How to Make a Matcha Latte
If you are someone who orders matcha lattes at your local coffee shop, you may be wondering how to make your own matcha lattes at home. Perhaps you’ve seen a barista behind the bar whisking up your matcha in a ceramic bowl and thought it seemed too complicated. The process is quite simple, some even consider it their daily practice of meditation. Let’s go over each step together so you can make a cup of matcha a part of your morning ritual.
Back to Basics: What is Matcha Powder?
First things first, if you’re not familiar with matcha powder, it’s important to understand what it is and how to use it, as it differs from your standard tea bags or loose leaf. Matcha is a type of Japanese green tea made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The dried leaves from the plant are harvested from the plant at a specific time in the growing process and stone ground to produce the vibrant green powder that is called ‘matcha’. Instead of steeping or brewing, this ground powder is dissolved directly in hot water, offering all the benefits of the whole leaf. To learn more about the origins of matcha, see our article What is Matcha.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make a Matcha Latte at Home
The short version is that to make a matcha latte at home you will need:
- Matcha green tea powder (the grade of your choice)
- Hot water
- Milk or a non-dairy milk alternative
- Optional: Sweetener
- Optional: Flavoring
We’ll elaborate on types of matcha powder, milk, sweeteners, flavorings, and what equipment you will need below.
Ceremonial or Culinary: What Kind of Matcha Powder Should I Use?
It’s common to find two types, or grades, of matcha powder on the shelf of your grocery store and be unsure as to which one will work best for your matcha latte.
Ceremonial-grade matcha is of a higher quality and along with that comes a higher price tag. You may want to invest in this type of matcha if you don’t plan to make many lattes. This grade is recommended for “matcha purists” or those who prefer to enjoy their matcha the traditional way, as tea in hot water only.
Culinary-grade matcha is popular for making a matcha latte, as it is intended to be paired with other ingredients beyond hot water. This type of matcha is often used in baked goods, ice cream, and other matcha-flavored desserts.
May the Best Milk Win: The Best Milk to Make Matcha Lattes With
Many coffee shops menus offer matcha latte with coconut milk, matcha latte with almond milk, or matcha latte with oat milk… we’ve even seen matcha lattes prepared with macadamia nut and pistachio milk!
With so many milk options out there, how do you choose?
Many people say that matcha lattes with oat milk are their favorites because of the natural creaminess of oat milk and its more neutral flavor. However, people with blood sugar concerns may want to avoid oat milk and opt for milk with a higher protein content, like almond or hemp milk. If you’re trying to go for the lowest sugar option, coconut milk may be the best choice because it lends a natural sweetness with no added sugar. If your goal is to have low-calorie matcha, you’ll want to compare milk options with that in mind.
Basically, the choice of what milk is best for a matcha latte is completely up to your personal preference. We suggest experimenting to find out what you like best.
What Can I Sweeten My Matcha Latte With?
The way a matcha latte tastes depends largely on what you add or don’t add to it. If you find the earthy taste of matcha off-putting, you may find that adding sweetener makes it much more palatable. While traditional sugar is always an option, we suggest choosing maple syrup or honey, both of which have a lower glycemic index than white sugar. The caramelized flavor of maple can balance out the umami flavor that comes through in matcha. Maple is also available as ground sugar and offers the same flavor as syrup. Maple is most definitely our favorite sweetener for matcha.
What Equipment Do I Need?
If you prefer a more modern, efficient approach, you may want to use a handheld electric frother, an electric milk frother, or even a blender to whip up your morning matcha.
If you’re wanting to incorporate matcha into your morning routine in a more ritualistic way, you may want to purchase a ceramic matcha bowl and a bamboo whisk.
No matter which route you choose, you will also need to boil water (via electric kettle or tea kettle) and a mug, preferably one that makes you smile each time you raise your matcha to your lips.
How Much Money Will I Save Making a Matcha Latte at Home?
Once you get past the point of making your initial investment to purchase the equipment (or even better, using what you already have!) you will save quite a bit of money by making your matcha at home. If you plan to make this a part of your daily ritual, it’s definitely a good idea to invest in the necessary equipment. A 16-ounce Starbucks hot matcha latte with no modifications will run you around $5.67, whereas at home you could make a cup of matcha for less than half of that. Not to mention that the sweetness and calories in a Starbucks matcha latte will likely be significantly higher than one you make at home because Starbucks uses a pre-made sweetened matcha tea blend.
Are Matcha Lattes Healthy?
Matcha lattes have the potential to be an extremely healthy beverage choice. It all depends on what type of sweetener, how much you add, and what other additives you decide to include. The syrups used in many coffee shops to add those fun flavors (think: caramel matcha latte, raspberry matcha latte, blueberry matcha latte, lavender matcha latte, etc) contain a lot of cane sugar.
Making your own matcha lattes at home is a budget-friendly solution to cut back on calories. You may enjoy the simplicity of a matcha latte with no added sugar or flavor, in which case you are receiving all of the amazing health benefits of matcha with very few drawbacks. However, if you like to spice things up, you can make a healthier version of what you’d get at the coffee shop. You might even find that once you tweak your recipe, you prefer your own version to a store-bought one!
Ultimately, because matcha has incredible health benefits, adding matcha to your routine is a healthy choice!
Without Further Ado: How to Make a Hot Matcha Latte at Home
½-1 tsp matcha powder
½ cup hot water (you can add more later)
½ cup heated milk or milk alternative
Optional: maple syrup or honey, to taste (start with 1-2 tsp and add more if needed)
- Bring filtered water to a boil using a teapot or an electric kettle, then remove it from the heat. The ideal temperature for matcha is 175 degrees, but if you don’t have a thermometer, just let the boiling water rest for a minute or two.
- Add ½ cup-1 teaspoon of matcha powder to a small bowl or a deep mug and add about 1 tablespoon of the hot water. Stir to combine with a bamboo whisk, metal whisk, or electric frother until it forms a smooth paste or thick, uniform liquid. This stage of the matcha will appear much darker in color than the end result.
- Stir in the honey or maple syrup.
- Heat the milk on the stovetop or in an electric milk frother. The frother will produce a more bubbly end result that more closely resembles something you would get at a coffee shop.
- Slowly pour the remaining hot water and then the hot milk into the bowl or mug. Mix the two gently by swirling the bowl or stirring until a thin frothy foam develops on top. Moving the whisk in the shape of a “W” is a helpful method for a perfectly blended matcha.
- Sip. Savor. Enjoy!
Flavor Combinations: Popular Matcha Recipes You’ll Enjoy
Rose Matcha Latte
½-1 teaspoon Matcha green tea powder
½ cup hot water
½ cup hot milk or milk alternative
1 tsp honey or maple (or more to taste)
¼-1 tsp culinary rose water or rose syrup
Iced Strawberry Matcha Latte
½ cup fresh strawberries mashed or pureed in the base of your cup
½-1 teaspoon Matcha green tea powder
½ cup water
½ cup chilled milk or milk alternative
2-3 ice cubes
1 tsp honey or maple (or more to taste)