What Gives Matcha Its Green Color?

If you have ever seen or used high quality matcha, the first thing you are likely to notice about it is that it has this incredibly distinctive bright green color. That is part of its appeal, for sure: you know you are probably getting something in your body that has a lot of good natural ingredients, plenty of antioxidants, and so on. But it also has this aesthetic appeal that is part of what makes matcha such a pleasing and enjoyable drink to have.

But you might be wondering what it actually is that gives matcha that green color and distinct matcha taste. In this article, we will take you through all you need to know about this - as well as offering some tips on what you can actually do with that color when you use matcha.

Chemical Components

So what is in matcha that makes it so bright and green? The short answer is: chlorophyll. You probably already know that this vital ingredient is what allows plants to photosynthesise. Well, it’s also the main component that makes most plants green. And matcha, as you may have gathered, has a ton of chlorophyll in it, so it’s especially green compared to many other plants of its kind.

But there’s more to it than that. Having lots of chlorophyll is also related to there being a high amount of antioxidants, so the greener your matcha is, the more likely it is going to be hugely beneficial for your health. That’s why high grade Encha matcha is particularly vivid and green.

Impact Of Harvesting & Processing

It’s not only the plant itself that adds to the green color. You also need to consider how it has been harvested and processed too, as that is going to make a huge difference here as well. Because people expect their matcha to be the green color it is, and because that indicates good health for the plant as well as the person drinking it, cultivators know how to produce that color much more reliably and effectively.

But don’t worry: this is not about adding anything artificial into the powder. It’s all to do with how matcha is made and the shade-grown techniques that they use. With these techniques, and with careful processing that aims not to disturb the plant too much, the result is a vivid green substance that you have come to expect.

Quality & Freshness

In fact, the color of matcha is one of the clearest ways to determine how fresh it is, and also of what level of quality it is. What you are looking for in matcha is always that healthy, deep green. The more of that you see, the better quality it is going to be, and the fresher it probably is too. When it is of poorer quality, from an inferior brand, or it has been left out too long, it can fade to a pale green.

Then, if it is left even longer, it can even become a kind of yellow. This is a sign that much of the goodness has been stripped out of it, and you are not going to get the same matcha health benefits from it - nor the same delicious taste that you have come to expect.

Cultural Symbolism

As you may already be aware, matcha and tea in general is of huge and central importance to Japanese culture, and this is something that you might want to know a little about next time you are drinking matcha tea. In fact, the green color is symbolically relevant in Japanese tea ceremonies and in the culture generally, and poorer colors would certainly be looked down upon. So it is also for cultural and historical reasons that you should expect your matcha to be green.

This symbolism helps to keep you in line with the culture and to enjoy it more for what it is, so it’s something to be aware of.

Other Uses Of The Color Of Matcha

Finally, if you have some matcha powder and it is the right color, you can make tea with it - or you can also use it in some other ways. One of the most popular uses of matcha powderis as a natural food coloring for when you are baking. If you want something to have that delicious and natural green color, simply add a little Encha matcha into your mix, and you’ll be amazed at how much of an effect it can have. What’s more, it’s an all-natural method, and you won’t need to worry about the effects on your health.