7 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

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What is matcha tea - 7 benefits and one caution
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » 7 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

Ever resisted a fad for a long time because you didn’t like it or it seemed frivolous only to try it later and discover that you had been missing out the whole time?

I have a list of things that I resisted to my own detriment (yoga pants and sushi top the list) but one that I’ve known and loved for years is Matcha Tea. I had a friend in high school who was from Japan and she introduced me to this amazing powdered green tea known as Matcha.

It has gained popularity lately, though many modern mentions of Matcha ignore the rich culture and traditional preparation that typically accompany matcha tea brewing.

What Is Matcha?

Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea that is grown and produced in Japan (in most cases). The green tea leaves are shaded from the sun for the last few weeks of their growth, increasing the chlorophyll content and creating a gorgeous green color. Then, the leaves are carefully ground with stone grinding wheels to produce a fine powder.

The powder can then be used to brew an antioxidant rich frothy green tea or in recipes like smoothies or baking. Unlike other types of teas, the green tea powder is not strained out before consuming, so you are consuming the entire leaf, making Matcha more potent than other tea varieties. In fact, only 1/2 tsp is needed to brew a traditional cup of Matcha.

History of Matcha

In the Tang Dynasty in China, green tea was powdered and dried into bricks for easy use. People could then break off a small piece of the dried tea brick and stir into hot water. This provided a shelf stable green tea that was easy to travel with.

In the 1100s, a Japanese monk brought the idea of powdered tea to Japan, and this eventually evolved into the traditional chanoyu ceremony. Though the tradition of drinking powdered green teas has lost popularity in China until recent years, the tradition has persisted in Japan. Though originally only royalty and Samurai warriors were given Matcha because it was so time consuming and expensive to produce, it is now a popular drink throughout Japan.

For Matcha, the best tea bushes are selected and shaded from the sun for 3 weeks before harvest. Then, the best leaves are selected and ground by hand to produce a fine, bright green powder.

Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

Energy + Calm

Matcha tea is unique because the process of shading and harvesting increases the content of L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps balance the caffeine. While matcha may contain the same caffeine as other types of tea, the L-Theanine is known to create calmness without drowsiness.


Another benefit to Matcha is the high concentration of antioxidants. One study found that Matcha has 137 times the polyphenols (notably, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)) than regular green tea. (1) In fact, this type of green tea contains over 60x the antioxidants of spinach and 7x the antioxidants of high quality dark chocolate.

There is some evidence that these polyphenols may have a protective effect against some types of cancer.

Weight Loss

EGCG, found in high concentrations in Matcha, has been shown to increase the rate of burning stored fat as energy, as well as decreasing the formation of new fat cells. Other studies have shown that the catechins in Matcha increase the body’s rate of calorie burning each day and offered additional fat burning benefit during exercise.

Healthy Heart

A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the catechins in green tea had a significant effect on lowering LDL cholesterol. A 2013 Cochrane review also showed that regular green tea consumption was associated with lower blood pressure and an decreased risk of stroke.

Brain Power

The L-Theanine in green tea is known to help stimulate alpha brain waves. These waves are known for their ability to help increase focus and concentration.

Chlorophyll Source

The process of shading the Matcha leaves creates an increased amount of Chlorophyll, which some preliminary research has shown may help the body eliminate heavy metals and other harmful buildup. Research is still lacking in this area, but many alternative doctors recommend Chlorophyll for this purpose.

Skin Health

The same antioxidants that make green tea protective, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may also help support skin health by reducing inflammation and free radicals that accelerate skin aging. This green tea facemask is a great example of that.

All That Glitters…

Is not gold, or green, as the case may be. Matcha has some amazing benefits, but one important caution and potential downside: lead.

All green teas, even organically grown ones, contain trace amounts of lead and fluoride. When brewed as traditional green tea, the leaves are removed, and most of the lead (and some of the fluoride) is removed with the leaves.

With Matcha, since the whole leaf is consumed, there is a higher concentration of lead. From everything I’ve read, this is not a reason to avoid this type of tea, since the levels are still low, but I would exercise more caution when pregnant for this reason.

Pique Tea offers an amazing Matcha tea, that is the only Matcha to be triple screened for any toxins and is free of heavy metals and fluoride, pesticides, toxic mold and radioactive isotopes.

How to Brew Matcha Green Tea

Though Matcha can cost $4 or more in a cafe, you can make it inexpensively at home. We enjoy Matcha as a treat about once a week, and I’ve also enjoyed experimenting with adding it to foods for color. Though in Japan, a tea ceremony is an elaborate practice that involves special cups, tea pots and bowls, there is a simplified process that you can use at home.

There are two ways to brew, as usucha or koicha. Usucha is a thin tea, while koicha is a thicker tea.

Needed Equipment:

  • A bamboo whisk and spoon (not absolutely necessary, but creates a much smoother and frothier drink than a regular whisk) TIP: in a pinch, use a blender.
  • Fine mesh strainer or sifter
  • A glass bowl for whisking
  • Small cups for drinking tea

I use the same equipment in my matcha green tea latte recipe (it even has an iced option).

What is matcha tea - 7 benefits and one caution

Matcha Green Tea Recipe

Antioxidant rich green tea made from the powdered leaves of the tea plant is a source of beneficial polyphenos and nutrients.
Author Katie Wells




  • Sift the powder into the glass bowl using a fine mesh strainer or sifter.
  • Slowly add the hot water.
  • Whisk with the bamboo whisk in a “w” shape until frothy and well mixed.
  • Drink immediately.


Though I’m sure it violates ceremonial tea procedure, I’ve also found that throwing the tea and water into my blendtec and blending is just as efficient and creates a frothy drink as well. You can also experiment with adding almond or coconut milk, or even a little honey, though these were not used in traditional teas.

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Ever used Matcha? What is the most unique way you’ve used it?


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


75 responses to “7 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea”

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      There are mixed opinions on caffeine during pregnancy. Some experts say that under 200-300mg from quality sources a day is fine, while others say it should be avoided. Ultimately it’s a personal decision and a good question for your midwife or other birth professional.

  1. Cornelia Fontanilla Avatar
    Cornelia Fontanilla

    Thanks for sharing this blog, really helpful. Been planning on switching from coffee to green tea and this helped me a lot!

  2. Dan Avatar

    4 stars
    Has anyone tried matcha from Mizuba tea? After reading this article they seem to check all the boxes:
    – several matchas that are non-gmo, radiation-free, & organic certified.
    – from Uji, Japan.
    – looks like they personally work with the farmers.

    Trying to do my research on the best Japanese green tea! Any recommendations??

  3. Beth Avatar

    I refill water bottles with water and about 1/2tsp matcha. I drink this with lunch every day. It keeps me alert and focused for the afternoon!

  4. Milon Avatar

    Does this need to be made with a specific matcha powder?
    I have Tenzo Tea’s organic matcha but a lot of them look the same

  5. esteri Avatar


    I skimmed through the comments and I don’t believe we have a clear answer yet as to whether or not it is advisable to drink matcha tea when you are are hypothyroid. Would matcha tea have more flouride than green tea? If we do drink it or even black tea, should one wait an hour after taking thyroid medication?
    It may be of interest so some to know chamomile tea is helpful for the thyroid.

  6. Kyle Avatar

    5 stars
    Thank you for bringing attention to natural/alternative health topics!

  7. Ayesha Safder Avatar
    Ayesha Safder

    Is this tea can be used for those hom are suffering from gallbladder stone,,cz it’s written tat 7 benifts and one coution,,plz do explain ,,i am suffering WTH this issue but plz guide me ,,can I use this tea I want to be active now a days I am to lazy and tired

  8. harri Avatar

    I got some Evergreen matcha for Christmas this year and its by far the best I’ve tried!! it doesnt taste bitter and it has a lovely green colour- which is a good sign of the quality 🙂 highly recommend!

  9. Elana Brown Avatar
    Elana Brown

    5 stars
    The link works now 🙂 Although I have to admit that I was not a huge fan of the brand you recommended. I found it was quite bitter so it was not enjoyable on its own however it was fine when used in baking.

    I quite like drinking an Iced Matcha Green Tea- have you tried this? I mix 1/2 teaspoon high quality matcha + Squeeze of Lemon/Lime + 4 Drops Freshly Squeezed Ginger + Mint Leaves (clap them between your hands first to release the flavour) + Ice. It’s SO delicious and gives me energy all day!

    The most important aspects of matcha when you are buying is is (a) Japanese matcha- Japan produces the best matcha (b) Color- should be a nice vibrant green (c) Non-Bitter, almost naturally sweet flavor (d) Premium grade or higher if you want the health benefits!

    Thanks again for the article Katie- looking forward to hearing more recipes!

  10. Abigail Barringer Avatar
    Abigail Barringer

    5 stars
    I love matcha green tea! I have made matcha brownies, better know as “greenies” which were yummy! But I want to find a better option than fake “white chocolate.” Also I love using matcha in place of coffee for my healthy fats drink in the morning! Add your butter, coconut oil, sweetener of choice (less is better) maybe a splash of almond of coconut milk and the traditional brew for matcha tea, (water and 1/2 TSP matcha) blend and enjoy!

  11. Manuel Avatar

    5 stars
    Your article is so informative and interesting. I have purchased flavored matcha green tea after reading your post and it was really good. Thank you so much for spreading the health benefits of Matcha green tea.

  12. Kim Avatar

    Unfortunately I feel the same as any other time I research thyroid issues/ dietary benefits… Deflated, scrolling down to not get enough info to whether green tea is actually beneficial for us with thyroidtoxitosis/graves/over active.. I’d love to have a couple a day even 1, but I just don’t see how a highly caffeinated tea is good for us. My basic knowledge leads me to believe it would trigger the ‘overactive’ actions of the thyroid at some point. May just stick to my balanced diet and smoothies

4.61 from 28 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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