This green tea latte is the perfect pick-me-up. With soft, frothed milk, this easy matcha latte is a delicious way to start the day.
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Matcha lattes are not new. I’ve been drinking them for over 5 years and I was super late to the party. But I still get lots of questions about matcha so I wanted to put together this post all about matcha and how to create the perfect matcha latte.
What is matcha?
Matcha is a green tea powder. It is the centerpiece of the Japanese tea ceremony. It’s now become popular in the United States for its unique flavor and potential health benefits.
With Japanese roots, this tea is grown in the shade to preserve its beautiful green color and additional antioxidants. Unlike loose-leaf or bagged tea, you consume the entire leaf with matcha versus brewing and straining it.
As a result, you may get additional potential health benefits from this potent powder.
Does matcha have caffeine?
Yes. Matcha has caffeine. But because of the presence of L-theanine, the caffeine seems to be a bit more tempered. I don’t personally feel jittery after drinking matcha though I do feel antsy after having coffee.
In any case, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you wouldn’t want to have matcha as a nightcap!
Health benefits of matcha
Like other forms of green tea, matcha has some potential health and nutrition benefits.
Matcha may help boost mental alertness without the jitters. Research suggests that drinking green tea might help with mental clarity, attention, and staying focused. I love having it on Monday mornings or whenever writing deadlines loom.
Matcha is rich in phytochemicals. These healthy compounds may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and other conditions. You might even reap some anti-aging benefits from the brew too.
Matcha slows you down. Outside of research, making a matcha latte may help boost mindfulness. As you’ll see in the video, it takes a moment to make this drink. The process requires you to take a few minutes to yourself to focus on making and enjoying something deliciously good for you.
How to make a matcha latte?
Heat filtered water so that it’s hot but not boiling. You can also boil the water and allow it to cool slightly before combining it with the matcha.
Boiling water will change the flavor of the matcha – making it bitter and possibly destroying some of the nutrients in the tea.
Froth the milk. I usually use a handheld frother for a few seconds. I also have one of the small milk frothing pitchers – the one with a pump. It’s more work to clean the latter so I just use the battery-operated stick frother.
Combine the two for a rich and creamy homemade matcha latte!
Do I need a bamboo whisk?
Yes. Using a wire whisk to make matcha doesn’t work. I got my bamboo whisk, called a chasen, especially for blending matcha with water.
What’s the best matcha to buy?
No one is paying me to tell you which brand to buy. But matcha is expensive. So, I will share the ones I like so you don’t waste money.
I usually buy the Matcha Love brand. It comes in a tiny tin for about $12. The tin makes 15-20 lattes for me. Jade Leaf is another popular one that’s a bit more expensive, starting at $25. If you cannot find these brands, please let me know what you find and love!
Tea flavors will vary based on where and how it’s grown. Some will have a more nutty flavor or earthiness. So you might need to try a couple of different teas to find one that you like and one that works in a latte.
How to choose the best matcha
Go for pure matcha powder. Look for ceremonial grade powders from Japan (not China). The best ones will have a bright green color and a fresh, earthy aroma and flavor. Skip those with brown or army green hues. The tea powder may have a hint of bitterness but should not have an off or fishy taste.
Choose teas in a tin versus a bag whenever possible. And store in a cool, dark place. This will help keep the powder fresh.
A word about culinary grade matcha. These are much cheaper and are fine for cooking or making frozen pops and such.
Skip the mixes. They are cheap and enticing. But they are often high in sugar, milk solids, and other ingredients that will change the final drink.
Best milk for matcha lattes
You can use any milk to make a matcha latte. The milk makes this a latte.
So, choose one that will froth up nicely. Whole milk (dairy), cashew milk, oat milk, and coconut milk produce a soft, voluminous frothy finish. Skim and rice milk do not.
Use homemade nut milk if you’re going dairy-free. Homemade nut milks are creamier and more delicious compared to your standard store brand non-dairy milk. This will translate to a better-tasting matcha latte. Elmhurst 1925 and MALK Organics brand nut milk brands are actually delicious though and can be used instead of homemade.
My Coconut Ginger Matcha Latte uses refrigerated coconut milk as the base. Give it a try!
Can I use a blender?
Possibly. If you have a heat-safe blender – one that’s designed to blend hot liquids – you can toss all ingredients into a blender and be done in seconds. This is an ideal way to add honey or collagen or any other powder you might want to add as a boost to your tea.
Don’t blend hot liquids in regular blenders. It’s not safe.
Why make a matcha latte at home?
I like the ones I make at home better for several reasons.
It’s cheaper. You will pay $5 or more per drink at a local coffeehouse.
It tastes better. Yes. You can find some really good lattes at restaurants. But unless the coffee house buys high-quality matcha, you will end up with a subpar drink. This is has been my experience more often than not. Either the powder is old – because they don’t use it often enough. Or it’s poor quality – possibly a mix or simply a low-grade powder.
You can control the sweetness and other ingredients. This is probably my favorite reason to make them at home. I find that most baristas make the drinks way too sweet for my taste.
So here’s my easy recipe for how to make a matcha latte!
How to Make a Matcha Latte
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder
- ¼ – ½ cup hot (not boiling) water
- honey (optional, to taste)
- 1 cup warm frothed milk*
- Add the matcha powder to a large, wide mug or shallow bowl. Add half the water. Whisk using a bamboo whisk until all lumps dissolve. You will have a thick green paste. If you will be adding honey, do so now.
- Add the remaining water, whisk vigorously until the powder and water are blended and lots of bubbles form on top.
- Pour in the frothed milk. Enjoy right away.