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What is Matcha? Everything You Need to Know About the Green Drink Taking Over Coffeeshops

If you’ve visited a coffeeshop recently, you’ve likely noticed matcha on the menu. Interest in matcha has surged over the past few years, driven by a desire for healthier nutrition options and the drink’s visually appealing, photogenic nature.

Here’s what nutrition experts want you to know about drinking matcha.

What is Matcha?

Matcha is a type of green tea made from finely ground green tea leaves into a powder, known for its slightly earthy taste. Although it originated in China, the matcha we consume today is largely influenced by Japanese traditions.

Does Matcha Have Caffeine?

Yes, matcha contains caffeine, though less than coffee. A cup of matcha has about 70 mg of caffeine, which is roughly equivalent to a shot of espresso and a bit less than a cup of coffee.

“Matcha tea also contains compounds that slow down the absorption of caffeine, preventing the spike and crash in energy often associated with coffee,” says nutrition expert Thomason. However, those who experience anxiety or jitteriness from caffeine may still want to avoid matcha.

“You may not enjoy drinking caffeinated beverages like matcha despite their lower caffeine content and different effects on energy levels compared to coffee,” Thomason adds.

Is Matcha Good for You?

Research has shown that green tea offers numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and potential aids in disease prevention. As a type of green tea, matcha shares many of these benefits. Some studies suggest that matcha may boost liver, brain, and heart health.

All types of green tea are high in antioxidants and contain a compound called ECGC, which has been shown to improve metabolism and may impact fat loss when consumed consistently.

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