I confess… I have a mild addiction to green tea lattes from Starbucks. That delicious matcha green tea is often fuel that keeps me staring at computer screens designing web sites and graphics for hours on end.
Matcha lattes are a convenient and delicious hot beverage with healthy matcha tea, but unfortunately they are often laced with sugar. (For example, a grande latte from Starbucks has about 32g of sugar. That’s about 8 teaspoons of sugar in one drink!) So, the additional sugar may outweigh the health benefits of the matcha tea in some cases. In addition, if you drink enough of them, it can put quite a dent in your wallet quick.
Looking to make your own and save a little money while at it? Here’s a recipe I’ve found to work quite well…
Matcha is finely ground, early picked green tea. It is ground so fine that it becomes a silky powder. This is the most important ingredient in your latte, so choose a good quality. What you want to look for is a very bright green color powder. Yellow or brown colored powder is always a sign of inferior, or even old and stale tea leaves.
You can find good matcha at tea shops or online. For a latte, the culinary or latte grade of Matcha will work just fine and won’t be as expensive. (There are two types of matcha: ceremonial and culinary. Ceremonial is quite expensive and is used if you want to drink the matcha straight. Culinary is also good, but is less expensive and typically is slightly less quality, but it’s perfect for a Matcha latte.)
Any kind of milk will do. Some like full fat, others prefer skim. You can also use almond milk. I personally think a regular, full fat milk makes for a smoother and richer latte – especially if you plan to froth the milk.
You’ll need something to mix the matcha in hot water. Yes, you can technically stir some in with a spoon, but matcha is so fine and powdery that it tends to clump.
If you’re a serious drinker, you may want to invest in a matcha bowl and bamboo whisk. These allow you to mix a small amount of matcha with hot water into a perfect consistency. Traditionally, a bowl and whisk are used to prepare the perfect cup of matcha. I prefer this method as it makes for a smoother matcha liquor to mix into the hot milk.
If you’re not game for the bowl and whisk, you can use a milk frother to mix the latte. A milk frother is a small hand-held battery operated device that quickly agitates milk to produce that neat foam you get at a coffee shop. You can also use that frother to mix the matcha. They can be found online usually for under $10.
Lastly, you can simply use a wire whisk you have in your kitchen or even a fork!
This is optional, but matcha lattes are often best when they have a little sweetness. You can use regular sugar or a couple packets of Stevia. You can use any kind of sweetener, or not add any sugar at all. Completely up to you! Experiment with levels of sweetness until you find the perfect recipe! (If you’re trying to replicate the Starbucks variety, load up the sugar!)
Ok, now that we have the stuff you’ll need, let’s make a latte. It’s actually quite simple!
In a Matcha bowl or a small cup put in a little over half a teaspoon of Matcha powder. (You can adjust this over time to your taste.) Then, add a small amount (around 2-3 tablespoons) of hot water directly to the powder. (The water should not be boiling. It should be around 180 degrees.) Mix the water and Matcha powder until it’s completely mixed using either your bamboo whisk, milk frother, wire whisk or even a fork. Mix well! It should be watery enough to easily pour into your cup in a moment.
Pour milk into your favorite mug or coffee cup. Heat up the milk in your microwave or pour the cup of milk into a saucepan on your stove. (Heating the milk on a stove tends to work best.) Get the milk hot, but be careful not to scald. Stir frequently and if using the microwave be sure to stir very often to avoid that thick film across the top of your milk.
If you heated your milk on the stove, pour it back to your mug. Next, simply pour the mixed Matcha from step one into the mug and mix well with a spoon. If you have a milk frother, froth it in the cup for that coffee bar frothed milk! That’s all there is to it!
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