The Truth about Matcha Caffeine
Here’s how caffeine makes drinking matcha a heavenly experience
Caffeine content of a cup of matcha
1 teaspoon = 70 mg caffeine
Following a typical serving size of 1 teaspoon (2 grams) per 8 oz of water, your cup of matcha equates to a caffeine consumption of 70mg. To give some some context to that figure, here’s how matcha tea stacks up against other caffeinated drinks:
Matcha vs. other teas*
Black tea: 42mg
Oolong tea: 37 mg
Yellow tea: 33 mg
White tea: 28 mg
Green tea: 25 mg
Jasmine tea: 25 mg
*Per 8 fl.oz
With 70 mg of caffeine, matcha can be classified as having moderate amount of caffeine, but clearly it is very much ahead of the pack. A distinct difference with the teas listed above with matcha is while these come in bags that needs to be brewed, matcha is sold as powder. In bagged teas, you’re only enjoying the dissolvable elements the leaves unleash during brewing whereas with matcha, which is basically the entire tea leaf ground into fine powder, you’re drinking the entire leaf!
Matcha vs Coffee*
Brewed coffee (Arabica): 163 mg
Instant coffee : 57 mg
*Per 8 fl.oz
When compared to a caffeine powerhouse like coffee, it’s not even a competition. A cup of brewed coffee has almost twice the caffeine in matcha that it’s clear why some can’t properly function without their caffeine fix.
But with lesser caffeine content, matcha might be the better choice for you
What’s you need to know is that along with caffeine, matcha also possess the rare amino acid L-theanine which only exists in tea. It’s because of the unique effect of having these two complementing forces at work that make the experience of drinking matcha very unique. Here’s why.
Tea caffeine is different
Our body metabolizes tea caffeine in a very different and much healthier way. The caffeine binds to the larger catechin molecules in matcha and is periodically absorbed into the bloodstream as the catechins are broken down. What this results to is a slow release of caffeine that can give you up to 6 hours of energy boost with extended cognition and focus.
With coffee, you’re keenly aware when the caffeine hits - your heart literally thumps like crazy and you’re buzzing with energy - and you’re just as sensitive during the “crash”, with jitters and headaches and all. The slow release in matcha feels like gliding with the slow ascent into a space of clear mental focus and the ride back down is just as smooth. What are caffeine crashes? Matcha drinkers can’t relate.
L-theanine complements caffeine
L-theanine, once absorbed into the bloodstream, can cause the increase the level dopamine and serotonin, the hormones responsible for relaxation & happiness. So when caffeine brings your balloon up, L-theanine is the sandbag that keeps you from flying too high and keeps you in that happy medium which matcha drinkers describe as a state of “relaxed alertness”
The synergistic effect of caffeine & L-theanine in matcha is one of the reasons why former coffee drinkers are embracing matcha as their drink of choice. If you’re also looking to switch, why not start now?