Matcha Powder Vs. Leaves: What’s The Difference?

If you’re wondering which tea is the best when it comes to matcha powder vs. leaves, the answer really depends on your taste. We’ll guide you through what you need to know.

Matcha Powder Vs. Leaves
Matcha Powder Vs. Leaves

If you’re a bit of a green tea purist, you might believe matcha tea is the clear winner when determining matcha powder vs. leaves. But, don’t ignore tea leaves! 

Tea leaves are affordable, almost as healthy, and can be blended with other teas, like jasmine or green tea. They also taste better.

If you want to learn about which of these teas are for you, then keep reading on!

A Short Overview Of Matcha Powder Vs. Leaves

Matcha powder is a bright green powder derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The tea leaves used for green and black tea also come from the same plant. Leaves are usually dried and sometimes diced up before you find them in a store. 

Authentic matcha is not found in the form of leaves. Matcha means powdered, so “matcha leaves” you might find in a store are usually green tea leaves that may have been infused with matcha. 

What Matcha Powder And Leaves Have In Common?

Matcha powder and leaves are made from the leaves of the very same plant. After all, matcha powder was in leaf form, to begin with.

Tea leaves usually have caffeine and are a good source of antioxidants, are anti-inflammatory, and contain some vitamins and minerals. 

What’s The Difference Between Matcha Powder And Leaves?

Matcha Green Tea
Matcha powder dissolves into your drink

As we already mentioned, matcha tea is a powder. It typically dissolves into your drink completely, so you’re effectively consuming 100% green tea whole. 

On the other hand, tea leaves are brewed in hot water in a tea bag or some sort of tea strainer. Tea leaves are usually brewed hot – but cold brew tea is not unheard of. 

While tea and matcha leaves come from the same plant, they taste very different. Matcha – when brewed correctly – tastes light and somewhat sweet.

Green tea leaves can sometimes have a grassy taste. In comparison, black tea leaves taste vastly different from green tea, even if they have the same origin. 

I notice leaves feel more watery, but matcha powder seems to give drinks an ever-so-slightly thicker consistency. 

Comparison Between Matcha Powder And Leaves

Here is a short comparison between matcha powder vs. leaves:

Matcha powderLeaves
Matcha powder is 100% ground powder from the Camellia Sinensis plantTea leaves are dried leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant
Matcha powder is whisked into your drink and absorbed fullyTea leaves brew in a tea bag or tea strainer; the leaves will be left behind after the drink is finished.
Matcha powder can be expensive, but the recommended amount of matcha used per cup is small.Tea leaves are very affordable
Matcha powder can be used to bake or added to other foods and drinks like smoothies.Tea leaves are generally only used to make regular tea or cold brew tea. 
Matcha tea can be prepared in milk and served as a latte. You generally do not add milk or sugar to green tea leaves. 

What’s Better About Matcha Powder?

Matcha powder has more health benefits. As you consume all of the tea, you reap all of the benefits it has to offer. One study found that matcha powder has up to 137 times more antioxidants than a chapter lower quality cup of tea. 

Taste is subjective, but some people think matcha has a more pleasant taste than tea leaves.

What’s Better About Leaves?

two cups of brewed tea in a table
You can customize your tea with tea leaves

Tea leaves are still full of health benefits but are much usually much cheaper than matcha.

There is more room to customize tea drinks with leaves. Matcha can be added to smoothies or food, and it’s easy to blend tea leaves with another kind of tea to create a custom drink. For example, mixing tea leaves with diced ginger creates a ginger green tea or blending green tea leaves with peppermint tea leaves. 

Who Should Opt For Matcha Powder?

If you’re a health-conscious tea drinker, then you should get matcha. While tea leaves are healthy, matcha has more caffeine and antioxidants. 

Who Should Opt For Leaves?

If you’re on a budget but enjoy tea, then there’s not much of a need to fork out for matcha powder. Tea is still perfectly hydrating and contains some caffeine. 


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  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.