Are drinks made with matcha green tea added as super-healthy as they sound?

The below post comes thanks to a Q&A posted on the Kansas City info zine site!

Matcha is simply ground green tea leaves. As traditionally prepared in Japan, a small amount of these ground leaves were whisked with plain hot water to produce tea. Both in Japan and the United States, it is now a common ingredient in sweets (where it adds a green color to ice cream, pudding and candy) and sweetened milk drinks such as lattés, smoothies and milkshakes. Matcha is generally an very expensive form of tea, although price and quality vary with where it was grown, timing and method of harvest, and the measures taken to keep the leaves from oxidizing. Research is limited on how its health benefits compare to regular green tea. One study from the University of Colorado found that matcha tea contained much, much higher antioxidants than green tea. However this comparison involved high quality matcha and relatively low quality green tea. USDA data on green tea suggests that its content may not be much different from that of matcha. While smoothies and lattes are a popular way to get green tea antioxidants, most of these drinks contain enough added sugar that they are far from low-calorie. For example, compared to 100 calories in the same size coffee latté, a 12-ounce matcha green tea latté made with skim milk from one popular national coffee bar chain contains 210 calories and includes over six teaspoons of added sugar… Sounds like we’re talking antioxidant-rich frappucino here!

Thank you, Amazon, for the “New Tastes in Green Tea” cover shot.

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