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Know Your Greens: Chinese vs Japanese (Matcha) Green Tea

Japanese matcha Chinese matcha differences

Matcha Green Tea has long been touted for its many health benefits and enjoyed around the world by many looking to increase their everyday wellness thanks to powerful antioxidants, polyphenols and EGCG compounds.

There are two main styles of matcha tea available to the global market – a cheaper and more accessible tea that is grown, harvested and made in China and a more authentic, traditional tea from Japan.

While both Chinese and Japanese green tea contain similar health benefits on the outset, Japanese green tea (matcha) is by far and above the superior choice for tea drinkers thanks to the high concentration of nutritional benefits and more ethical farming/production practices overall.


Japanese green tea contains 60% more antioxidants than the mere 16% found in Chinese green tea. These powerful antioxidants (known as polyphenols) help neutralize free radicals which can accelerate the development of cancerous cells and aging.


The production of traditional Japanese green tea is indeed a labour- intensive process with Japan supplying only about 1% of matcha to the world market.

Japanese matcha follows a multitude of specialized stages to preserve the quality and flavour of the tea powder paying close attention to growth, harvesting, manufacturing, refining and grinding of the tea leaves (Tencha) which are grown in the shade, quickly picked and lightly steamed and dried naturally to stop the oxidation process.

Whereas Chinese green tea (producing 80% of the world’s supply) does not adhere to the same level of quality: with leaves not grown in the shade and once picked - fried during processing to speed up the drying process and stop oxidation– compromising the true flavour and benefits of the tea itself.

Quality over Quantity

As you can imagine, many quality control studies have been done over the years since Chinese-produced matcha started to make an appearance. It has been consistently found that Japanese matcha (though higher in price per ounce) is the best option if you are looking for a powdered green tea loaded with benefits. Where as tests have shown that many brands of Chinese matcha has been regularly shown to contain traces of banned pesticides and lead – something definitely worth considering before you shop.

At Whisk Matcha we are proud to only feature top quality Japanese-grown and sourced matcha products.  

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