As with many good old things, the history of discovering green tea is a bit blurry. There are many myths and different opinions about this. However, it is quite certain that green tea originates from China, from nearly 5,000 years ago when Emperor Shennong drank water where a leaf of a tea bush had fallen, which gave the water a refreshing taste and energizing effect. Initially, only the Chinese upper class was a consumer of green tea. The consumption of tea did not reach ordinary people until the 14th century.

Although the history of tea originated in China, Japan is also very well known for its tea culture. Tea and its cultivation were introduced to the Japanese by Chinese Buddhists in the 12th century. Today, almost all Japanese tea production is made up of green tea and matcha. Because the Japanese use traditional centuries-old methods to process green tea, their green tea is highly valued.

It was not until the 17th century that the European explorers brought tea to the Western world. Although tea drinking is common in every European country today, the only country where tea culture is as sacred as in its homeland is England.



Although the raw material for both drinks comes from the same plant, the differences start with how this plant is grown. For green tea, the tea bush leaves are picked, slightly dried and then baked or steamed to prevent oxidation of the leaves and to maintain their colour. Harvesting usually takes place three times a year, with the highest quality material coming from the leaves of the first harvest.

The tea bushes, from which the leaves are picked to make matcha, are covered for a couple of weeks before picking the leaves to prevent direct sunlight from falling on the bushes. As a result, the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves increases, which gives the leaves a bright green colour which is a trademark of high-quality matcha. After picking, the stems and stalks are removed from the tea leaves. These leaves also undergo a steaming process to stop oxidation. The cleaned and steamed tea leaves are stone-ground into a fine matcha powder.

Brewing and taste

The ideal water temperature for making green tea or matcha is around 80°C. Using water that is too hot can result in a tannic, slightly dry tasting drink.

Green tea and matcha are mild in taste, fresh and slightly grassy. However, they also have their differences. Depending on how the green tea is prepared, it may have nutty, slightly floral or fruity notes. You can also smell honey, jasmine, citrus or, for example, ginger aroma from classic green tea. The taste of green tea also depends a lot on the brewing time – the longer you let it brew, the stronger the taste. The recommended brewing time is 1-3 minutes. Generally, you can get 2-3 infusions from green tea leaves.

To make a classic matcha, a spoonful of matcha powder is initially whipped in a little hot water. More water is then added until the beverage has the desired consistency. The taste of matcha is fresh, sweeter than green tea and definitely not bitter. Matcha also has a significantly fuller body. Matcha latte is also quite popular. This is made by adding milk and sweeteners to matcha, which is why for many, matcha is known as a creamy and frothy drink.

Health benefits

Green tea and matcha are known not only for their pleasant taste, but also for the fact that they both have many different health-promoting properties. They both contain some caffeine, which means that both are great alternatives to coffee or suitable for those who want to reduce their caffeine intake. Both green tea and matcha contain a wealth of antioxidants, polyphenols and an amino acid called L-theanine, which is known for its calming and relaxing effects.

According to some scientific literature, green tea and matcha help reduce stress and anxiety, support cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, contribute to weight loss and muscle recovery, reduce the risk of type II diabetes, and improve concentration.

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