What is matcha? What to know about the green drink taking over coffeeshops.

If you've stepped into a coffeeshop in the last few years, you've probably seen some form of matcha on the menu.

Interest in matcha has been steadily on the rise over the last few years — experts credit rising interest in healthier nutrition swaps as well as the fact that the drink is aesthetically appealing and fun to share pictures of online.

"Matcha tea has become popular in the western world with photogenic social media pictures of this bright green drink popping up everywhere," Virginia-based registered dietitian and diabetes educator Caroline Thomason tells USA TODAY.

Here's what nutrition experts want you to know about drinking matcha.

What is matcha?

Matcha is a type of green tea made from finely grounding green tea leaves into a powder. It has a slightly earthy taste.

The beverage originated in China, but the matcha consumed today was largely influenced by Japan.

Does matcha have caffeine?

Matcha does contain some caffeine, but many enjoy it as an alternative to coffee because it doesn't contain quite as much.

A cup of matcha has about 70 mg of caffeine, which Thomason notes is equal to a shot of espresso and a bit less than a cup of coffee.

"Matcha tea also contains compounds that slow down the absorption of caffeine so that we don’t get such a spike and crash in energy — a benefit most people report enjoying about this green drink," Thomason says.

But, she notes, those who get overly anxious or jittery from caffeine may still want to avoid matcha.

"You may not enjoy drinking caffeinated beverages like matcha despite the fact that they are lower in caffeine and have different effects on energy levels compared to coffee," she says.

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Is matcha good for you?

Research has shown that green tea offers a whole host of health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties and possible aids in disease prevention.

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As a type of green tea, matcha has many of those benefits, too. Some studies have shown that matcha may boost liver, brain and heart health.

"All types of green tea are also high in antioxidants and contain a compound called ECGC which has been shown to improve metabolism and may impact fat loss when taken consistently," Thomason adds.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is matcha? Is it good for you and does it have caffeine?