This is an interesting topic since both are actually green tea leaves but in different forms. While Matcha is nothing but green powdered tea, Sencha is a form of dried green tea leaves which is extremely popular the world over. They are thus similar in origin but differ in their flavours and nutritional benefits. However, while green tea leaves have been around for quite some time, Matcha powder has only recently started gaining popularity.
The popularity of Matcha powder is primarily because of its versatility. In fact, this powder comes in different grades based on the method of processing used and the subsequent use of the products. Today Matcha powder is not only consumed as a beverage, but it is also used to make smoothies, latte and even ice creams.
Nutritional benefits of Sencha vs Matcha
Currently, Sencha is more popular than Matcha powder and is considered to be one of the best loose leaf green tea available. A comparison of the nutritional benefits associated with both Sencha green tea and Matcha powder shows that while Sencha has Vitamin C and E in greater quantities, Matcha has more of Vitamin B6 and beta carotene. In fact, Matcha tea powder is also said to taste better than Sencha and has been known to have 10times the nutritional benefits of Sencha.
It has also been seen that since Sencha needs to be brewed, its leaves tend to retain many of the nutritional and bioactive compounds which are present in it. When these used green tea leaves are filtered out by either an infuser or a tea bag, most of the nutritional benefits are also taken away and thrown. Thus instead of consuming the powerful parts of the green tea leaves, only a fraction of the actual nutritional value of green tea leaves is consumed.
On the other hand, Matcha is neither infused nor brewed. Thus there is no need for them to be filtered out. In fact, people consuming Matcha tea powder actually drink the tea powder which is stone ground to convert it into powdered tea. Thus literally the whole tea leaf with all its nutritional benefits is consumed.
In fact, it has been seen that a cup of Matcha made from 4 teaspoons of the powder packs in about 280mg of the stimulant caffeine as compared to the 35gms which is provided by a cup of Sencha. It would also not be wrong to say that in order to gain the same nutritional benefits that are available in 1 cup of Matcha; a person would have to drink about 10 cups of Sencha.
Taste and flavour of Sencha and Matcha
Both Sencha and Matcha have a slightly grassy taste which is an inherent characteristic of the best loose green tea that is available. However, Matcha tends to have a richer buttery flavour which is absent in Sencha. This is probably because of the way they are grown and processed. Sencha is made using a much longer production process which involves leaving the tea leaves out in the sun for quite some time. Matcha bushes are grown under cover so that they remain shielded from the glare of the sun and this helps to increase the levels of amino acids and chlorophyll present in the leaves which are then powdered.