Matcha tea is made from green tea powder, and is thought to have many health benefits. It has a great ceremonial significance in Japan, and was popularized in the US by Starbucks.
Since many people drink matcha tea for its health benefits, you may be wondering what matcha Starbucks uses. If you’d like to find out, keep reading!
What Matcha Does Starbucks Use In 2023?
Starbucks doesn’t share information about the brand and source of their matcha powder, but people have made some educated guesses based on the taste. Starbucks matcha is sourced from Aiya, a reputable Japanese company as well as a Chinese manufacturer as of 2023. Further, Starbucks matcha may originate in the Wazuka region of Japan, which means that it’s good quality.
If you have more questions about Starbucks matcha, such as its ingredients and nutritional values, keep reading to find the answers below!
What Brand Of Matcha Tea Does Starbucks Use?
Starbucks doesn’t disclose the source of their matcha powder, but green tea experts can make a good guess at its origins from the taste.
Starbucks matcha is sourced from a Japanese brand called Aiya, which is manufactured in China, and while Aiya is a very reputed Japanese company, it’s not the highest grade of matcha available.
However, Starbucks does process its matcha tea further and blends it with sugar and fruit pectin to create the Starbucks Matcha blend.
In fact, it’s believed that Starbucks adds sugar to the matcha powder to cover the bitterness of the taste.
Where Is Starbucks Matcha Grown?
Starbucks matcha is believed to be grown in the Wazuka region in Japan, an environment that has clean air and water.
Matcha tea from the Wazuka region is considered to be of very good quality, since there hasn’t been much industrial development there as of 2023, and clean air and water in the growing region helps to determine the quality of the matcha tea.
What Are The Ingredients Of Starbucks Matcha?
The ingredients of Starbucks matcha powder are sugar, fruit pectin and Japanese green tea powder.
This makes Starbucks matcha very different from the traditional matcha used in the Japanese tea ceremony, as traditional or good quality matcha powder would not have any added sugar.
Does Starbucks Matcha Taste Good?
Starbucks matcha tastes good when used in drinks like the Matcha Tea Latte, Iced Matcha Tea Latte and Iced Matcha Tea Lemonade.
As well, you can try customizing your Starbucks matcha drink with soy milk and vanilla syrup for an unusual and delicious taste.
What Determines Matcha Quality?
Matcha tea has a great ceremonial significance in Japan, and people around the world drink it for its health benefits.
For both ceremonial and health purposes, the matcha tea should be of good quality, and the most important factor in determining matcha quality is how it’s grown.
Certified organic matcha that’s grown without the use of pesticides and chemicals is considered to be the best quality.
Further, matcha tea grown in the Wazuka region of Japan is believed to be of good quality because of the purity of the air and water there. The lack of industrial development in the Wazuka region means that the air, water and soil largely escaped industrial pollution.
Good quality Matcha powder should have a vibrant green color and a fresh smell. The taste should be rich, earthy and slightly sweet, known in Japanese as umami.
Matcha tea shouldn’t be dull or yellowish in color. However, it’s possible to give matcha tea a vibrant green color through the use of fertilizers in growing the plants.
In order to avoid the dangers of ingestion of chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides, as well as lead contamination, organically grown matcha tea is considered the best.
Does Matcha Contain More Caffeine Than Coffee?
Matcha tea has more caffeine than green tea, but less than coffee. One cup of matcha tea has 70 mg of caffeine as compared to a cup of coffee with 163 mg.
However, the caffeine in matcha tea works very differently in the body than caffeine from coffee, and contains about five times as much L-theanine than coffee.
L-theanine is an amino acid that gives you a matcha buzz, which is calmer and more sustained than a coffee buzz.
Matcha can give you more sustained energy and mental focus than coffee or green tea, among many other health benefits.
What Is The Nutritional Value For Starbucks Matcha?
Starbucks doesn’t make information about the nutrition values for their matcha powder public.
However, these can be estimated by looking at nutrient values for matcha tea from a reputed source (keep in mind that Starbucks adds sugar and fruit pectin to their matcha powder).
According to WenMD, a half teaspoon serving of matcha powder contains the following:
- Calories: 3
- Protein 1 gram
- Fat 0 gram
- Carbohydrates: 0 gram
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugar: 0 grams
Since Starbucks matcha powder contains almost 50% sugar, it’s reasonable to conclude that it would be much higher in sugar and calories than the above-mentioned matcha powder.
To learn more about Starbucks, you can also read our related articles on what is Starbucks Chocolate Chip Frappuccino, Starbucks black coffee, and if Starbucks refreshers have caffeine.
While Starbucks doesn’t disclose the origin or brand of their matcha powder, expert tea drinkers believe that it originates from a reputed Japanese company and a leading Chinese manufacturer.
However, Starbucks matcha powder may not be the best grade available, and is mixed with a lot of sugar. Therefore, while Starbucks matcha scores higher on taste, its health benefits may be more limited.