What Is Matcha, Anyway?

Curious about matcha? Learn more about what's brewing with this bright green tea powder.

Do you love a classic cup of hot, home-brewed tea? Well, there is more to tea than the traditional tea bag. Meet matcha, the bright green tea that’s getting a lot of fuss these days.

What is Matcha?

Matcha is a vibrant green powder that’s originated from Japan. In fact, matcha translates literally to “powdered tea”. It gets it’s stunning color from the high-chlorophyll content of the specialty leaves.

Unlike traditional tea, this powder doesn’t come in a tea bag. Matcha tea is combined with hot water and mixed using a specialty bamboo whisk, resulting in a frothy, velvet-smooth drink that’s sweet, floral and loaded with nutrients.

The Benefits of Matcha

  • Antioxidants: Matcha tea powder contains a plant compound called EGCg which is a potent antioxidant that may protect cells from DNA damage. Bonus: Matcha contains 137 times more anti-inflammatory antioxidants than regular green tea.
  • Vitamin C: Green tea powder is high in vitamin C which is beneficial to your overall health.
  • Fiber: Matcha powder is ground from an entire tea leaf. This means it’s loaded with fiber, helping aid digestive health.
  • Calming effect: With amino acids such as L-theanine, matcha is great for alertness and relaxation.

Find more health benefits of tea.

Matcha Side Effects

  • High caffeine: Matcha is a good source of caffeine. This is important if you are sensitive or don’t want to become dependent on caffeine.
  • Iron absorption. If you have an iron deficiency, make sure you drink tea in moderation. Compounds in tea, especially green tea, can make it harder for your body to absorb iron.
  • Sugar. If you are trying to cut back on sugar, make sure you are buying pure green tea powder, and not a blend of matcha and sugar or flavoring.

How to Make an Easy Matcha Latte


  • 1/2 teaspoon matcha. We enjoy the potency of Jade Leaf Matcha ($10), an organic brand.
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1 cup milk
  • Sweetener of your choice



  1. Combine matcha and hot (not boiling) water in serving cup. Whisk with bamboo whisk until combined.
  2. Place milk in a separeate microwave-safe cup. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute or until milk is hot and small bubbles form around edge of cup.
  3. Place a metal whisk in cup; whisk vigorously by holding whisk handle loosely between palms and quickly rubbing hands back and forth.
  4. Pour frothed milk into serving cup with matcha. Add sweetener and serve warm.

More Ways to Cook with Matcha

Have spare matcha on hand? Matcha has recently become a popular ingredient cooking, too. Add a few teaspoons of matcha to your favorite smoothie recipe, pancake batter, homemade ice cream or yogurt.

Recipes You Can Make with Tea
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Carolyn Lewis
Carolyn Lewis is a young writer & digital media professional who grew up in Milwaukee. She loves to read graphic novels, write poetry about nature and cook Thai food while listening to podcasts. She has always been a storyteller and animal lover, thus, she has a hamster named Hamlet.