It's a weekday. You've just rolled over and tapped your alarm to snooze, struggling to motivate yourself. So what's one of the first thoughts that pop into your head? I need caffeine to kick-start my day! Have you considered matcha as your caffeine drink of choice?
Caffeine from matcha promotes energy without the jitters or crash that comes with coffee.
Most people are accustomed to having a cup of coffee to start the morning. Sixty-two percent of US adults say they consume coffee every day. (1)
However, over the past few decades, nutritional science has debated if coffee is healthy — and if there's a better way to get a boost of energy without the downsides.
This is where matcha comes in.
With countless body-cleansing and supportive components, matcha is one of nature's oldest solutions to a healthier, more energized self, and it's been more scientifically tested than any other 'superfoods' you can likely name. (2)
Does matcha have caffeine?
Yes, matcha has caffeine. According to research, the typical range of caffeine found in matcha is 18 to 50 mg/g, depending on the quality of the matcha. For example, exactly how the matcha is grown, harvested, and prepared can hugely impact its caffeine levels. (5)
Wondering how much caffeine is found in our brand of matcha powder? Our superior grade daily matcha and ceremonial matchas have all been vigorously lab tested, and carry 37.5mg to over 50 mg of caffeine per gram of matcha, which is considered the typical serving portion. (5) (6)
Matcha is best stored in an airtight tin container in the freezer, as oxygen can quickly cause it to degrade.
Matcha caffeine vs. green tea caffeine
Caffeine content in matcha is relatively higher than other bagged green tea varieties, which is one of the reasons matcha has such a lovely, unique aroma and flavor. When comparing caffeine levels, green teas fall within a range of 11.3–24.67 mg/g, packing about half the amount of caffeine found in matcha. Keep in mind that the caffeine content of whatever type of matcha beverage you are having varies depending on how much powder is added. (5)
Matcha is derived from the same plant as green tea, but it is grown and prepared differently. Matcha powder is packed with nutrients from the entire green tea leaf, resulting in a higher quality and amount of caffeine and other powerful antioxidants than bagged green tea. (5)
So one cup (8 ounces) of standard matcha that uses 4 teaspoons of powder can have well over 200 mg of caffeine, while a cup of regular green tea that size provides up to 25 mg of caffeine. However, most people don't drink a full cup of matcha at once because of its much higher caffeine content. With matcha, less really is more. (5)
Matcha doesn't give you coffee breath
Unlike coffee that stains teeth and leads to bad breath, matcha actually fights against the bacteria causing plaque and bad breath, making it a powerful addition to daily oral hygiene.
Matcha caffeine vs. coffee caffeine
When it comes to comparing caffeine levels, coffee contains more caffeine per serving than matcha. For example, the average cup of coffee contains 96 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces, while a 2-ounce cup of matcha, when prepared traditionally with one teaspoon, contains about 18–50 mg/g. And did you know just one 1-ounce shot of espresso has up to 100 mg of caffeine? (5) (8)
Most coffee drinkers cannot rely on just one cup of coffee to get them through even half their day. The boost from coffee's caffeine usually lasts a mere 1–3 hours and then leads to a sudden crash in energy levels. Then it's time for another cup. (4) (2)
Having the four 8-ounce cups of coffee you may think you need to get you through the day, which is around 400 mg of caffeine, can be harmful to your health. Consuming up to 400mg/day of caffeine from coffee, or about 4 cups, has been shown to double the risk of headaches, panic attacks, feelings of being trapped or caught, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness. (7)
However, matcha releases slowly in the body, so you aren't left with an uneasy feeling. Caffeine from matcha promotes a state of relaxation and overall well-being, providing 6 hours of sustained energy. (5)
Bodies process caffeine in matcha in a healthier, slower way
Our bodies process caffeine from matcha and coffee differently. Because matcha has higher phytonutrient levels, matcha caffeine release happens in a much slower, much healthier way than coffee caffeine. (5)
Digestion of caffeine from matcha
When you drink matcha, your body absorbs the caffeine in a way that prevents a lot of side effects that you get from drinking coffee.
The caffeine molecules in matcha bind to the larger catechin molecules. Catechins are powerful antioxidants that are naturally broken down and slowly assimilated. This leads to the gradual breakdown of caffeine into the bloodstream. This slow process is what allows matcha to provide sustained, level energy for up to 6-8 hours. (5) (9)
How the body processes caffeine from coffee leads to spikes in adrenaline, glucose, and insulin levels, which is why people often experience a crash when their blood sugar drops.
L-Theanine in matcha
Matcha also helps balance blood sugar and process caffeine calmly thanks to L-theanine—a rare amino acid that is also a key player in promoting relaxation and soothing your nerves. It also modifies the effect of caffeine, giving you a feeling of relaxed alertness.
L-theanine allows you to drink matcha later in the day and not worry about having trouble falling asleep. Thus, matcha can positively impact quality of sleep and also be a great alternative to coffee if you suffer from caffeine sensitivity. (5)
Final thoughts on matcha caffeine vs. coffee caffeine
While a cup of espresso in the morning will wake you up, it also spikes your stress hormones. Coffee caffeine is absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream, but you may notice after an hour that you have less energy and are more grumpy than you were before. Unlike coffee, caffeine from matcha is absorbed very slowly into the body, giving you a long and sustained energy boost rather than a quick spike.
Our superior quality matcha delivers numerous superpowered health benefits that include up to six hours of sustained energy, mental clarity, and calm alertness. You can easily add a cup of matcha to your daily routine or opt to mix culinary-grade matcha into your favorite recipes in the kitchen.
Are you looking to transition from coffee to matcha? We've got you covered. Learn step-by-step how to switch from drinking coffee to drinking matcha.
- 2021 National Coffee Data Trends: The Atlas of American Coffee. (2021). National Coffee Association of U.S.A. https://www.ncausa.org/Industry-Resources/Market-Research/NCDT
- Cappelletti, S., Daria, P., Sani, G., & Aromatario, M. (2015). Caffeine: Cognitive and Physical Performance Enhancer or Psychoactive Drug? Current Neuropharmacology, 13(1), 71–88. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159x13666141210215655
- Dietz, C., Dekker, M., & Piqueras-Fiszman, B. (2017). An intervention study on the effect of matcha tea, in drink and snack bar formats, on mood and cognitive performance. Food Research International, 99, 72–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2017.05.002
- Evans J, Richards JR, Battisti AS. Caffeine. [Updated 2021 Jul 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519490/
- Kochman, J., Jakubczyk, K., Antoniewicz, J., Mruk, H., & Janda, K. (2020). Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules, 26(1), 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010085
- Koláčková, T., Kolofiková, K., Sytařová, I., Snopek, L., Sumczynski, D., & Orsavová, J. (2019). Matcha Tea: Analysis of Nutritional Composition, Phenolics and Antioxidant Activity. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 75(1), 48–53. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-019-00777-z
- Meredith, S. E., Juliano, L. M., Hughes, J. R., & Griffiths, R. R. (2013). Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Caffeine Research, 3(3), 114–130. https://doi.org/10.1089/jcr.2013.0016
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2020, October 30). FoodData Central [Dataset]. USDA. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1104137/nutrients
- Weiss, D. J., & Anderton, C. R. (2003). Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography. Journal of Chromatography A, 1011(1–2), 173–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0021-9673(03)01133-6