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Matcha Tea

Guest FrederickSebastian

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Guest FrederickSebastian

Just wondering if any one has ever drank "Matcha Tea" before. I have been drinking Matcha tea since 7/7/07 and it is know to have 137x the antioxidants as steeped green tea and is awesome for longevity... any one here ever tried it??


Fred :)

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  • 1 month later...

First: Fredrick, and others: please do me and you and everyone on the Forum a favor: register on the Forums and log in each time before you post! It's fine if you want to use a pseudonym, but registering and logging in will ensure that you can't be impersonated and will make it easier to keep track of your (you can set up your preferences to send you an email when someone responds to one of your posts or a thread in which you're interested), input, and progress.


To address your question: yes, I've tried it. I don't personally like it as well as regular sencha, and there's actually no evidence that it's any healthier than standard green teas; if you're only drinking it for its purported health benefits, I would drop it and switch to standard green tea. The idea that matcha is healthier comes from the idea that it has just enormously high EGCG content, which in turn comes from (1). In fact, the catechin content of the water infusion of matcha itself (ie, brewed matcha tea liquor) was actually lower than that of conventional green tea; the high levels reported in the press derive from a methanol extraction, on the basis (the paper says) that "Despite the fact that matcha is prepared in water, the tea powder itself is ingested" and the methanol extract would give "a more quantitative idea of the amount of catechins available in matcha upon its ingestion".

Of course, there is no methanol in the human stomach ;) . I don't think that this is physiologically representative, and barring a study showing release of the catechins under simulated gastric and jejunal pH, etc, I'm not going to take even the basic finding seriously.

Moreover, at least as traditionally prepared, matcha is brewed in even lower-temperature water than sencha ("default" Japanese green tea): 71 vs 82ºC (or 160 vs 180 degrees if compared to Prof. Fahrenheit's armpit). So even the water infusion data overplays the catechin content of the real deal.

More importantly, the epidemiology that supports human health benefits (as opposed to silliness in test-tubes or carcinogen-filled rats) is for conventional green tea, particularly Japanese sencha, not for matcha or any specific component  of brewed or powdered tea (such as EGCG), so I'm not going to get terribly worried about EGCG levels in different kinds of tea as such.


1: Weiss DJ, Anderton CR. Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 2003 Sep 5;1011(1-2):173-80. PubMed PMID: 14518774.

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so you say Matcha tea is not all it's cracked up to be... this is major bad news for me as my financial conservator and the company ZenMatcha have set up a payment plan, and I receive a bag of matcha each week (on Mondays). If Matcha tea is not as good for you as people say, is it necessarily all that bad for you?!?1.... What I am asking is, will it be unhealthy for me to drink matcha until my 31st birthday (later on this year) when my last shipment of matcha comes... 


Also, you suggested I try sencha tea... and I have!! :ph34r:  I have not tried regular sencha tea, but I have tried powdered sencha tea -- Is the powdered form as healthy for you as regular sencha tea? I really like the powdered form... here is where I get it: (http://www.o-cha.com/powdered-sencha.html)... It tastes just like matcha to me so I think I could get used to it... Also, is Salada a good green tea choice?... I love Salada, but my friend tells me that a lot of teas you buy in the supermarket are made from the remenants of more expensive teas, so the quality is poorer... not sure if this is true...


Lastly, I am a Divinist (a religion I am working on creating) and consume the hallucenogenic plant Salvia Divinorum every day before my cup of green tea (http://www.sagewisdom.org/) for religious reasons... I don't think I could ever kick the habit of drinking a cup of green tea four times a day: at 9:00AM, 12:00 Noon, 3:00PM and 6:00PM or my consumption of Salvia Divinorum... I have been using salvia on a daily basis since 6/06/06... if any one has any suggestions or would like to recommend a tea, I would appreciate it! I am a tea fanatic!!!

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I personally like good quality white tea -- I brew a large fresh pot daily, usually some type of Pau Mu Tan, from China.


Like green Sencha tea, white tea is brewed at 180 degrees.


White tea is the least processed -- so my guess would be that, whatever goodies are in the tea, they will be maximized in white.


However, studies have been done, some quoted by M ichael, that indicate the benefits of Sencha green tea.


I don't know of any similar studies WRT white tea -- I'd be interested in seeing such a study.


  -- Saul

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Guest Horsekisses1

I drink DR. Mercola's Royal Matcha Green Tea on occasion. It is pricey but tasty...and Organic to boot. Due to my personal budget, I do not drink it daily, but it is a nice treat.

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  • 4 months later...



I was on to whisk and holder hunting when I came across different blogs about Matcha Teas having lead content. It's a shame because I found the whisk and holder that I really liked at http://www.flourishandthrivenow.com/sous-vide/


Can anyone please clarify if this is an actual concern? I know that there are like a LOT of people who are drinking matcha and I found some videos in youtube where chefs put it on some dishes.


Thank you!

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Hi Marnie, and welcome to the CR Society Forums!


 I came across different blogs about Matcha Teas having lead content. It's a shame because I found the whisk and holder that I really liked at http://www.flourishandthrivenow.com/sous-vide/


Can anyone please clarify if this is an actual concern?


Well - below [1] is a relevant study of heavy metals, including lead (Pb) in the leaves and prepared tea (infusions) from various green teas (not specifically Matcha) purchased in markets in China.


It appears that in the leaves, aluminum and copper were at about 50% of the maximum safe dose, lead was at about 20%. Depending on how you look at it, and how much of the leaves you consume, this could be good or bad news for matcha.


None of the infusions had concentrations of heavy metals that were higher than the heavy metal standards in place for drinking water.


So it appears at least some green teas, at least from China, have close to "troubling levels" (I hesitate to say toxic levels) of heavy metals in the leaves. But at least for these heavy metal, they appear to stick with the leaves when you brew them as tea. So by eating the leaves (i.e. as in the case of matcha) you are potentially vulnerable, although as always, the dose makes the poison...


Thankfully, for most of us who brew our green tea rather than eat the leaves, at least from this study, heavy metals don't appear to be a problem, even from presumably non-organic, Chinese green tea.


Hmmm.... Now you've got me thinking... <sound of gears grinding>...


Marnie, I can't thank you enough for bringing this issue (back) to my attention. You've spurred me to think about another problem in a new way. I'll be posting about it soon on another thread. I hope you stick around to engage with us!





[1] Environ Monit Assess. 2015 May;187(5):228. doi: 10.1007/s10661-015-4445-2. Epub

2015 Apr 4.

A comparison of the potential health risk of aluminum and heavy metals in tea
leaves and tea infusion of commercially available green tea in Jiangxi, China.

Li L(1), Fu QL, Achal V, Liu Y.

Author information:
(1)College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing,
210037, China.

Heavy metals and Al in tea products are of increasing concern. In this study,
contents of Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Pb in commercially available green tea
and its infusions were measured by ICP-MS and ICP-AES. Both target hazard
quotient (THQ) and hazard index (HI) were employed to assess the potential health
risk of studied metals in tea leaves and infusions to drinkers. Results showed
that the average contents of Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Pb in tea leaves were
487.57, 0.055, 0.29, 1.63, 17.04, 7.71, and 0.92 mg/kg, respectively. Except for
Cu, metal contents were within their maximum limits (1, 5, 30, and 5 mg/kg for
Cd, Cr, Cu, and Pb, respectively) of current standards for tea products.
Concentrations of metals in tea infusions were all below their maximum limits
(0.2, 0.005, 0.05, 1.0, 0.02, and 0.01 mg/L for Al, Cd, Cr(VI), Cu, Ni, and Pb,
respectively) for drinking water, and decreased with the increase of infusion
times. Pb, Cd, Cu, and Al mainly remained in tea leaves. The THQ from
2.33 × 10(-5) to 1.47 × 10(-1) and HI from1.41 × 10(-2) to 3.45 × 10(-1) values
in tea infusions were all less than 1, suggesting that consumption of tea
infusions would not cause significant health risks for consumers. More attention
should be paid to monitor Co content in green tea. Both THQ and HI values
decreased with the increase of infusion times. Results of this study suggest that
tea drinkers should discard the first tea infusion and drink the following

PMID: 25840958

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Today Dr. Greger posted a video about lead contamination in different types of tea. It is well worth watching for anyone who drinks tea, IMO.

I didn't know this, but apparently the leaves used in white and green tea are much younger (less mature) than those used in black and oolong tea. As a result, black and oolong tea leaves have a lot of extra time to absorb heavy metals like lead (Pb), and so have much higher levels than white and green tea, although green tea from China (where leaded gasoline wasn't banned until about a decade ago), still contain significant amounts of lead. It also turns out that in terms of heavy metal contamination, organic tea isn't better than conventional, which was interesting to learn. Shorter brew times (~3min) result in much less heavy metal extraction than long brewing (~15min), but no data on cold vs. warm brewing...

Here is the most interesting graphic from video, based on data from [1] I believe. It shows how many cups of tea (or equivalently, heaping teaspoons of tea leaves) you could safely drink or eat (i.e. as matcha or thrown into smoothies, as is some people's practice), depending on where the tea comes from (China vs. Japan) and what type of tea it is (green/white vs. black/oolong), based on the fairly strict standard that California has for lead consumption (<15 mcg Pb per day).




It shows that you can pretty much drink as much green tea as you like from either China or Japan and not worry about lead contamination. That's nice to know. But black (or esp oolong) tea from China should be limited to 3 cups of brewed tea (~3 heaping teaspoons of leaves) per day. Eating green or black tea leaves from China may be safe in small amounts, but you might want to avoid it since they have quite a bit of lead in them. These safety limits for tea are for healthy, non-pregnant & non-lactating adults. Watch the video if you want to see the same chart for pregnant/nursing women and for children. Preview - the safe levels of tea consumption are a lot lower. 

Aluminum could also be an issue. From [1] , "Aluminum levels were above recommended guidelines in 20% of brewed teas."



[1] Journal of Toxicology

Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 370460, 8 pages
The Benefits and Risks of Consuming Brewed Tea: Beware of Toxic Element Contamination
Gerry Schwalfenberg,1 Stephen J. Genuis,2 and Ilia Rodushkin3
Background. Increasing concern is evident about contamination of foodstuffs and natural health products. Methods. Common off-the-shelf varieties of black, green, white, and oolong teas sold in tea bags were used for analysis in this study. Toxic element testing was performed on 30 different teas by analyzing (i) tea leaves, (ii) tea steeped for 3-4 minutes, and (iii) tea steeped for 15–17 minutes. Results were compared to existing preferred endpoints. Results. All brewed teas contained lead with 73% of teas brewed for 3 minutes and 83% brewed for 15 minutes having lead levels considered unsafe for consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Aluminum levels were above recommended guidelines in 20% of brewed teas. No mercury was found at detectable levels in any brewed tea samples. Teas contained several beneficial elements such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Of trace minerals, only manganese levels were found to be excessive in some black teas. Conclusions. Toxic contamination by heavy metals was found in most of the teas sampled. Some tea samples are considered unsafe. There are no existing guidelines for routine testing or reporting of toxicant levels in “naturally” occurring products. Public health warnings or industry regulation might be indicated to protect consumer safety.
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