Matcha vs. Coffee: Let's Compare

By Avery Hastings

Matcha vs. Coffee: Let's Compare

Why Matcha Emerges as the Healthier Alternative

Matcha and coffee have been cherished by countless individuals globally for centuries, each boasting distinct flavors, aromas, and potential health perks. However, for those seeking healthy alternatives to coffee for energy, matcha presents a compelling option. Matcha, originating in Japan, is a finely ground green tea powder, offering a flavorful and energizing alternative to traditional coffee. While both beverages vary in taste, caffeine levels, and preparation techniques, matcha stands out as a nutritious choice for sustaining energy levels throughout the day.

In this post, we'll dive into the specifics of matcha and coffee, explore their differences, and see how each drink affects our bodies and minds. We'll also take a closer look at whether matcha and coffee can be combined, and if matcha can be a viable alternative to coffee. l'll also share with you a delicious recipe for a dirty matcha latte, as well as why you should try Bonsai Cha matcha, my personal favorite (and yes, I'm maybe a little biased!).

So, whether you're a long-time coffee drinker or new to the world of matcha, grab a cup of your favorite drink and get ready to learn about the differences between matcha and coffee. Let's get started!

matcha and coffee in white coffee cups on a black cafe table

What is the Difference Between Matcha and Coffee?

Matcha and coffee are both popular beverages enjoyed by people all over the world, but they have several key differences that set them apart from each other.

Here are the main differences between matcha and coffee:

Matcha comes from Japan, where it has been a traditional beverage for centuries. The tea leaves used to make matcha are grown in the shade for several weeks before they are harvested, which results in a unique taste and texture. Coffee, on the other hand, is grown in various countries around the world, such as Brazil, Colombia, and Ethiopia. The coffee plants require specific climatic and soil conditions to grow and produce coffee beans.

Matcha and coffee also differ in their processing and production methods. Matcha is made by grinding green tea leaves into a fine powder, which is then whisked with hot water to make a frothy and flavorful drink. Coffee, on the other hand, is made by roasting coffee beans, grinding them, and then brewing them in hot water.

Matcha and coffee have distinct flavors and aromas. Matcha has a unique grassy and slightly bitter taste, with a smooth and creamy texture. Coffee, on the other hand, can have a wide range of flavors depending on the roast and origin of the beans, but generally has a bitter and nutty taste.

Matcha and coffee also have different nutritional profiles. Matcha is high in antioxidants, specifically catechins, which are known to have numerous health benefits such as reducing inflammation. Matcha also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Coffee is also high in antioxidants but in lower quantities than matcha. Coffee is also a source of several vitamins and minerals such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and potassium.

So, as you see, matcha and coffee are two distinct beverages that offer different tastes, flavors, and nutritional benefits. While matcha is high in antioxidants and promotes relaxation and stress reduction, coffee offers a range of flavors and a boost of energy from caffeine.

coffee plant in the sunlight with red and green coffee beans

How Much Caffeine is in Matcha vs. Coffee?

One of the most significant differences between matcha and coffee is their caffeine content. Caffeine is a stimulant that can help improve focus, mood, and alertness. However, too much caffeine can also cause jitteriness, anxiety, and disrupted sleep patterns. Here's a breakdown of how much caffeine is in matcha vs. coffee:

Matcha contains caffeine but in a lower amount than coffee. One cup of matcha contains approximately 35 milligrams of caffeine, which is about one-third the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee. However, matcha also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps to counterbalance the effects of caffeine. L-theanine promotes relaxation and reduces stress, which can help mitigate the potential side effects of caffeine.

Coffee is known for its high caffeine content. A typical 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains approximately 95 milligrams of caffeine. However, the caffeine content of coffee can vary widely depending on the type of coffee, the brewing method, and the serving size. For example, a shot of espresso contains around 64 milligrams of caffeine, while a cup of decaf coffee contains only a small amount of caffeine, around 2 to 5 milligrams.

Matcha contains less caffeine than coffee, but it also contains L-theanine, which can help counteract the effects of caffeine. Coffee has a higher caffeine content, but it can also cause side effects such as jitteriness and anxiety in some people. If you're looking to reduce your caffeine intake, matcha is a great alternative to coffee. However, if you need a quick energy boost, coffee might be the better choice.


Matcha vs. Coffee Production Methods

Matcha and coffee come from different plants and have different production methods. Understanding how they're produced can help you appreciate their unique qualities and differences.

How Coffee is Made

Coffee is made from the roasted seeds of the Coffea plant. The beans are harvested and then roasted to bring out their flavor and aroma. The roasting process can vary, with some beans roasted lightly and others roasted darkly. Once roasted, the beans are ground and brewed with hot water to create coffee.

How Matcha is Made

Matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant used to produce green, black, and oolong tea. However, matcha is grown and processed differently than other teas. The tea plants are shaded for several weeks before harvest to increase the levels of chlorophyll and other nutrients in the leaves. After harvesting, the leaves are steamed and then dried. The dried leaves are then ground into a fine powder using a stone mill.


Matcha and Coffee Production Differences

The differences in production methods between matcha and coffee result in differences in flavor and aroma. Coffee has a roasted, nutty flavor with a strong aroma that can vary depending on the roast level. Matcha has a grassy, slightly bitter flavor with a sweet aftertaste and a vegetal aroma. The shading process used to grow matcha also gives it a unique umami flavor and a vibrant green color.

The production of coffee can have a significant environmental impact due to deforestation, water usage, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In contrast, matcha production has a smaller environmental footprint as it requires less water and does not involve as much use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

While both matcha and coffee are delicious beverages, they come from different plants and have different production methods. Understanding these differences can help you appreciate the unique qualities of each beverage and make more informed choices about what you consume. If you're interested in trying high-quality matcha, Bonsai Cha offers a range of options that are sustainably sourced and produced.

 camellia sinesis tea plant

Effects on the Body: Matcha vs. Coffee

While matcha and coffee both contain caffeine, they have different effects on the body due to their different nutrient profiles.

Matcha contains high levels of antioxidants, particularly catechins, which can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can promote relaxation and reduce stress. This unique combination of caffeine and L-theanine can create a sustained sense of alertness and focus without the jitters or crash that can come with drinking coffee.

Coffee can also have health benefits, including increased energy, improved focus, and a reduced risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and Parkinson's disease. However, it can also cause anxiety, jitters, and insomnia in some people, especially if consumed in large quantities or later in the day.

Ultimately, whether you choose matcha or coffee will depend on your personal preferences and needs. If you're looking for a sustained sense of focus and relaxation, matcha may be a better choice. If you prefer the taste of coffee or need a quick burst of energy, coffee may be a better fit. It's also important to consider the environmental impact of your beverage choices and choose high-quality, sustainably sourced products.

If you're interested in trying matcha for the first time or upgrading to a higher-quality product, we recommend Bonsai Cha. Their matcha is sustainably sourced, organic and comes in a range of options to suit your preferences. Give it a try and see how it compares to your favorite cup of coffee!

Are Matcha and Coffee Good Together?

Some people may ask, can I drink matcha and coffee together? Or do matcha and coffee taste good together? If you're a fan of both matcha and coffee, you may be wondering whether the two can be combined for a unique flavor experience. The answer is yes – matcha and coffee taste good together and can make a great pairing if done right.

Matcha and coffee have distinct flavors that can complement each other if balanced properly. Matcha has a rich, earthy flavor with a slightly sweet and bitter taste, while coffee has a bold, robust flavor with a slightly acidic taste. When combined, the bitterness of the matcha can help balance the acidity of the coffee, creating a smooth and flavorful beverage.

dirty matcha latte with rich and creamy bonsai cha matcha marbled with coffee and milk


Dirty Matcha Latte

One popular way to combine matcha and coffee is to make a Dirty Matcha Latte. Here's a simple recipe you can try at home:


  • 1 tsp Bonsai Cha matcha powder
  • 1 shot of espresso or ½ cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice (we recommend oat milk or almond milk)
  • Honey or sweetener of your choice (optional)


  1. Brew your espresso or coffee and set aside.
  2. In the Bonsai Cha Matcha Maker, add the matcha powder with 1 oz. of hot water and blend.
  3. In the Bonsai Cha Matcha Maker, add your milk and froth.
  4. Froth the milk using a frother or whisk until it becomes creamy and foamy.
  5. Pour the frothed milk into a mug and add the matcha mixture.
  6. Add the shot of espresso or brewed coffee on top of the matcha and milk mixture.
  7. Optional: add honey or sweetener of your choice to taste.
  8. Stir gently and enjoy!

Tips for combining matcha and coffee:
    • Start with small amounts of matcha and coffee and adjust the ratios to your liking.
    • Use high-quality Bonsai Cha matcha and coffee for the best taste experience.
    • Experiment with different types of milk and sweeteners to find your perfect combination.
    • Don't be afraid to try different variations, such as a matcha latte with a shot of espresso on the side or a coffee with a sprinkle of matcha powder on top.

    By following these tips and trying out the Dirty Matcha Latte recipe, you can create a unique and delicious beverage that combines the best of both matcha and coffee. Give it a try and see what you think!

    Can Matcha Replace Coffee?

    If you're a coffee lover, you might be wondering if matcha can replace your daily cup of joe. While everyone's experience is different, I believe matcha can offer a number of benefits over coffee.


    Matcha Contains Less Caffeine

    Firstly, matcha contains less caffeine than coffee, which can result in a more balanced and sustained energy boost throughout the day. This is because the caffeine in matcha is absorbed more slowly by the body due to the presence of L-theanine, an amino acid that helps to calm the nervous system and improve focus. This can lead to a more productive and alert state without the jitters or crash associated with coffee.

    Matcha Contains Antioxidants

    Additionally, matcha is packed with antioxidants, specifically catechins, which have been linked to numerous health benefits including improved heart health, brain function, and weight loss. In fact, matcha contains up to 137 times more antioxidants than brewed green tea and 3 times more than high-quality dark chocolate!

    While matcha offers many benefits, there are also potential drawbacks to consider when replacing coffee with matcha. For example, matcha can be more expensive and less widely available than coffee, so it may not be as accessible for everyone. Additionally, matcha has a distinct taste that may not appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer sweeter or creamier drinks.

    Switching from Matcha to Coffee

    Personally, I have found that switching to matcha has been a positive change for my daily routine. I enjoy the taste and the sustained energy it provides throughout the day without the crash associated with coffee. That being said, I still enjoy a cup of coffee from time to time and believe that moderation is key when it comes to caffeine intake.

    If you're curious about trying matcha, I encourage you to give it a try and see how it makes you feel. It may take some experimentation to find the right matcha and preparation method that suits your taste and lifestyle, but the benefits can be worth it. 

    person sitting beside two cups of matcha and coffee

    The Verdict: Matcha vs. Coffee

    L-Theanine and Caffeine

    In conclusion, both matcha and coffee have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. Matcha offers a sustained sense of alertness and relaxation due to its unique combination of caffeine and L-theanine, while coffee provides a quick burst of energy and has been linked to potential health benefits. When it comes to taste, both beverages are distinct and appeal to different preferences.

    Matcha as a Coffee Alternative

    If you're curious about trying matcha or looking for a replacement for your daily coffee, we encourage you to give it a try. Bonsai Cha offers high-quality matcha that is sustainably sourced and available in a range of options to suit your preferences. And if you're feeling adventurous, try making a Dirty Matcha Latte by adding a shot of espresso to your matcha latte for a unique twist.

    Remember, there's no right or wrong choice when it comes to matcha vs. coffee – it all depends on your personal preferences and needs. So why not try both and see which one works best for you? Who knows, you may just discover a new favorite beverage.

    If you're ready to try matcha, we recommend Bonsai Cha  as the perfect starting point. Their high-quality matcha is sustainably sourced and available in a range of options to suit your preferences. Give it a try and see how it compares to your daily coffee!



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