Matcha tea is a finely-ground preparation of green tea leaves that’s blended with hot water to make a bright-green colored tea.
It’s a fantastic source of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that are found in green tea, and as a result, it’s an extremely popular drink for longevity and resistance to chronic disease.
If these are the kind of benefits you’re looking for, our research team has ranked and reviewed the top matcha tea powder on the market.
1. Jade Leaf Matcha
Jade Leaf Matcha is grown in Japan, organically certified, and stone-ground in the traditional manner.
The result is a pure and incredibly popular matcha tea powder that’s just the right consistency to mix up with hot water, but not get gritty or too cloudy.
2. Akira Organic Matcha
Akira Organic Matcha is “ceremonial grade” matcha green tea, making it a rank above many of the culinary grade products on the market in terms of its taste and flavor profile.
It’s a favorite among dedicated matcha tea drinkers who use traditional preparation methods for its bold and citrusy flavor. If you want authentic matcha tea that’s of the highest quality, go for this product.
3. Matcha Wellness Organic Matcha
Matcha Wellness Organic Matcha has a bright, vegetal flavor with no hint of bitterness. This organically certified matcha tea is great for smoothies, lattes, and baking, thanks to its bright and approachable flavor profile.
It may not have the depth and complexity of some of the more refined matcha teas, but that’s not going to affect its health benefits.
4. Kenko Tea
Kenko Tea caters to users who appreciate quality. This ceremonial grade matcha tea comes in a small package, but is highly rated by users for its smooth and well-rounded taste profile.
It’s definitely a matcha tea for drinking versus blending into smoothies or shakes, but if you know you want to drink your matcha tea hot, it’s an excellent choice.
5. Republic of Tea Double Green Matcha Tea
Republic of Tea Double Green Matcha Tea comes in tea satchels like other green teas, so it’s a good fit if you want to be able to make matcha tea in a less messy, more convenient, and equally nutritious package, Republic of Tea is a great fit.
It’s a blend of Chinese and Japanese matcha teas, but all of the ingredients are organically grown, so while it’s not a single-source product, it’s still free of any potential toxins.
6. Starter Matcha
Starter Matcha is certified organic and grown in China. It’s a mild, well-tolerated matcha, so it’s a good option if you aren’t sure if you’ll like the flavor of matcha tea.
Though some matcha teas can be bold, smokey, or earthy, this matcha tea is smoother and more mellow, which makes it appealing to a wide audience.
7. Zen Spirit Matcha Tea
Zen Spirit Matcha Tea is grown in Japan and stone ground. It’s organically certified, too, meaning you don’t need to worry about pesticides or herbicides contaminating the product.
It’s specifically designed for supplementation by mixing into smoothies and shakes, so the taste isn’t quite what you’d get with the higher-grade matcha teas designed for drinking.
Still, it’s a high-purity choice and a good option if you’ll mostly be mixing matcha with other supplements.
8. DrinkMatcha Certified Organic Matcha Tea
DrinkMatcha Certified Organic Matcha Tea caters to bulk users who go through a lot of matcha tea on a regular basis.
Though the taste doesn’t make it particularly stand out, the 16-ounce tin makes it a favorite among people who blend a lot of matcha into their smoothies and shakes every day.
9. Rishi Super Green Matcha Tea
Rishi Super Green Matcha Tea is a blend of both matcha and sencha green tea, which gives it a deeply vegetal flavor that’s still free from smokiness and earthiness.
It comes in prepackaged satchels, making it great for convenience but not at all suited for smoothies, lattes, or shakes.
10. Vitamonk MachaMax
Vitamonk MatchaMax is designed for people who are in a rush—if you don’t have time to sit down and enjoy a hot cup of tea, but still want the benefits of matcha tea, this capsule-based supplement might be the answer for you.
Each vegetarian-friendly cellulose capsule delivers 375 mg of matcha tea powder, and while it’s a convenient way to consume matcha tea, the dosage is lower than what you’d get by making hot tea yourself (typically this dosage is closer to two grams per cup).
Matcha tea benefits and side effects
Green tea is one of the most popular beverages worldwide; the wide range of health benefits this type of tea delivers is even more impressive for matcha, a variety that’s grown and made in a slightly different manner.
Research shows green tea has positive effects on a variety of health conditions, including weight control and protection of the cardiovascular system. (1)
All green tea is made with leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is native to China; tea leaves are steeped in hot water, and this process infuses the water with nutrients.
Matcha tea is made using the whole leaf, which has had the stems and veins removed before being stone ground into a very fine powder that is bright green in color.
Before harvest time, the bushes are covered for 20 to 30 days, and resulting shade stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels in leaves, as well as bumping up amino acid production.
Antioxidant levels and caffeine content are also higher in matcha tea; expect caffeine to run at about 35mg per cup.
Many people use matcha in baked goods or smoothies, and since the taste can be grassy and a bit on the bitter side, a hot drink made with matcha is usually mellowed with milk and sometimes sweetened.
The most common way to prepare matcha tea is the traditional Japanese method. A bamboo spoon known as a “shashaku” is used to measure the powder, which is placed in a small bowl called a “chawan.”
After hot water is added to the bowl, a small bamboo whisk called a “chasen” is used to whip the mixture until it is smooth with a froth on top.
The tea can be prepared in several manners according to preference. “Koicha” is thick tea, and is often used in Japanese ceremonies; two teaspoons of high-grade matcha powder are mixed with an ounce of water, and whisking is minimal, yielding no foam. “Usucha” is thin tea, with only about a half-teaspoon of matcha whisked with 3 to 4 ounces of hot water. “Standard” preparation is a teaspoon of matcha mixed with about two ounces of hot water.
Many people enjoy using the traditional utensils for preparing matcha tea, but you can also make a perfectly fine cup of tea with kitchen tools you have on hand.
All the good things you’ve heard about green tea extract apply to matcha tea as well, since it’s a variety of green tea; but consuming the whole leaf provides more benefits.
Matcha tea is high in antioxidants. The antioxidants in a single cup of matcha are comparable to about three cups of regular green tea.
Animal studies indicate matcha tea can reduce the risk of liver and kidney damage, as well as decreasing triglyceride levels, blood sugar measurements and cholesterol. (2)
Research also suggests matcha is even better at fighting fungi, viruses and bacteria in the body than green tea. (3)
High antioxidant content translates to better protection against the formation of free radicals, which can damage tissues and cells.
Catechins are especially plentiful in matcha, and the most powerful and extensively studied of these is epigallocatechin (EGCG), which is also present in other green teas.
EGCG fights inflammation, stimulates cellular repair processes, and contributes to the maintenance of healthy arteries. (4)
A study analyzing the antioxidant content of various teas found that matcha contained up to 137% more antioxidants than low-quality varieties of green tea; when compared to higher-grade green teas, matcha still came out on top at about 3 times the level of antioxidants. (5)
Besides the obvious benefits of antioxidants, matcha has been shown to have positive effects on several other health conditions.
Matcha tea can improve heart health. Matcha tea can improve many of the biomarkers associated with a higher risk for developing heart disease, which accounts for more deaths worldwide each year than another other cause. (6)
Matcha is both popular and effective for weight loss. Often included in weight loss pills, green tea amps up the metabolism so more calories are burned and the body’s ability to use fat for fuel may increase up to 17%. (12, 13)
Not all studies confirm this effect, so it’s important to keep this potential benefit in perspective; drinking green tea will not magically result in weight loss, but can be a useful part of an overall weight management program with appropriate lifestyle modifications.
One review of multiple studies concluded that the weight-loss effects of green tea were not clinically significant. (14)
Researchers believe this may be due to the abundance of an amino acid called L-theanine, which occurs in much larger amounts in matcha than other types of green tea.
Human subjects experience increased alpha brain wave activity in response to L-theanine; this is linked with greater levels of mental relaxation, and may also serve to counteract stress signals.(17, 18)
Brain chemicals that make us feel good are also increased by L-theanine, and this appears to improve memory, concentration and mood. (19)
The L-theanine in green tea acts to moderate the effects of caffeine as well, providing a mild feeling of alertness without leading to the drowsiness people commonly experience when a coffee buzz wears off. (20)
Keep in mind that a single cup of matcha tea delivers a similar quantity of nutrients that you would get from drinking three cups of high quality green tea.
Everyone’s body has difference tolerance levels, and sensitive individuals may experience nausea or even suffer liver or kidney damage from excess consumption. (21)
One study noted that some people showed signs of liver toxicity after drinking 6 cups of green tea daily for four months; this would be comparable to two cups of matcha tea each day. (22)
Because of its highly concentrated nature, matcha tea isn’t something you want to drink all day long; experts recommend keeping consumption to two cups or less daily (though plenty of people do take more than this). Consistent intake over long periods of time seems to be the best way to achieve the health benefits of matcha, since many of the major studies on the benefits of green tea come from long-term studies of people in Japan and China who drink a few cups of green tea or matcha tea every day for years.
Matcha tea is a specially grown and prepared version of green tea. It has powerful antioxidant effects, and is very popular among people looking to increase their resistance to chronic diseases and fight off weight gain and the health problems that come along with it. It’s best to consume one or two cups per day, but to maintain this intake on a consistent basis over time to get all of the benefits of matcha tea. Overall, it’s an excellent and proven way to boost your body’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power.