Though it has risen in popularity in recent years, many may still be wondering, “What is matcha?” Matcha is a powdered green tea made from grinding specially cultivated green tea leaves known as “tencha.” Matcha is considered to be a superfood, as it is known for its many health benefits, including rich nutrients and antioxidants. Once a coveted green tea amongst Buddhist monks in Japan, matcha green tea is now one of the most popular ingredients in the world, found in a range of consumer products such as beverages, pastries, and even skincare products!

Two white dishes filled with green tea showing matcha vs. green tea leaves


While thinking about matcha vs. green tea, it is important to note that all green teas – including Sencha and Hojicha – originate from the Camellia sinensis plant. Matcha is distinguished by the way green tea leaves are grown. Ikeda Matcha’s bulk green tea is sourced from the finest tea pastures of Kagoshima, Japan, where the leaves are shaded from sunlight prior to harvest in order to preserve their natural nutrients, color, and flavor. Compared to steeped green tea, what distinguishes matcha is that the entire tea leaves are consumed when drinking matcha. This allows you to enjoy all of its antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. One cup of matcha has the nutritional equivalents of 10 cups of regular green tea!


According to research and studies on green tea from organizations such as the National Center of Biotechnology Information, matcha includes, but is not limited to, the following health benefits:

  • One gram of ceremonial matcha green tea contains 1384 ORAC units
  • High in antioxidants – more than 15 times that of blueberries!
  • One cup of matcha has the antioxidant equivalent of 10 cups of brewed green tea – talk about a difference in matcha vs. green tea!
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • High in EGCG catechins which have been linked to better heart health and metabolism
  • L-Theanine – relaxes muscles and reduces anxiety, provides calming energy
  • Clean energy boost – a natural source of caffeine combined with the relaxing properties from L-Theanine gives you a boost without the jitters

Matcha tea beverage in a stoneware cup against green striped background


There are many factors that affect the quality of matcha. Here at Ikeda, we distinguish what grade matcha is by rating its CAT (Color, Aroma, and Taste) in both powder and liquid form.


High-quality matcha, such as the grades used in Japanese tea ceremonies, will be a vibrant emerald green. This is due to its increased chlorophyll levels from proper shading of tea leaves prior to harvest. Lower grades of matcha, such as culinary matcha, tend to have more of a yellow-brownish hue.


L-Theanine amino acids preserved in green tea leaves give matcha a fresh, grassy, and soothing fragrance with a hint of seaweed.


The amino acids abundant in ceremonial matcha gives it its unique umami aftertaste. Culinary matcha powder has an astringent note, and it gets stronger with lower grades. The astringency makes for a nice accent when paired mixed with other ingredients such as milk and sugar.


Ikeda Tea World carries a wide range of quality organic matcha tea green tea powder sourced directly from the Kagoshima tea fields in Japan. Now that you’ve learned the difference between matcha vs. green tea, our bulk matcha that includes everything from ceremonial to industrial grade matcha. We also offer custom matcha teas alongside private label matcha for your business. Contact Ikeda today for a quote and a sample of our premium matcha!