Blue matcha is Instagram's latest trend, but what actually is it?

Does it have the same health benefits of green matcha? Or is it just pretty?

blue matcha
Picture: Instagram, @bluechaitea

Does it have the same health benefits of green matcha? Or is it just pretty?

Blue matcha... you've probably seen it all over Instagram, but what really is it?

While it looks super-cool in pictures of smoothie bowls, porridge and juices, we want to know whether it has the same health values as green matcha - or if it's just a big fad.

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What's the difference between green matcha and blue matcha?

Green matcha's leaves are hand picked, steamed, dried and stone-ground to turn them into a fine powder.

Rather than being steeped in bags, the powder from the leaves dissolves in water, meaning that you ingest all of its antioxidant powers. And trust us, it has a lot of power. One cup of matcha green tea has the same amount of antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea.

Despite its name, blue matcha is totally different. It's made from butterfly pea powder, which lacks the antioxidants and caffeine of green matcha.

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What do the experts say?

Dietitian Jo Travers tells Metro: 'Blue matcha isn’t actually anything like green matcha (apart from that it’s a powder and it’s confusingly called the same!) because it comes from a different plant, so the antioxidant profile is completely different.

'There isn’t much research on the benefits of blue matcha unfortunately. Although blue matcha may contain some antioxidants and looks pretty on Instagram, I would stick to green matcha if it’s health benefits you are after.'

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So, are there any health benefits?

Cynthia Sass, MPH explains to Health: 'Animal research shows that [butterfly pea] may help improve memory and reduce stress, but the research is limited, and different parts of the plant—roots, stems, leaves—are used in different ways.'

Tea seller Blue Chai claims blue matcha improves overall cell health by preventing premature aging, cutting the risk of cancer and other diseases.

It also contains Proanthocyanidin, which increases the collagen and elasticity in skin cells.

So if you fancy giving blue matcha a go, we wouldn't say there's any harm in it. But if you're all over the health benefits of the green stuff, it's probably best to stick with that.