In the green corner…
Matcha is a powdered type of green tea, which has seen a surge in popularity over recent years and is a great caffeine substitute or alternative to coffee. Let us compare matcha vs coffee, what is better?
The market share of matcha continues to grow globally (a predicted 4.7% CAGR in the US for 2019–2025)(1).
In part this is due to support from big names such as Starbucks and its matcha latte, helping to push the profile of this nutritious drink even further. It’s also because with matcha green tea or matcha powder, you’re consuming a product made from whole tea leaves grinded to powdered form.
When you brew your standard green tea, you’re basically throwing away the vast majority of the goodness. That’s because water can only extract a small amount of its nutrients. Whereas the whole leaf you consume with matcha is full of antioxidants. This makes matcha more helpful in purification of the body compared to other traditional teas. See how is matcha made for more insights into the production process.
Is matcha better than coffee? Matcha benefits
- Acts as an antioxidant, helping to boost any oxygen depletion
- Filters blood and improves its functioning, making matcha incredibly healthy for your liver
- Helps to combat a number of diseases, including various types of cancers and digestive disorders
- Increases metabolism and improves digestion, helping you to lose body fat
See matcha health benefits to discover more about the magic of matcha.
In the brown corner…
Coffee is the most popular drink in the world, with an estimated two billion cups drunk per day(2). Coffee is widely believed to have originated in either Ethiopia or Yemen, with many associated myths around when and where it was discovered exactly.
Production methods vary between the dry method and wet method. The former is the traditional method, where beans are laid out in the sun to dry for 15–20 days. The latter involves coffee cherries being removed before they’re dried, and sorted by immersion in water – unripe/bad fruit floats, while good fruit sinks.
Of course, coffee is primarily drunk for pleasure. However, it also offers some evidence-based benefits(3):
- Many essential nutrients – including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and niacin – are present in coffee
- The consumption of coffee has been associated with prevention of many obesity-related diseases
Why coffee can do more harm than good
Coffee provides a boost of energy when consumed, alongside a 3%-11% increase in metabolic rate.
It shows its complete effect with 15–45 minutes, the time you’re most likely to experience the “jittery” effects of caffeine. Unfortunately the energy boost decreases gradually and vanishes within a few hours.
On the other hand, matcha contains both caffeine and an amino acid L-theanine which causes a feeling of relaxation and relief. While the effect of matcha reaches its peak within 30 minutes it lasts longer than coffee, up to 3–4 hours.
Both coffee and matcha increase your energy levels, just in different ways. Coffee typically gives you a more instant kick, while matcha provides a slower but longer boost.
How much caffeine is in matcha and coffee?
Although the amount of caffeine in matcha is higher than in coffee, the amount of caffeine per serving is far less with matcha.
A single serving of matcha green tea contains about 19–64mg caffeine(4) while that in a single serving of coffee contains about 95-200 mg caffeine(5), more than double the caffeine present in matcha.
The maximum recommended amount of caffeine on a daily basis should not exceed 400mg, with many doctors advising a limit of 200 mg – 400mg(6). With an average of four cups of coffee consumed per day, you can see this is high when compared to the equivalent amount with matcha green tea. If you are looking to verify your daily caffeine intake based on your weight, we recommend to use a caffeine calculator.
Caffeine per serving
Recommended max. cups per day
A high caffeine intake has previously been linked to causing “psychotic and manic symptoms” and “anxiety”(7). Caffeine has also been linked to increases in insomnia, nausea, heart rate, and blood pressure. What’s more, consuming too much caffeine throughout the day raises cortisol levels, which in turn raises associated stress levels too.
Effect on physical health
Osteoporosis is a disorder where human bones get thin and lose density. Excessive coffee consumption can cause loss of more body calcium through bones and ultimately result in osteoporosis. This can also happen after regular consumption of almost four cups a day. Coffee has also been linked to an increase in risk of arthritis(8).
Effect on Pregnancy
A high concentration of caffeine means consuming coffee while pregnant can cause multiple problems. These include increased heart rate and blood pressure, irregular formation, or even lower birth weight(9).
As we see above in the comparison of matcha vs coffee, matcha green tea has a more positive effect on health overall when compared to coffee.
Ultimately, the higher concentration of caffeine (as discussed above), means coffee should be consumed in moderation. Whereas with matcha you can treat yourself again and again.
Matcha is a great alternative to caffeine, especially if you are looking for an alternative to coffee for energy.