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Is Starbucks Matcha Good for You?

You’ve probably heard of matcha beverages if you enjoy Starbucks. Due to its conceivable health advantages, matcha, a form of green tea, has grown in popularity recently. Is Starbucks matcha healthy for you, though? The solution is more complicated than you may imagine.

Handed Starbucks Signature Iced Green Tea Latte

The matcha used in Starbucks drinks is frequently pre-sweetened with additional sugar, despite the fact that matcha itself has been proved to provide health advantages.

This implies that even if you want an unsweetened beverage, you can still be taking in a lot of sugar.

In fact, a serving of select Starbucks matcha beverages can have up to 32 grams of sugar.

What is Matcha

For millennia, Japan has savored matcha, a sort of green tea. The Camellia sinensis plant’s leaves, which are used to make tea, are grown in the shade to boost their chlorophyll content and flavor.

Starbucks Iced Matcha Green tea latte

After being properly picked, the leaves are steamed, dried, and powdered into a fine powder.

Matcha is drunk whole, unlike other forms of tea, so all the nutrients from the tea leaves are ingested.

As a result, matcha is a very healthy beverage that is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

The amino acid L-theanine is one of matcha’s most prominent ingredients.

This substance is well known for encouraging calmness and lowering stress while also enhancing mood and cognitive performance.

Caffeine, another ingredient in matcha, can aid in boosting energy and alertness.

Matcha has grown in popularity in recent years because of its many health advantages and is now offered in many coffee shops and cafés, including Starbucks.

To get the most out of this healthful beverage, you need to be careful of what you’re drinking because not all matcha drinks are created equal.

Starbucks Matcha: An Overview

You may have tried Starbucks Matcha if you enjoy green tea. Finely powdered green tea leaves are whisked with hot water to create this well-liked beverage, which is served as a latte.

One of the drink menu at Starbucks coffee shop

Is Starbucks Matcha healthy for you, though? Let’s look more closely.

It’s crucial to understand that Starbucks uses matcha that is already sweetened and readily dissolved in water.

As a result, the matcha you get from Starbucks is not the same as traditional matcha, which is typically unsweetened and needs some work to prepare.

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240 calories, 7 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of protein, and 32 grams of sugar are included in a 16-ounce grande Starbucks Matcha Latte made with 2% milk.

There is some protein included, however the quantity of sugar is excessive.

However, matcha itself is renowned for being rich in antioxidants and has been demonstrated to have possible health advantages, including enhancing kidney, liver, and heart health as well as decreasing blood sugar.

Overall, Starbucks Matcha offers some potential health advantages from the matcha itself, even though it may not be the healthiest drink option given its high sugar level.

It’s crucial to drink in moderation and to be aware of added sugars with any beverage.

Health Benefits of Starbucks Matcha

Starbucks matcha can be a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a healthy substitute for your typical coffee or tea.

Male hand holding Starbucks 'Green Tea Matcha Frappuccino

The following are a few purported health advantages of consuming Starbucks matcha:

  • Rich in Antioxidants: Matcha is packed with antioxidants, which have been shown to help protect against chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, matcha contains up to 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea.
  • Boosts Metabolism: Matcha contains a compound called EGCG, which has been shown to increase metabolism and help burn fat. Studies have also shown that drinking matcha can help improve exercise performance and endurance.
  • Calming Effect: Matcha contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety. This makes it a great option for those looking for a natural way to calm their nerves.
  • Improves Brain Function: The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha has been shown to improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and reaction time. This makes it a great option for those looking for a morning pick-me-up that won’t cause jitters or crashes.
  • Promotes Heart Health: Matcha has been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. It also contains flavonoids, which have been shown to help improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clots.

Overall, while Starbucks matcha might not be a miracle cure-all, it does have some potential health advantages that make it a fantastic choice for people searching for a better substitute for their regular coffee or tea.

Comparative Analysis: Starbucks Matcha Vs. Traditional Matcha

If you enjoy matcha, you may have noticed that Starbucks sells a variety of matcha beverages, such as lattes, iced teas, and more.

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Starbucks iced matcha green tea at Starbucks Coffee Shop

However, how does Starbucks matcha differ from regular matcha? Let’s look more closely.

Ingredients

Starbucks matcha is a mixture of Japanese matcha and sugar, as opposed to traditional matcha, which is created from finely powdered green tea leaves.

The nutritional label for Starbucks matcha lists sugar as the first ingredient, indicating that at most 49.9% of the powder is indeed matcha.

Caffeine Content

While caffeine is present in both conventional matcha and Starbucks matcha, the amount varies based on the serving size and preparation technique.

Matcha from traditional sources typically has more caffeine than matcha from Starbucks.

A grande Starbucks matcha latte has about 80 mg of caffeine, compared to about 35 to 40 mg in a single gram of conventional matcha.

Nutritional Value

Since traditional matcha contains antioxidants, amino acids, and other healthy ingredients, it is renowned for its great nutritional worth.

As a result of the additional sugar, Starbucks matcha has far less of these nutrients.

Taste

Traditional matcha’s flavor might vary depending on its quality and way of preparation, but it is typically thought to taste earthy, vegetal, and slightly bitter.

The additional sugar in Starbucks matcha, on the other hand, gives it a sweeter flavor.

Price

The price of traditional matcha can be fairly pricey, especially if you choose the ceremonial grade variety.

On the other hand, Starbucks matcha is less expensive and more widely accessible.

The convenience and flavor of Starbucks matcha may be appealing, but it falls short of the health benefits and genuine matcha flavor of traditional matcha.

If you’re a fan of matcha, it’s worthwhile to spend money on premium traditional matcha so you can make it at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Starbucks Matcha tea latte on hand of woman

Is Starbucks matcha latte healthy?

Starbucks matcha latte contains a lot of sugar, which can be harmful to your health if consumed in large amounts. According to Mashed, a grande (16-oz) matcha latte contains 32 grams of sugar, which is almost the daily limit for men according to the American Heart Association. However, if you want to enjoy a matcha latte from Starbucks, you can ask for less scoops of matcha to reduce the amount of added sugar.

Can you customize your Starbucks matcha latte?

Yes, you can customize your Starbucks matcha latte to your liking. According to Sweet Steep, you can ask for different types of milk, such as almond milk or coconut milk, to make your matcha latte dairy-free. You can also ask for less scoops of matcha to reduce the amount of added sugar, or ask for no sweetener at all if you prefer a less sweet taste.

What are the benefits of drinking matcha?

Matcha has been shown to have several health benefits, such as improving brain function, boosting metabolism, and reducing the risk of certain diseases. According to Guilty Eats, matcha is high in antioxidants, which can help protect your body against damage from free radicals. It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that can help reduce stress and improve mental clarity. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the benefits of matcha may vary depending on the quality and preparation of the matcha.

Glass of Green tea frappe with whipped-cream at Starbucks coffee shop

Conclusion

In conclusion, even if the Starbucks matcha latte may look like a healthy option, it is crucial to pay attention to its nutritional content and additives.

The sugar in the matcha tea blend used in Starbucks drinks can pile up rapidly if you have several drinks throughout the day.

For instance, a large matcha latte has more than the suggested daily allowance of added sugars at 28 grams.

Matcha can have health advantages, such as being strong in antioxidants and catechins, but it’s crucial to keep in mind that these advantages can be diminished if the beverage has a lot of added sugar.

Consider purchasing a basic matcha tea without any additional sweeteners if you’re searching for a healthy choice.

A natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup can be used to make your own matcha latte at home using unsweetened almond or coconut milk.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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