Is Matcha Tea High in Caffeine? How Does it Compare to Coffee?

  • Medical Reviewer: Mahammad Juber, MD
Medically Reviewed on 9/27/2022

What is caffeine?

Matcha is a type of powdered green tea extracted from tencha leaves. An 8-ounce cup of coffee may contain 100 mg of caffeine, while the same cup of matcha tea contains around 70 mg of caffeine.
Matcha is a type of powdered green tea extracted from tencha leaves. An 8-ounce cup of coffee may contain 100 mg of caffeine, while the same cup of matcha tea contains around 70 mg of caffeine.

Matcha is a type of powdered green tea extracted from tencha leaves. These undergo a strict growing process protected from sunlight in the first few days of their budding process. Due to the delay in the plant's development, the production of amino acids increases substantially. Cheaper matcha grades are typically made from mature leaves that taste more bitter, while the higher grade of matcha is made from younger, sweeter leaves.

Because of its ability to act as a substitute for coffee, many people are jumping on the matcha bandwagon. Matcha tea is higher in antioxidants than other varieties of green tea and may protect against cell damage in the body that can cause disease. Have you wondered if you should add matcha to your routine? This article reviews how its caffeine content compares to coffee.

Naturally found in beverages like tea, coffee, and even chocolate, caffeine is a stimulant that temporarily boosts energy. When you drink a cup of coffee, the stimulant properties of the caffeine trigger activity in your central nervous system, making you feel more awake. Matcha, like coffee, is a popular drink consumed by many to boost energy and focus. 

While too much caffeine can have harmful effects, moderate caffeine intake is associated with a reduced risk of conditions like heart disease and even some cancers. When incorporating matcha into your diet, you should keep in mind how much caffeine is tolerable and beneficial for your body.

Does matcha contain a high amount of caffeine?

Made by grinding young tea leaves and whisking them into a fine powder, matcha is a green tea with tremendous health benefits, including improved heart health and immunity. Matcha contains between 20 and 44 mg of caffeine per gram. In most cases, it contains more caffeine than most other green teas because you drink the actual powdered tea leaves. An 8-ounce cup of coffee may contain 100 mg of caffeine, while the same cup of matcha tea contains around 70 mg of caffeine. 

Depending on how concentrated the matcha tea is, how much powder you use, and how fresh it is, it could have a higher or lower caffeine content than your typical cup of coffee. Reach for a cup of matcha tea when you need a caffeine boost and want a drink that delivers double the amount of antioxidants. You can find matcha tea at your local tea or coffee shop or make it at home with just a few simple ingredients.

What are the benefits of switching coffee for matcha?

Avoid the dreaded caffeine crash

After drinking a cup of coffee, you may experience a temporary energy boost that seems to wear off as the day goes on and your body and mind begin to crash. An amino acid in matcha called l-theanine gives your body the ability to absorb caffeine more slowly. Though matcha often contains about a third of caffeine as a cup of coffee, you'll feel energized for longer and may even feel a calming effect.

Reduce signs of anxiety and stress

Consuming too many cups of coffee causes the level of caffeine in your system to spike and makes you feel nervous or jittery. By choosing a matcha beverage, you can avoid jittery feelings brought on by high caffeine levels in some coffee.

The l-theanine in matcha can help reduce stress and give a sense of calm and relaxation. Another added benefit is you won't feel sleepy or tired after drinking matcha like you might a few hours after having a cup of coffee.

Boost your mood and experience better focus

Serotonin and dopamine are vital neurotransmitters that stabilize mood and keep sad feelings at bay. When you drink a cup of matcha green tea, not only will it potentially put you in a more positive mood, you may even experience an increased ability to concentrate. 

Consider all the amazing health benefits

Matcha green tea has extraordinary antioxidant capabilities that may aid in the prevention of cancer cell growth. It also contains a high amount of fiber, which acts as a digestive aid. Matcha tea may help boost your metabolism and reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Nutrients in matcha like calcium, protein, iron, and potassium may boost your immune system. Due to the high chlorophyll content in matcha, you may also consider using it as an effective detoxifier.

Improve skin conditions and concerns  

Drinking matcha tea can benefit your skin due to its antibacterial properties that may reduce the number of breakouts you experience and even give your skin a healthy glow. Matcha is packed with antioxidants that deliver anti-aging properties to the skin and may even reverse some of the damage left behind by sun exposure.

Adding matcha tea to your diet

Your personal preferences should ultimately determine whether you decide to opt for your regular cup of coffee or make the change and switch to matcha tea. Want to avoid the mid-morning caffeine crash? Matcha tea can boost energy and is less acidic than coffee, which may be preferable for sensitive stomachs. Regular coffee drinkers should gradually incorporate matcha into their diet and avoid swearing it off completely in the beginning. 

Get your system used to the switch by having a cup of matcha green tea in the morning and some coffee in the early afternoon. Avoid caffeine in the evening as it may make it difficult to fall asleep at night. It will be easier to commit fully to drinking matcha tea over coffee once your body adapts. You can also enjoy matcha by adding it to smoothies or in boiling water when cooking pasta or soups. If you're a fan of baking, stir matcha powder into muffin or cake mix. Decaf varieties of matcha are available if you're worried about the caffeine content; however, you should remember that even decaf matcha has traces of natural caffeine. 


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Medically Reviewed on 9/27/2022

Mayo Clinic: “Nutrition and healthy eating."

National Library of Medicine: "Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review," "Stress-Reducing Function of Matcha Green Tea in Animal Experiments and Clinical Trials."

Piedmont: "The health benefits of matcha tea."