Matcha Versus Coffee: The Ultimate Caffeine Showdown

It's the age-old question: which is better, matcha or coffee? They both have their pros and cons, but when it comes to caffeine, there is a clear winner. In this article, we will compare the caffeine in matcha vs coffee and look at how they are absorbed by the body. So, which one do you think reigns supreme when it comes to caffeine?

Matcha Versus Coffee Caffeine

The Origins of Matcha and Coffee

Matcha, originating from green tea leaves ground into a fine powder, has been around for centuries and plays a central role in Japanese tea ceremonies. The matcha powder is mixed with hot water to produce a bright green beverage, lauded for its health benefits and unique taste (Nishimura et al., 2018).

In contrast, coffee is made by brewing roasted coffee beans in water. Believed to have been first discovered in Ethiopia, coffee has since spread globally and become a staple morning beverage for millions.

So, how do these two popular beverages compare when it comes to caffeine content? Does matcha have caffeine? Let's take a look.

Does Matcha Have Caffeine?

The Caffeine Content Comparison

When it comes to caffeine content in matcha versus coffee, the difference is notable. A 225g cup of matcha contains approximately 70 milligrams of caffeine, while an equivalent cup of coffee has around 95-200 milligrams (Dodd et al., 2015). Consequently, matcha has about one-third the amount of caffeine as coffee.

It's essential to note that the caffeine content in a cup may vary depending on the concentration of matcha or coffee used in its preparation.

Matcha vs coffee

The Secret to Matcha's Absorption

Although matcha tea contains less caffeine than coffee, its absorption by the body is where it truly excels. Matcha's unique composition means it is absorbed slowly due to the caffeine being bound to other compounds. L-theanine is a type of amino acid found in green tea leaves, which works to slow down caffeine absorption (Dodd et al., 2015). As a result, matcha provides a steady and sustained energy levels without the jittery feeling often associated with caffeine consumption.

On the other hand, coffee is absorbed much more quickly. Since the caffeine in coffee isn't bound to other compounds, it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. This results in an adrenaline, glucose, and insulin spike (Dodd et al., 2015). This can cause the familiar 'coffee rush' – an initial boost in energy, followed by jitteriness and an inevitable crash a few hours later.

Matcha caffeine content

The Healthier Alternative

Given the differences in caffeine content and absorption, it's worth considering the health implications of each beverage. The benefits of matcha include being packed with antioxidants, particularly catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which protect the body from harmful free radicals and reduce inflammation (Weiss & Anderton, 2003).

Additionally, the presence of L-theanine in matcha promotes relaxation and stress reduction without causing drowsiness (Nobre, Rao & Owen, 2008).

While coffee also contains antioxidants and provides certain health benefits, drinking too much has been linked to side effects like increased heart rate, digestive issues, and increased stress levels due to the rapid absorption of caffeine (Dodd et al., 2015). 

The Recommended Daily Caffeine Limit

With the differences between matcha and coffee established, you might wonder how much caffeine is safe to consume daily. For healthy adults, the recommended daily limit is 400 milligrams of caffeine (EFSA, 2015). This means you can have up to 5 cups of standard matcha (70 milligrams of caffeine per cup). Although at Sipspa, we think limiting yourself to 3 cups is advisable, and less for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

For coffee, 2-4 cups should suffice, depending on the concentration.

The Verdict

The ultimate caffeine showdown has a clear winner: matcha. Not only does it contain less caffeine than coffee, but it's also absorbed more slowly by the body, providing a sustained energy boost without the crash. Furthermore, the benefits of drinking matcha are high, including antioxidants and stress reduction, which make it an appealing alternative to coffee.

So, if you're looking for a healthier option that still provides a caffeine kick, consider giving matcha a try. Its unique characteristics offer a smoother, more sustained energy boost that won't leave you feeling jittery or nervous.

What do you think? Do you prefer matcha or coffee? Let us know in the comments below!


  • Dodd, F. L., Kennedy, D. O., Riby, L. M., & Haskell-Ramsay, C. F. (2015). A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology, 232(14), 2563-2576.
  • EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA). (2015). Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine. EFSA Journal, 13(5), 4102.
  • Nishimura, T., Suzuki, A., & Higuchi, Y. (2018). Cultural history of Japanese tea: a special issue on the cultural history of tea in East Asia. Journal of Tea Science Research, 8(1), 1-2.
  • Nobre, A. C., Rao, A., & Owen, G. N. (2008). L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 17(S1), 167-168.
  • Okakura, K. (1906). The Book of Tea. Putnam.
  • Weiss, D. J., & Anderton, C. R. (2003). Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography. Journal of Chromatography A, 1011(1-2), 173-180.

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published