I’m a big matcha fan. This earthy, umami drink is just simply a treat. So, if you consume a lot of matcha (like me!), you’re probably curious if this green tea contains caffeine.
Well, you’re in luck because I have the answers you need.
I’ll also discuss how much caffeine a cup of matcha has, what factors affect its caffeine content, and how it stacks up against other caffeinated beverages.
Keep reading to find out!
Does Matcha Powder Contain Caffeine Or Not?
Like most green teas, matcha does contain caffeine. In fact, it has more caffeine content than regular green tea.
However, the exact amount of caffeine in matcha varies depending on many factors, including the tea plant, processing method, and so much more.
Matcha is a fine powder of specially grown and processed leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, the same plant that oolong and black tea come from.
This type of green tea was traditionally consumed in East Asia, especially in Japan, but has risen to fame thanks to various coffee shops offering this earthy, umami drink.
How Much Caffeine Does Matcha Actually Have?
In general, the caffeine in matcha tea is about 19 to 44 mg of caffeine per gram, depending on the type of matcha powder, the brand, and other factors.
A usual cup of matcha green tea contains one teaspoon of powder (around 4 grams), containing about 79 to 176 mg of caffeine.
Even though matcha is considered green tea, drinking matcha means consuming the entire powdered green tea as opposed to drinking regular brewed green tea, where the tea leaves are discarded after brewing.
This is why it contains more caffeine than other teas. It's also prepared differently.
Instead of steeping the tea leaves in hot water, matcha tea powder is first strained using a tea strainer and whisked in a tea bowl (matcha bowl) with a bamboo whisk and hot water.
This allows the powdered matcha to completely dissolve and prevent clumping, bringing out its earthy flavor.
Besides its consumption and preparation, matcha is cultivated differently from other green teas and tea plants. Matcha plants are shade-grown to prevent sunlight.
This slows down the growth of the plants, stimulating the increase in chlorophyll. As a result, the young tea leaves become darker and cause them to produce caffeine and amino acids, particularly L-Theanine.
What Factors Affect The Caffeine Amounts Of Matcha?
All types of matcha (culinary grade matcha, ceremonial matcha, high-quality matcha, or the usual one you get from your cafe and supermarkets) contain caffeine.
Determining how much caffeine is in matcha depends on several factors. Here are them:
Tea Leaves Quality
Matcha contains the entire tea leaf of the plant, stone-ground into very fine powder. This means that the quality of the whole tea leaf used can dictate the quality and caffeine content of matcha.
Generally speaking, matcha made from young tea leaves has more caffeine. It’s also higher quality than matcha made with mature whole tea leaves.
The caffeine in matcha is also determined by how much or how little direct sunlight the plant gets.
Traditionally, tea plants are grown in shades to achieve a darker color, resulting in higher caffeine.
The less sun it gets, the higher caffeine is sustained in the leaves.
In other words, the shading process helps reduce the caffeine loss in the tea leaves. That's why green teas grown under the sun usually have less caffeine.
To make matcha powder, you need to stone-grind the leaves and stems of the tea plant. Most of the time, matcha consists of both the stems and the leaves of the plant.
However, caffeine can mostly be found in the leaves rather than the stems. So, if matcha contains mostly leaves, it often has higher caffeine content.
Another factor that affects the caffeine content of a matcha drink is how much powder you add to a serving.
A typical serving size of matcha is one teaspoon, but of course, no one will stop you from adding more than the recommended amount.
The size of the matcha drink from coffee shops like Starbucks affects the caffeine.
Smaller-sized drinks have fewer servings of powdered form matcha than larger-sized drinks.
So, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, it’s best to stick with the recommended serving size of matcha.
Matcha Caffeine Levels Vs Other Drinks (Comparison Per Cup)
To avoid caffeine crashes, you should know how matcha tea compares with other green teas and caffeinated drinks.
This will allow you to calculate how much caffeine exactly is your caffeine intake so you won’t go over the recommended caffeine limit.
So, let’s see the difference between matcha tea caffeine and other drinks:
Matcha vs Regular Green Tea
Matcha is a type of green tea, but because of its cultivation process, it contains more caffeine than most green tea.
Matcha contains 19 to 44 mg of caffeine per gram, while other green teas have around 11 to 25 mg of caffeine per gram.
So, if we compare them by cups, a cup of green tea (8 fl. oz) contains only 30 to 40 mg of caffeine, while the same cup of matcha will give you 76 to 179 mg of caffeine. That’s a lot in comparison!
Matcha vs Coffee
Like matcha, the amount of caffeine in a typical cup of coffee depends on many factors, including the type of coffee beans and roast, serving size, and brewing method.
So, is matcha stronger than coffee?
A serving of matcha has up to 179 mg of caffeine, depending on the type—and an 8 fl. oz. A cup of coffee only contains around 80 to 100 mg of caffeine.
Do note that most people typically consume more than one cup of coffee, and that usually affects the caffeine content of coffee and matcha.
Matcha vs Energy Drinks
To increase your energy levels, consuming energy drinks is the easiest thing to do. So, how much caffeine do energy drinks have compared to matcha?
A cup or 8 fl. an oz. of energy drink contains about 85 mg of caffeine. However, a typical serving of this drink is 16 fl. oz., which means you get 170 mg of caffeine in one drink.
If you want to avoid consuming caffeine, it's best to avoid drinking an energy drink and matcha green tea on the same day. If you do, you might experience a caffeine crash.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Matcha In The Morning?
Do you love to drink matcha tea every morning?
Well, I have some good news. Consuming matcha has a variety of health benefits. Here are them:
Better Caffeine Absorption
Apart from a caffeine boost, matcha can help your body absorb caffeine in a way that prevents all the side effects that come with it. So, how does it help?
Caffeine molecules present in matcha binds to the larger catechin molecules, which are powerful antioxidants that are naturally broken down in the body.
As a result of this binding, the caffeine molecules gradually break down in the bloodstream. This slow process provides a sustained energy boost, lasting up to 6 to 8 hours.
Since the body processes caffeine differently, you’re less likely to experience spikes in glucose, adrenaline, and sugar levels, which is the reason why many people experience a crash when their blood sugar drops.
The chemical composition of matcha includes an amino acid called L-theanine. Matcha green tea contains more of this amino acid than other teas, making it a healthier stimulant than teas and coffee.
L-theanine is known to reduce stress and promote relaxation while providing calm alertness.
In fact, even if a standard cup of matcha contains more caffeine than other green teas, consuming it later in the afternoon won’t have much effect on your sleep.
However, consuming too much caffeine will still affect your sleep. Relaxation will only happen if you're drinking a safe amount of caffeine.
Otherwise, you'll experience jitters and crash.
Linked To Cancer Prevention
An average cup of matcha can provide many nutritional benefits that can help with cancer. Apart from being a good source of antioxidants and vitamin C, it can also help with cancer prevention.
One study found that matcha’s catechins can suppress mitochondrial metabolism, which prevents the damaged cancer cells from re-fuelling, rendering them inactive.
They also block signaling pathways between cancer cells.
Other health benefits include improving brain function, providing nutrients to your kidney, and promoting heart health.
Common Matcha Caffeine Content Questions
How much caffeine is in a matcha latte from Starbucks?
The amount of caffeine in a matcha latte at Starbucks is 80 mg per grande-sized cup, while a tall cup contains 55 mg, and a venti cup is 110 mg.
How much caffeine is in a Dunkin Donuts matcha latte?
A Dunkin Donuts matcha latte has 120 mg of caffeine per medium-sized cup.
What are the effects of caffeine?
Caffeine can be soothing and relaxing. However, drinking a lot of caffeine can cause headaches, nausea, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
Will matcha keep you awake?
No, it won’t. However, if you prefer drinking it at night, it can still provide you with sustained energy, which can keep you from sleeping.
If you're wondering if matcha contains caffeine, the answer is yes, it does! In fact, the caffeine in matcha is higher compared to other green teas.
On top of that, a serving of matcha can compete with the caffeine content of a serving of coffee.
So, be careful when consuming this drink, especially since its flavor is addicting. Otherwise, you might experience side effects of too much caffeine, and that can be very unpleasant.