We cannot resist but raise a cheer for ‘green’! Whether you consume it as leaves (green tea) or the pulverized version (Matcha) – green is great for all and we are eager to tell you. Green tea and Matcha tea come from the Camellia Sinensis plant, are both considered to be ‘superfoods’ and both of them have a high nutritional profile that brings a plethora of health benefits. They are both green teas – all of these are the ‘similarities’ between the two. Let us now look at the key differences that make each of these teas unique and delicious:
‘Treatment’ and Harvesting
Both the teas are grown in a different manner – green tea is grown in full sunlight, while matcha tea is cultivated in the shade for three weeks prior to being harvested. The sunlight lends green tea a dull green with brownish hues, while matcha tea takes on a bright and vivid green color from being grown in the shade.
The harvesting too of both these teas is different. A machine is used to harvest green tea and the harvested leaves are immediately sent to a processing plant to steam in order to prevent fermentation. The blow-drying method is used to then dry the leaves. Matcha tea, on the other hand, is hand-harvested, picking only the brightest and best leaves. Before stone grinding the leaves to a powder, the stems and veins are removed.
Flavor and Taste
Earthy or grassy undertones that feel light and fresh are the distinct flavors of green tea. Depending on how it is prepared, some might identify the taste as bitter. Cold-brewed green tea has a softer and easier on-the-palate taste. Matcha tea is a silken powder that feels sweet, slick, and easy, with a frothy texture. So, take your pick!
Brewing and Preparation
Both these teas can be prepared and consumed either hot or cold. Whisk Matcha powder in hot water or whip up a great tasting mix of matcha and cold water, for a refreshing cold beverage. Green Tea bags should be steeped in mild temperature water, for about three minutes. It is not advisable to use extremely hot water for green tea, since the tea leaves would release tannins and the ready beverage would have a sharp and acerbic taste.
Matcha tea is powder that is derived by grinding whole green tea leaves. This retains all the nutrition and hence makes a healthy cuppa! Green tea leaves are placed in bags, which are steeped in water for some time. The bags are then discarded, without all the nutrients being utilised. While both teas have health benefits, consuming either is a matter of personal choice. Both contain antioxidants (catechins) that help with metabolism, immunity, and reduce the effects of free radicals and toxins. They both contain tannins, which are plant-based micronutrients, and help fight bacteria, reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar, and several other benefits. Both teas offer a caffeine boost without the harmful effects, and actually improve focus, memory, and concentration.
Find your Cuppa
With a range of green and match teas, you can pick up a few of each, give them a try, and then choose the one that tingles your palate. You might just love both and enough to want to gift them to those you care about. Either way, you win!
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