Matcha is a finely ground green tea that is sourced from the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan and used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It has recently gained traction in the US for its unique flavor and health benefits such as detoxification, increased energy levels and weight loss. It has been shown to improve mental clarity and mood, boost immunity, reduce blood pressure, decrease risk of heart disease and improve digestion.
Despite the growing popularity of matcha, many places that offer it do not know what they are serving or do not serve high-quality tea. Often, they sell a blend that contains little more than sugar and some powdered green tea, and this can impact your health if you consume it on a regular basis.
The Starbucks brand of matcha that they use in their drinks is a pre-sweetened blend that is made up of 82% sugar and only 15% ingredient grade matcha. This is very different from true matcha, which has no added sugar and is ideally shade-grown (like this matcha) to maintain the highest quality.
If you order a matcha drink at Starbucks, you can expect it to contain 0 calories, 0 fat and 0 grams of carbohydrates, but the addition of non-dairy milk will add extra calories, fat and sodium to your beverage. In addition, if you choose to sweeten your beverage with a syrup, the sugar content will increase. To avoid this, consider ordering your drink unsweetened or requesting that your barista use less syrup.