lWhat is Matcha?

Matcha is a shade-grown green tea that originated in Japan and is now popular globally. There are additional steps in processing the green tea selected for Matcha that give it unique flavors and properties. 

Several weeks before harvest, tea plants are covered with tarps or bamboo mats to limit the amount of sunlight absorbed by the leaves. This allows tea leaves to increase the production of chlorophyll and makes the color a brighter green; a distinctive characteristic of Matcha tea. The leaves are steamed to stop oxidation, maintaining a high level of caffeine as compared to other Japanese green teas. Most importantly, the leaves are dried quickly and then the dry leave ground into a fine powder. So this allows the tea drinker to consume the entire tea leaf, more nutrients and caffeine.

Many people worldwide, opt for Matcha as a substitute for coffee because it has just the right amount of caffeine and gives you energy without any jitteriness. 

Caffeine Level in Matcha

In half a teaspoon of Matcha, an average amount used per serving, there is 25-30 mg of caffeine. This is less than coffee. Moreover, it has a combination of L-Theanine and amino acid compounds which also helps in relaxing your nerves and gives you energy instantly. In comparison, caffeine in Matcha takes time to gradually dissolve in your body; approximately six hours. It is a good choice of beverage for people who want to get energy for the day but can only handle caffeine in small doses.

Does Matcha Go Stale or Expire?

As many of you know, green tea hardly expires or goes stale. However, if you keep it in an unstable environment without controling temperature or moisture, then it may form clumps and taste stale. Matcha is sensitive compared to other green tea varieties because it loses aroma, color, and freshness quickly. Once Matcha is opened, it can stay good for six months if it is stored in an airtight container at room temperature. For this reason, people tend to purchase Matcha in sealed smaller sealed packaging that they aniticipate consuming within a few months. Professional sealed packaging from a reputable source will remain fresh (unopened) for approximately one year.  

If you are keeping your Matcha container in the fridge for more extended storage, then allow it to return to room temperature before using it. If you find that your opened container of Matcha has been sitting on your shelf too long, and you do not want to drink it, you can add it to cake or cookie recipes, or use it to make smoothies. Even if your Matcha is a bit stale, it is not bad for you. It may just lose some of its color, and aroma. But this will not be noticed if you use it in cooking. 

matcha flavored cookie. Matcha is swirled through the dough.

Does Caffeine Level go Down When Matcha Becomes Stale?

If Matcha becomes compromised or stale, it won’t be as good for your everyday energy-boost cup of tea. Once you open your jar of Matcha, it exposes oxygen in the air which speeds up the oxidation process. Oxygen deteriorates the nutrients present in the Matcha. Each time you open the box, you expose the Matcha to more moisture, air and heat, which oxidate the nutrients and gradually change the color. You can try to keep it in a ziplock bag with the air squeezed out or Matcha special containers to slow down the oxidation. It is inevitable to say that caffeine levels are lower as the Matcha becomes close to the expiration date set by vendors or goes stale.