Matcha is an extremely popular drink due to its beneficial properties and unique taste. Matcha is a real superfood and a storehouse of indispensable vitamins and antioxidants. To enjoy its health benefits and sweet, creamy flavor, matcha needs to be brewed properly. Read our guide on matcha brewing temperature and see whether matcha tea is better hot or cold.
Is matcha tea better, hot or cold? Should you drink matcha hot or cold? To get the most out of the drink (better focus, sleep, weight loss, improved blood circulation), you should drink matcha hot as L-theanine best releases at a temperature of +80°C (176F). Instead of drinking cold matcha, add ice cubes to hot matcha to preserve the benefits.
Hot vs. Cold Matcha: Ultimate Guide on Matcha Temperature
Brewing matcha is different from making regular green tea. In the case of the usual green tea, a person drinks water, which is saturated with the aroma of a tea leaf. In this case, the leaves are thrown away. As for matcha, since its leaves are ground into powder, you consume it all.
Matcha is made of high-quality Tencha tea leaves placed in the shade 20-30 days before harvest. Thanks to protection from the sun, photosynthesis slows down, the bush grows more slowly, due to which the color is richer, and chlorophyll and amino acids are produced more actively. Matcha leaves contain an increased concentration of L-Theanine, which, among other things, gives matcha tea a mild taste. And for L-Theanine to release, matcha needs to be brewed in the water of 70-80°C.
Do you drink matcha tea hot or cold? Matcha can be consumed cold and hot. However, to get the most benefits, it is better to brew matcha in hot water (+80°C/176°F) and add ice cubes if necessary. Hot matcha gives a better focus, increases brain activity, normalizes hormones and improves mood. Hot water avoids the clumping of matcha.
Are you wondering why your matcha is not frothing? Check out 7 Reasons Why Your Matcha Does Not Foam!
Even though hot water is good for dissolving matcha and releasing L-Theanine, you cannot use boiling water.
Why should you not use matcha in boiling water? You should not use matcha in boiling water as it destroys the taste and useful properties of matcha. Boiling water gives matcha a slightly bitter taste and no creamy aroma. To get the most out of matcha properties and retain its sweet, nutty flavor, use 80°C water but never boiling.
Matcha Brewing Temperature
Brew matcha with 80°C (176°F) water to make it sweet, nutty, and smooth. To get a silkier texture of matcha, use water of 60-70°C (140-158°F). You can make matcha at a lower temperature (30°C/86°F) to make it more refreshing. Never use boiling water as it destroys its taste and health benefits.
There is no good matcha without a good matcha whisk. To keep your matcha whisk in good condition, head over to Ultimate Guide on How to Care for a Matcha Whisk (Chasen)
Unlike regular green tea, matcha contains many more antioxidants, including catechins and polyphenols. It has a high content of amino acids like theophylline and L-theanine, as well as trace elements and vitamins (A, C, E, K, various B groups), fiber, so it is crucial to preserve them.
What happens if the water is too hot for matcha? Boiling water destroys most of the nutrients and antioxidants of matcha and ruins its taste. If water is too hot for matcha, it becomes bitter, sour, and thick. Matcha loses its silky, tender texture and nutty aroma. To retain a sweet taste, use only water of 80°C and lower.
There are two ways of brewing matcha:
- Koicha (thick matcha). It differs in a brighter rich taste and invigorates well. Proportion: 1 teaspoon of matcha in 50 ml of water.
- Usucha (thin matcha). It is softer and is recommended to drink before bedtime so as not to unnecessarily “excite” the central nervous system. To brew matcha tea in this way, you need to take 0.5 teaspoons per 70 ml of water.
The technology is the same in both cases: to brew matcha tea correctly, you must first shake a portion of the powder through a sieve to avoid lumps, put it into a cup, and pour water at a temperature of about 80°C.
Drinking Hot Matcha
Does matcha have to be hot? Matcha must never be made with boiling water, but it can be hot if you want (80°C/176°F). Matcha is good both cold and hot. However, cold matcha is more refreshing and has a smoother taste. Hot matcha is sweeter and dissolves better, making your matcha experience nicer.
For matcha to retain its naturally sweet and vegetal flavor and nutty, creamy aroma, it is important to use a high-quality Japanese bamboo whisk (chasen). Check out Useful Tips on How to Pick a Good Matcha Whisk for more info.
While matcha does not need to be hot to get all its health benefits, it is better to make the drink with hot water because matcha contains L-theanine, which releases better in hot water. L-theanine found in Japanese green tea is an amino acid that influences the taste of tea. And in chemical structure, theanine is similar to glutamine and glutamic acid, which are neurotransmitters.
According to recent studies, theanine is absorbed by the intestines and then transported to the brain, which triggers the production of dopamine. However, dopamine plays an important role in the action of neurotransmitters and certain chemicals that control blood pressure in the peripheral system.
L-theanine has been shown to reduce the risk of hypertension and spontaneous hypertensive crises by lowering blood pressure. Theanine also affects the function of neurotransmitters, the so-called α-brain waves, which are produced in the human brain when we relax. Such waves are observed for a long period after taking theanine. Plus, scientists have found that theanine enhances memory.
That said, for matcha to give better focus and attention, it is better to consume matcha hot. Drinking hot matcha for breakfast will give you an energy boost and better concentration. But what about reheating matcha? Can you do it?
Can you reheat matcha tea? Do not reheat matcha if it was left in the fridge or at room temperature for more than 4 hours as it facilitates the growth of bacteria. If you want to reheat matcha within 1-3 hours after brewing it, it is safe. However, matcha is best consumed fresh right after brewing to preserve the flavor.
Drinking hot matcha is not always an option when it is +40°C outside, so cold refreshing matcha would be a good choice. But can you drink matcha cold and get all its health benefits? Read on!
Drinking Cold Matcha
You can drink matcha green tea cold. However, the tea particles are more likely to settle rather than dissolve like in hot water. If you prefer cold matcha, remember to shake or stir it until it has a vibrant green color before drinking to maximize matcha health benefits.
Is cold matcha tea good for you? Cold matcha tea is good for you as it is very refreshing and nutritious. It suppresses your appetite, prevents heart disease and cancer, normalizes hormone production, gives an energy boost, and stabilizes blood pressure. Cold matcha has a positive effect on your skin, hair, and nails, too.
Cold matcha, like hot, contains many vitamins A, E, C, K, group B, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and other trace elements, so it is important to preserve as many nutrients as possible. Cold water does preserve all the useful elements of matcha, so it is completely healthy.
Cold matcha is also refreshing, which is perfect on a hot summer day. The only problem you might face when having cold matcha is that matcha powder will not dissolve completely, and you will need to shake the bottle from time to time to not let the powder sit on the bottom of the cup.
Can you make matcha with room temperature water? Room temperature water (20°C/68°F) is perfectly fine for making matcha. If you feel like having cold matcha, take 80 ml of room temperature water, add 2 g of matcha powder, whisk until it dissolves, add oat or coconut milk if you want, and enjoy!
That said, cold or room temperature matcha is as beneficial as hot matcha (not hotter than 80°C) and is very refreshing. To avoid matcha from not dissolving, you can try making matcha with hot water and whisk the drink until the powder melts completely, and then add 2-4 ice cubes to cool down the drink. You can also add coconut or oat milk to make matcha taste even sweeter. However, we do not advise you to add cow milk as it significantly changes the taste of matcha.
Whether you drink matcha cold or hot, you should not add sugar. Matcha is a superfood with numerous nutrients for your body, so adding unhealthy sugar is unnecessary. Matcha is sweet itself if it is an authentic powder produced in Japan and stored properly. Instead, enjoy cold or hot matcha as is and get the most health benefits from the green drink.
- antioxidants, including the powerful EGCg;
- amino acids: L-theanine, aspartic acid;
- minerals: iron, calcium, zinc;
- proteins and carbohydrates;
- vitamins C and E;
- normalizes metabolism;
- burns calories quickly;
- has an anti-inflammatory effect;
- removes toxins;
- energizes and increases concentration;
- improves mental function;
- stimulates the brain activity;
- relieves stress and nervous tension;
- lowers blood cholesterol;
- prevents the occurrence of diabetes mellitus;
- reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease;
- ensures the balance of glucose in the blood;
- strengthens the immune system;
- has a beneficial effect on skin condition;
- prevents the occurrence of plaque and caries.
Matcha Temperature FAQ
What Is the Best Way to Drink Matcha Tea?
The best way to drink matcha is to take 2 g of matcha powder, add 80 ml of hot water (+80°C/176°F), whisk until the powder dissolves, add 2-3 ice cubes, top the matcha off with more hot water or steamed milk (coconut, oat milk). Do not add sugar or honey, as matcha is naturally sweet and nutty.
Can You Drink Matcha Tea Cold?
Matcha can be drunk cold or cooled down with ice cubes after brewing it in hot water. Cold matcha has a smoother, richer, and sweeter flavor and silky texture. It is also extremely refreshing and keeps you full longer. Cold matcha gives you a better focus and energy boost and improves your mood.
Do You Need to Heat up Matcha?
Heating up matcha will help to avoid clumping of the powder. However, it will not alter matcha’s taste significantly. Cold matcha has a smoother, richer vegetal flavor and nutty aroma. So, you do not need to heat up matcha if you like it cold, but hot water will dissolve the powder better.
Does Boiling Water Kill Matcha?
Boiling water kills matcha useful properties and sweet taste. Tender matcha powder needs to be brewed at a temperature of +80°C maximum to preserve vitamins, antioxidants, silky texture, and chocolatey flavor. Many notice that boiling water gives matcha a bitter, sour taste and kills the drink.