Is green tea acidic or alkaline? For those who have acidic or alkaline sensitivity, the question is very important. Of course, this question also serves for those who are trying the famed alkaline diet, especially since the diet restricts caffeine. For the answer, read below.
Green Tea: Acidic or Alkaline?
Green tea is one of the oldest drink exist on Earth. While its health benefits have been proven by numerous studies, some of them are not well known to the general public. Whether green tea is acidic or alkaline is one of them. Since what we consume draws reaction to our body, it’s important to know the answer to this question, especially if you are an avid green tea drinker.
What Do Acidic and Alkaline Mean?
Before we jump into it, what does acidic and alkaline actually mean? In case you don’t know, both acidic and alkaline refers to pH level of every substance on Earth. The terms are generally used in chemistry, medicinal, or physician studies. However, they become used often to discuss diet since the rise of the alkaline diet.
To understand whether green tea is acidic or alkaline, we need to understand about the levels the terms refer to. Acidic pH level refers to pH levels below the neutral line – the substance also tastes sour and can melt various solid objects if it’s acidic enough. Meanwhile, alkaline pH level refers to pH levels above the neutral line and the substance taste lean to bitterness. Neutral pH level sits on below, so acidic pH is below seven while alkaline is above seven.
Why pH Matters?
Though people can eat something sour, spicy, or bitter and enjoying it, there’s a limit of what the body can take. If we consume too many acidic foods (which means it will taste sour and/or spicy), the risk of triggering acid reflux is high. However, if we consume too much alkaline food instead, our stomach acid will weaken and our digestion will be disrupted. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on pH level before consuming something, especially if you have alkaline or acidic sensitivity.
The concern also goes for those who are trying the alkaline diet. In fact, the explanation above is the ‘science’ that backed up the diet. According to the belief of the alkaline diet, the pH of what we consume can disrupt the pH of our body.
If we eat acidic food, our body will turn acidic as well and became prone to multiple diseases including cancer. While the ‘science’ of the alkaline diet is yet to be proven, the diet also prohibits caffeine consumption which is why questions about coffee substitution like green tea became popular among alkaline dieters.
So, What’s Green Tea pH?
Now, back to the question; is green tea acidic or alkaline? Green tea naturally has a pH above 7,2, so the leaves are alkaline. However, it’s important to look through the brewing process – water and addition used in your cup of tea may disrupt the whole substance’s pH.
Generally, drinking water is alkaline but check just in case, especially if you drink from the tap. Also, it’s important to have the water boiled to ensure that it is alkaline.
Speaking of addition, it depends on the drinker’s habit. People who are doing the alkaline diet must’ve known that dairy is prohibited because it is acidic, so don’t add milk into your cup if you are aiming for an alkaline cup of tea. On the other hand, if you only brew your tea with water, then it is safely alkaline. Sugar is considered neutral, so it’s also safe to add some.
What About Matcha?
Is green tea acidic or alkaline? Now we know that it is alkaline. But what about its exquisite sibling, Matcha? Why is Matcha different than normal green tea anyway, if they are both called ‘green tea’?
Actually, the name differs because they are processed slightly differently. After harvesting, the tea leaves are steamed and pan toasted to create both types. However, instead of sun-dried, Matcha is dried in the shades and often ground into powder.
Matcha tea leaves have to grow in the shade as well as it needs the youngest, greenest leaves. Meanwhile, Sencha aka the green tea we know simply uses young leaves, rolled, and sundried after steaming. It is also sold as loose leaves or bagged tea rather than powder.
Matcha sure has higher nutritional value than Sencha. However, since they are both not oxidized, they are both alkaline as well.
So, is green tea acidic or alkaline? The answer is alkaline! Both Sencha and Matcha green tea naturally has a pH level above 7,2, so we can conclude that it is alkaline. Of course, the safest way to ensure the tea is alkaline is by drinking a fresh brew using boiled water all the time, given that pre-packaged teas may have different pH depending on the making process and storing condition.