Matcha vs. Coffee

Matcha vs. Coffee

If you follow any micro-influencers (or the Favor account) on Instagram, you've likely heard of matcha by now.  And unless you live under a rock, you're familiar with coffee - maybe you even have your own set up at home.  Today's blog will be a deep(ish) dive into how these caffeine counterparts stack up against each other.  


The first, and most obvious, characteristic shared by these two drinks is they both contain caffeine.  Whether you're getting ready to tackle a rainy Monday, or need a little post-lunch pick-me-up, coffee and matcha both have you covered.  However, not all caffeine is created equal in this case, but more on that later.  

Coffee and matcha also contain antioxidants that help fight the effects of oxidative stress in your body.  Some studies have shown that the polyphenols found in coffee and tea can potentially help prevent certain forms of cancer.  

Finally, the caffeine in both drinks may help with weight loss by activating brown adipose tissue, which is capable of burning the white fat associated with weight gain and speeding up metabolism.  They can also act as appetite suppressants, so drinking a cup before your first meal can help reduce food intake.  


It's important to first note that coffee and matcha come from two different sources.  Coffee is made from roasted beans, while matcha is derived from powdered green tea leaves.  Both can be described as bitter, but matcha is a bit more earthy and grassy, while coffee has more nutty qualities.  

Though each will give you a boost of energy, they do so in different ways.  The caffeine in coffee is absorbed more rapidly and therefore provides a more instant "kick".  Because of this rapid uptake, coffee consumers often report a feeling of drowsiness - or a "crash" - a few hours after drinking. 

Matcha, on the other hand, contains a compound called L-theanine, which causes the caffeine to be released at a slower pace.  As a result, the increase in alertness from matcha will be a more gradual, sustained energy when compared to the kick of coffee.

Coffee also contains a bit more caffeine:  100mg per serving compared to matcha's ~70mg.  Keep this in mind when reaching for your fourth cup of coffee at 5 PM - no judgement, we've all been there.  Due to the more gradual energy release and lack of crash, I prefer to substitute my afternoon cold brew for a matcha to get me through the rest of the day (ideally in shot form). 

At the end of the day, you can't go wrong when choosing between the two, but experimenting with both and seeing which works best at different times of day won't hurt.