Green vs. Blue? Not A Perfect Match(a)
- Published: Monday, April 30th 2018
- in Nutrition
If you are still with us after that terrible pun, you might be aware of a new matcha in town–blue matcha. It’s taking Instagram feeds and food blogs by storm. But does it pack the same punch as green?
Green matcha is fine powder made from the leaves of green tea. We’ve known for centuries that green tea is packed with health benefits. And, according to Health.com, green matcha has a similar wellness punch. It’s filled with antioxidants that are known to improve metabolism, fight aging, reduce blood sugar and blood pressure and protect against cancer and heart disease. Plus it promotes an ‘alert calm,’ which provides relaxation without drowsiness due to a naturally found substance called l-theanine. We bet that if you are reading this after your third cup of coffee, a little alert calm might sound nice right about now.
Blue matcha, however, is a case of great branding. It is actually a powder that comes from the dried flowers of the butterfly pea plant and doesn’t have any of the caffeine or antioxidant perks of green matcha. It’s still better than a donut though–some research has found that the butterfly pea plant improves memory and reduces stress. However, that research is limited.
Turning things blue has actually become a source of ire in the food science community. With the advent of mermaid meals and unicorn everything, edible blue options have been in hot demand. However, creating an all-natural alternative has been very, very difficult as chronicled in a New York Times article. Blue doesn’t actually appear in nature all that often and there are theories that the color blue didn’t manifest until later as documented in a Radio Lab story. If you are asking yourself, “What about the ocean and the sky?” Scientists theorize that we’ve only recently described them as blue and that in earlier descriptions of sky and water, they are more often colored with phrases like a wine red sea or a white sky.
Blue Matcha shouldn’t replace green matcha from your diet. It simply doesn’t match up when you compare health benefits. But the color is super fun and a total conversation starter, which can be fun in its own right. So if you want to try blue, go for it. Just don’t make it your regular routine. Who knows, maybe Kermit was wrong? It is easy being green.
FEATURED PHOTO CREDIT: Herbal Teas Online
 Health.com, “Blue Matcha Is Taking Over Instagram—But There’s a Catch,” Bella Gerard, January 2018
 New York Times Magazine, “Brand New Hue,” Malia Wollan, October2016
 Radio Lab, “Why Isn’t the Sky Blue?” May 2012