such as catechins and fibre. These components can help promote healthy gut bacteria, improve digestion, and alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort. Drinking matcha can nourish your gut microbiome and support optimal digestive health.

7. Matcha Tea Supports Heart Health


Among the benefits of matcha tea is its potential to promote heart health. Studies suggest that the antioxidants in matcha, particularly EGCG, may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease. A cup of matcha in your daily routine can be a heart-smart choice for long-term well-being.

8. Matcha Tea Boosts Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Matcha tea is praised for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various health conditions, including arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders. The antioxidants in matcha help combat inflammation by neutralising free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. 

9. Matcha Tea Can Enhance Skin Health

The benefits of matcha tea extend beyond internal health to include skin health as well. The antioxidants in matcha help protect the skin from UV damage, pollution, and other environmental stressors. Matcha also contains compounds that promote collagen production, which can help improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

10. Matcha Tea Helps in Stress Reduction and Relaxation

The L-theanine content in matcha has been linked to stress reduction and relaxation. L-theanine promotes the production of neurotransmitters that induce feelings of calmness and relaxation, making matcha tea a soothing beverage to enjoy during moments of stress or anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the benefits of matcha tea extend far beyond its delightful taste and vibrant green hue to include transformative effects for both body and mind. Consider incorporating matcha into your daily routine, explore different grades, experiment with brewing methods, and discover the vast array of matcha-infused recipes.

Looking to expand your tea horizons? Check out our guide to creating authentic, fragrant Thai tea, or explore a world of spices with our guide to making Masala chai, India’s beloved national beverage. There’s a perfect cup of tea for every taste and every moment. 

Share with our social media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *