Coffee vs Matcha?

September 28, 2021 0 By Yena Kuzoo

Disclaimer: Kuzoo and I are not medical professionals, nutritionists, or any type of healthcare professionals. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. We do not recommend you substitute tea for certain medications; if you are unsure about the effects talk to your doctor first before beginning any new regimen. There are affiliate links throughout certain posts and if you click on those links you will be redirected to another website. Any purchases you make Kuzoo & I will receive a small commission at no extra charge for you.

Aaahh Caffeine. The quick burst of energy some of us need to start the day or get through those last few hours of work. It can also come in handy for those long study nights. Or for some the simple act of making coffee, pouring it into the cup, smelling the smells, and drinking it is soothing to the soul. 

{Yena} When I was younger I used to drink coffee on occasion. I never relied on it as something to give me that “push” to get through an activity or to wake up. It was more like a treat. Something I could enjoy while I was able to get it. Only sometimes I would use it to keep me awake while on a road trip with Kuzoo. When I first tried matcha I instantly fell in love. It was light, did not hurt my stomach and I didn’t crash at the end of my come down. It is such a unique drink that would benefit a lot people if they knew about it’s existence.

{Kuzoo} Personally, coffee isn’t that good. I’m biased towards matcha tea. I was never really a coffee drinker. When I was younger I tried it at one of my cousins’ track and field meetups. I got a nice fresh cup of joe and put some cream in it with a little sugar, took a sip and spit it out almost immediately. The taste was so bitter and hot, it was not enjoyable for me at all. 

Fast forward some years and I tried matcha for the first time and fell in love with it almost immediately. Even though matcha has a bitter taste, I personally like my cup with a lil bit of honey and some oat milk and that’s perfect for me. I love the come up and the come down for matcha as well. After my tea wears off I don’t feel sleepy or lethargic. 

So, we split up what we found into various categories for each special drink. We touch on topics that are most common when it comes to a cup of coffee or a cup of matcha. 

Caffeine

Caffeine from a cup of coffee quickly spreads through the body, delivering a short burst of energy, but with the risk of consequences later. Common side effects of too much coffee consumption are jitteriness, nervousness, racing heart, headaches, and insomnia. Drinking coffee regularly will also lead to a higher tolerance meaning you will have to consume more caffeine to get that same “rush” as before.    

Matcha has about 50% less caffeine than coffee. However, unlike coffee, matcha also contains certain phytonutrients, like L-theanine, that helps your body absorb the caffeine in your matcha tea much more slowly. That means that, instead of the huge caffeine spike you can get from drinking coffee, matcha allows you to benefit from the caffeine’s awakening effects for an extended amount of time.

Flavor & Smell

{Yena} I personally love the smell of coffee. It’s very enticing and is so enveloping. I can see why people get so motivated and willing to get up for that cup of joe. The taste of coffee on the other hand is ok. It doesn’t do much for me and pretty much stays the same even if there is flavoring added. I usually can smell the flavors better than I can taste them. 

{Kuzoo} That’s one of my favorite things about coffee is its enticing aroma. I used to go to the store just to smell those roasted coffee beans. Ugh, French vanilla smells so good but the taste is nasty. If I could just smell coffee without drinking it and get some of its benefits I would consume it way more.

Matcha on the other hand has a unique taste. It is more of an umami taste. When drunk in a ceremonial style it is very bitter, kind of thick, and literally tastes like plants. But when paired with milk it changes the game up completely. It smooths out the bitterness and turns into a mellowy milky drink. 

Kuzoo adds a little bit of honey and that’s his dream cup.

The smell is definitely not as distinct and strong as coffee. So, there is not much we can say on the smell of matcha as there is almost no smell! Which could be a real bummer for coffee drinkers that are used to the alluring smell of freshly brewed coffee. 

Sustainability & Impact

According to Bustle.com, it reportedly takes 140 liters or 37 gallons of water to produce a single cup of coffee, which is the equivalent of a whole shower. 

Livekindly.co says, “For every cup of coffee consumed, about one square inch of rainforest is destroyed and coffee farms lead to chemical runoffs in rivers, biodiversity loss, and soil erosion.”

A cup of tea is only 30 liters which amounts to about 8 gallons of water. For tea to be sustainable though, it depends on where the leaf is grown, produced, processed, how well the tea pickers are treated and paid and what kind of packaging the tea actually comes in. There is not much money being a tea leaf picker while there are higher paying jobs in the city. So, it can make it difficult for big tea companies to keep workers in rural areas where tea is grown. 

According to matcha-tea.com, “The Japanese government works closely with matcha growers, many of whom are certified and officially approved harvesters of that nation’s highly valuable export, matcha green tea. Because matcha is the only kind of tea that uses the entire leaf, it offers health benefits and environmental advantages that other varieties of tea do not. A typical tea plant that is used to produce matcha can live for a half-century or more, making it one of the most sustainable and environmental food crops in existence.”

There are ways to make your cup of coffee and cup of tea more sustainable. Here are two websites that may give you more insight on how to go about doing this and incorporating it into your daily coffee or tea routine. In addition, here is a website linking you to The Green Tea House that sells matcha straight from Japan!

And yes, Kuzoo and I are affiliates for The Green Tea House so we will receive a small commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you. 🙂

https://coffeespiration.com/easy-habits-to-make-your-coffee-consumption-more-sustainable/

https://www.sustainably-chic.com/blog/sustainable-tea

https://www.thegreenteahouse.com/product/organic-matcha-green-tea/525?cp=true&sa=false&sbp=false&q=false&category_id=26

Health Benefits

Matcha has a shit ton of antioxidants that protect your cells from free radicals. Matcha can boost your brain functions as well. The high contents of caffeine and L-theanine can contribute to healthy brain functions and improve attention span, reaction time, and memory.

Coffee can help boost your mood, and it has been linked to more positive emotions.

In women it can help reduce risk of depression. Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants, and some of those antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties. One key antioxidant is chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is a beneficial plant base compound that helps reduce inflammation, reduce blood pressure, and play a role in reducing chronic diseases. 

Conclusion

As you can see there are benefits on both sides. So, if you love coffee, keep brewing your cups. There are way worse beverages to consume. Be careful not to overdo it though. It may cause fatigue, headaches, and/or dips in energy if too much is consumed.

Same goes for matcha. Matcha may not have near as much caffeine as coffee does but it does still have caffeine. One can “overdose” on matcha but one would need to drink an excessive amount for that to happen. Someone who is highly sensitive to caffeine may need to watch how much matcha is being consumed. Listen to your body and it will tell you what you need to know.

Kuzoo and I are biased towards matcha so we are of course going to recommend matcha over coffee any day. But being a coffee drinker has its benefits as well. 

If you as a coffee drinker are concerned about the environmental impact coffee can have on the planet please feel free to check out the link we posted under the “Sustainability & Impact” category.

And for those matcha drinkers be careful where you source your matcha. Only the purest product comes straight from Japan. Other countries may claim they have “high quality” matcha but do not process the delicate leaf properly. Be aware of the source of your precious matcha.

There are advantages in each party but we could not fit them all into one post so we encourage you to do your own research into what brands are best for you. 

To each is their own.

Happy sipping!