Free, Same Day Shipping (U.S. Only) | Our Breakaway Guarantee

Matcha Has Less Caffeine, But the Caffeine Lasts Longer

By Eric Gower May 7, 2015

Matcha Has Less Caffeine, But the Caffeine Lasts Longer

We get a lot of calls and emails asking about caffeine and matcha.

The short answer is that is has far less caffeine than brewed coffee does — about a quarter as much (roughly 25mg of caffeine for matcha, roughly 100mg or more for coffee, depending on factors such as steeping time, water temperature, and many others). Some estimates put as much as 200mg of caffeine in brewed coffee, which would mean matcha has about an eighth as much caffeine as coffee. But as a rule of thumb we can generally conclude that matcha has about a fourth the caffeine as brewed coffee.

The slightly expanded answer is that, even though it doesn’t have much caffeine relative to coffee, the relatively small amount of caffeine in matcha lasts a lot longer. How can this be?

The small amounts of caffeine in tea usually take longer to enter the blood stream than does the caffeine in coffee, which tends to be absorbed into the bloodstream just minutes after drinking. With matcha, it typically takes several hours to fully enter the bloodstream, and can last as long as six hours. Moreover, the “crash” many people experience an hour or two after drinking coffee doesn’t happen with matcha.

The leading theory on why this is so has to do with the amino acid L-theanine, which we’ve discussed at length in these pages before. L-theanine and the many other antioxidants, flavanoids, and phytonutrients in matcha are thought to slow down the body’s absorption of caffeine – resulting in a gentler increase of caffeine in the system and a lengthened period of alertness and wakefulness, with no crash once the caffeine has run its full course. at the end.

Matcha is a rather fun ride — it feels great to hydrate, to feel a steady stream of serene yet energizing flow, and to feel like you’re at your peak performance.

Eric is the founder and chief matcha evangelist at Breakaway Matcha. He's also an author, ghostwriter, editor, cooking instructor, and private chef. For 16 years, he lived and worked in Japan, where he took deep dives into all things matcha, food, literature, arts, and culture. Eric is the author of three cookbooks: The Breakaway Cook, The breakaway Japanese Kitchen, and Eric's Kitchen. He lives and works in Marin County, CA.