This honeyed drink is the perfect afternoon pick me up.
With matcha’s mild caffeine content and amino acid compounds that are known for promoting calming alertness without any crashes, this iced beverage is easy to make and is as good, if not better, than the lattes you can buy for just a fraction of the cost.
What is Matcha?
Made and harvested from the young, shade-grown leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant (this is the same plant used to make other tea types such as oolong, black and white teas!) Matcha powder differs from regular green tea in that the leaves are grown in the shade, picked while still young and then gently dried to stop the oxidization process. Next, the entire leaf is ground into a bright green, ultra fine powder that blends and dissolves when whisked into hot water. This allows matcha powder to contain a more concentrated level of caffeine, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than traditional green teas.
What Are Some Of The Health Benefits Of Matcha?
Being made and brewed for almost nine hundred years, the health benefits of matcha have withstood the test of time and only seem to increase the more we learn about this wonderful tea. Since the entire leaf is ground and ingested, the concentration and benefits of Matcha surpasses most other traditional teas.
Matcha contains numerous antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins including: Vitamin A, C, E, K, Complex Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and minerals Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese, Calcium, Chromium, Prosperous, (read more on the benefits of each) that are all known for aiding in boosting our immune system, guarding against heart and brain diseases, increasing our metabolisms – thereby aiding in weight loss, and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.
And in the case of the plant compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the high amounts found in matcha was recorded to contain three times that of most green teas and as much 137 times as much as China Green Tips tea. This polyphenol has been found to play a role in reducing blood pressure and lowering LDL cholesterol as well as preventing the spread and growth of tumors and cancer causing cells. And as an added benefit, both EGCG and the amino acid L-theanine work together to create Matcha’s iconic cognitive and potentially mood boosting benefits thereby increasing attention, memory, and focus, making this a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up without the crash of other caffeinated drinks.
But as impressive as Matcha is, it is important to note that it is still a caffeinated beverage and even though a cup of matcha contains about 32-48mg of caffeine (about 50% less than the same amount of brewed coffee), as with all things, it is best enjoyed in moderation.
What Are The Different Types of Matcha?
There are two types of matcha and each type has various grades within them. Here’s a brief overview of the differences between them and their uses:
- Ceremonial Matcha: this matcha’s specific purpose is to be whisked in hot water and enjoyed without anything else being added in.
Considered the highest grade of matcha and thus the purest and most costly, it is most commonly used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies and is made from the youngest leaves which enables it to have an extremely vibrant green color and naturally sweet flavor. Within this category, there are four main grades including Premium ceremonial, Ceremonial, Ceremonial blend and Sweet matcha.
- Culinary Matcha: this matcha’s specific purpose is to be enjoyed in foods such as lattes, smoothies, baking, and cooking.
Using leaves that are slightly older, this type of matcha is still high grade even though it costs less than ceremonial matcha. It has a grassier note to it with mildly bitter and astringent undertones which lends itself well to being used and blended in with other ingredients and stands up well to being cooked without losing any nutritional and antioxidant value. Within this category, there are five main grades including: Premium, Cafe, Ingredient, Kitchen, and Classic.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about the different types you can read up on it over at Ujido’s blog post.
Here’s Why You’ll Love This Iced Beverage💚
- It uses only 3-4 simple, natural, wholesome and clean eating ingredients (not counting ice!)
- It only takes 5 minutes to make.
- It is a healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian friendly – with vegan friendly options (more on that in a moment!)
- You can adjust the drink to suit your preference by adding more sweetener or making the matcha flavor stronger.
- It’s so pretty to create and look at!
- It costs a fraction of the price to make compared to buying it…speaking of which…
Cost Breakdown of this Sweet Treat
One of the best feelings in the world is knowing you’re getting a great deal on something, and a lot of the time when you make something at home, you’re doing just that, but because I was curious as to the price difference, I worked out the cost per element of this drink to see how it holds up compared to … a certain wildly popular coffee chain. I looked up the cost for the same-sized beverage across various locations and the “retail” price of this drink falls between a range of $5.50-$7.00.
Using the cost of my grocery store purchased ingredients (as of May 2022), I worked out the cost factor of my ingredients to be as follows:
So overall the price comparison for a 16oz matcha latte comes in at an average of $6.25 (bought) -VS- $1.40 (homemade). Not a bad deal at all, wouldn’t you agree? Now, with all that said…
Here’s What You’ll Need To Make This Beverage
- Milk: I’m using whole milk today.
- Ice: You’ll need enough ice to fill up about half of your glass.
- Raw Honey: I’m using my favorite brand of Keez Bees honey. They are a local producer with a phenomenal quality and variety of honey.
- Matcha Powder: We’ll be using a stone ground premium culinary grade matcha powder that is perfect for blended drinks.
- Optional add in: Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract are a great optional add in to your latte.
Can I Make This Vegan Friendly?
Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite dairy-free alternative and sweetener of choice. A few great options include:
– Base: unsweetened oat milk, coconut milk, unsweetened rice milk, or unsweetened nut milks such as cashew, almond, hazelnut and macadamia nut milk.
– Sweetener: Maple syrup (you might want to add a touch extra than the recipe calls for to compensate for honey’s thickness), agave nectar, or coconut nectar are great choices.
What About That Fancy Matcha Whisk??
Traditionally, matcha is whisked together using this really cool looking bamboo whisk called a chasen. This nifty whisk is specially designed for making matcha and helping it to dissolve and froth into a lovely silky texture while supposedly enhancing the matcha’s flavor. While this specialty item is great to have, in reality it’s not necessary to use, so if you have it, use it, if not, then you can use a fork, whisk, or even a milk frother.
And if you have issues getting your matcha to blend without leaving lumps and clots behind, I have a great little trick you can use. Jump ahead and follow the directions for making this drink with the matcha as the bottom layer to learn more. 👇👇👇
Here’s How To Make This Matcha Latte
I’m going to show you two slightly different ways to make this drink depending on where you want your layers.
⬜🟩With the Matcha Layer on the Bottom:
This is my favorite way to make my matcha lattes because it gives the prettiest gradient/ombre layering. More to that, the method we’re going to use is a great trick to ensure your matcha powder blends with no lumps and it’s so effective you don’t even need a whisk or fork, you can use a spoon! Here’s how we do it.
Prep the Matcha Layer: We’ll add our matcha powder to 1.5tbsp of raw honey and using a spoon, mix and blend the matcha into the honey until a smooth and glossy paste is formed. If you’d like to add in a touch of vanilla you can add it in now as well.
Then, we’ll warm a 1/4 cup of our milk until it’s just starting to steam and mix it into the matcha/honey mixture until it’s all fully blended together. You’ll want to be sure that you’re not using boiling hot liquid here because it will affect the taste and the nutritional value of the matcha.
Prep the Glass: This step isn’t necessary but I like to be a bit fancy because why not.🤭 To the inside of a tall 16oz glass I will drizzle and drip my remaining 1/2 tbsp of honey into it to create pretty streaks. This is honestly purely for aesthetics and the honey will end up mixed into your drink in the end.
Pour Your Latte: To your glass, pour your honey/matcha layer into the bottom of the glass. Then, add enough ice cubes to fill half the glass before you slowly stream the remainder of your milk over the ice. That’s honestly all there is to it!
Serve and Enjoy! After being poured, your latte will sit like the above image. But to get that perfect gradient layering of color, add your straw into your latte and gently swirl the matcha layer 3-4 times it to encourage the matcha to migrate upwards to create that gradient effect.
Doesn’t that look absolutely gorgeous??? 😍
Note that As your latte sits the honey streaks will begin to dissolve into the drink with some of it slipping into the bottom. Before you enjoy your drink, be sure to fully stir to combine everything.
🟩⬜With the Matcha Layer on the Top:
The process for this is similar with slight differences. Nonetheless it is still very easy and gives you a drink that has wonderful swirls of matcha sitting on the top, just waiting to be stirred into the honeyed milk layer below.
Prep your Matcha Layer: To start we’ll pour a 1/4 cup of milk into a separate bowl or vessel and gently heat it until it is just steaming. Like above, you don’t want your milk to be boiling hot because it will affect the matcha’s flavor and nutrients.
Once your milk is warmed, add in your matcha powder and using a chasen, small whisk, fork or a milk frother, vigorously whisk your matcha into the milk until smooth and a frothy/foamy layer sits on top. If you like, you can even pass your matcha through a small, fine sieve to remove any lumps. Set it aside to cool while you prep your milk and glass.
Prep Your Milk Layer: To your cold milk, stream in 1.5 tbsp of honey and, if you’re using it, your vanilla, and stir or shake it until the honey is fully blended in. The honey in the milk adds enough sugar content to the milk that it makes it “heavier” thereby allowing the matcha layer to sit on top. Without it, the matcha will simply sink to the bottom of your drink the moment you pour it in.
Prep Your Glass: Same as above, this step is optional but for presentation sake it gives a really cool effect! Slowly drizzle and stream in your remaining 1/2 tbsp of honey into a tall 16oz glass to create these cool amber-colored streaks of sweetness.
Pour Your Latte: Fill your honey-streaked glass halfway up with ice. Then slowly pour in your honeyed-milk. Finally stream in your matcha layer, being sure to slowly and carefully pour it over the ice to encourage it to not slip down to the bottom of the drink (though note it will ultimately do that anyway). Note that the frothiness of the matcha also helps it to sit on top of the drink for longer!
Serve and Enjoy! Add your straw into your latte and stir to mix both layers together before enjoying. The honey streaks will dissolve into the drink as you do so for that little extra touch of sweetness.
And there you have it, two very easy ways to utilize the same ingredients to create a pretty and delicious matcha latte, whether you like top layer swirls or bottom layer ombre-effect, the choice is yours but the end result is the same, a delicious, healthy, boosting beverage that makes a wonderful treat.
Let me know in the comments below if you tried this recipe and don’t forget to leave a rating and drop a comment to let me know which layering arrangement you like better! See you all in the next post! 💚
Refreshing and Chilled Matcha Latte
- 1 Tall 16 oz Glass
To create a latte with the matcha layer on the bottom:
- In a small bowl, add 1½ tbsp of honey and the matcha powder (along with the vanilla bean paste if using), mix it together until a smooth, shiny paste is formed.
- Heat ¼ cup of milk until just steaming and pour it over the matcha paste. Stir until your matcha, honey and milk are fully combined together into a smooth blend. Set it aside to cool while you prep the glass.
- In a tall glass, drizzle half tbsp of honey around the inside of the glass to create drips* - see notes. Slowly pour your matcha mixture into the bottom of the glass, then carefully add the ice into the glass and finally slowly stream in the remaining milk over the ice.
- Serve and enjoy immediately.
To create a latte with the matcha layer on the top:
- Heat ¼ cup of milk until steaming and add or sift the matcha powder into it. Using a matcha whisk (chasen), regular whisk, fork or milk frother, blend the matcha into the milk until smooth and no lumps remain. Set it aside to cool while you prep the milk and glass.
- Blend or shake together 1 cup of milk along with, 1½ tbsp of honey and vanilla bean paste (if using).
- To a tall glass, drizzle the remaining ½ tbsp of honey into the inside of the glass to create streaks* - see notes. Add ice to your glass and carefully pour your honeyed milk over the ice. Then, slowly stream in the matcha over the top - if you'd like, you can pour your matcha thoguh a fine mesh sieve to ensure that there are no lumps.
- Serve and enjoy immediately.
- Adding the streaks of honey to the glass isn't necessary and is done purely for aesthetic reasons. If you'd like you can skip this step and use the full 2 tbsp of honey to mix with the matcha or the milk.
- Add the honey to whichever you want your bottom layer to be. The honey makes the layer "heavier" which allows you to have defined/separated layers that will keep the non-honey top layer from sinking in.
- If you have issues getting your matcha powder to smoothly blend without lumps or chunky residue settling to the bottom, then I highly recommend using the trick of mixing the powder into honey to make a smooth, thick paste.