If you love matcha drinks, you’re in the right place. Here you’ll find 23 of the best matcha green tea drink recipes from around the web. There’s something for everyone, from traditional matcha green tea to iced matcha lattes and delicious matcha smoothies.
Not convinced matcha green tea drinks are for you? That’s ok too. I’ve got all your matcha questions answered.
- What is Matcha?
- What Does Matcha Tea Taste Like?
- How to Prepare Matcha Green Tea?
- Different Grades of Matcha
- Other Factors that Determine the Quality of Matcha Powder
- My Favorite Matcha Powder
- Health Benefits of Matcha
- What Tools Do I Need to Make Matcha Green Tea Drinks?
- My Favorite Equipment for Making Matcha Green Tea Drink Recipes
- 23 Matcha Green Tea Drink Ideas
- Matcha: Frequently Asked Questions
- Looking for More Drink Recipes? Give These Smoothies a Try!
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea. It is a fine powder made from grinding high-quality green tea leaves.
Matcha tea leaves come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The tea leaves are covered with shade to boost their chlorophyll, amino acid, and antioxidant content in the final weeks of their growth. It is this shading technique that gives matcha a bright green appearance and rich nutrient density.1
When you drink matcha, you’re drinking the entire leaf, whereas when you drink regular green tea, you’re consuming water infused with tea leaves.
Matcha Country of Origin
Matcha originates from China. In the 12th century, Japanese Buddhist priests traveled to China to study sacred scriptures. When the priests returned to Japan, they brought matcha back with them. Japan then perfected the matcha tea production process2, and matcha tea became an essential part of the Chanoyu, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. During Chanoyu, the host and their guests take the time to bond and seek inner peace, embracing harmony, respect, purity, and tranquillity.3
In more recent years, matcha has grown in popularity in other parts of the world due to its numerous health benefits.
What Does Matcha Tea Taste Like?
Matcha should be smooth, subtly sweet, and umami.4 Matcha has an earthy and vegetable-like flavor, which I didn’t particularly enjoy the first time I tried it. To be fair though, my taste buds did adjust quite quickly.
Tea experts recommend buying a high-quality matcha powder so to avoid overly bitter and earthy tasting matcha green tea drinks. Poor quality matcha can be a real shock to the palate. So much so, it might put you off matcha altogether, which would be a real shame.
How to Prepare Matcha Green Tea?
In Japanese culture, matcha powder is measured with a matcha tea scoop (chashaku) and sifted through a fine mesh tea strainer to remove any grit. The fine powder gets placed into a small matcha bowl (chawan) with water that’s been heated to 158°F (70°C). Matcha water is then whisked with a bamboo whisk (chasen) until the powder dissolves into a smooth liquid.
There are two traditional techniques to prepare Japanese matcha: Usucha – a thin tea, and Koicha – a thick tea. To prepare Usucha, whisk together 1/2 teaspoon matcha and 2 oz (60 ml) water until a frothy layer forms on top of the liquid. Alternatively, to make Koicha, blend 1 teaspoon matcha powder with 1 oz (30 ml) water. Koicha doesn’t produce a frothy layer. Instead, it forms a matcha paste.5
The decision to use Usucha or Koicha preparation methods depends on personal preference. In essence, Koicha will give you a stronger-tasting drink. The trick here is to experiment and personalize your matcha green tea drink to suit your own taste.
Different Grades of Matcha
It can be intimidating buying matcha for the first time. Unless you have any Asian markets or health stores nearby, you’ll need to rely on the internet. And then, your screen will present you with a dizzying array of matcha “grades” by hundreds of different brands. You do your homework, but in the end, you have to trust the accuracy of the information you’re provided. Erh!
So, let’s keep it simple. Matcha green tea comes in two different grades. For example, ceremonial grade tea and culinary grade tea. Let’s take a look at the difference.
Ceremonial Grade Matcha
For centuries, ceremonial tea has been the tea of choice in Japanese tea ceremonies. It is the highest quality grade tea available, and its sole purpose is to drink.
Ceremonial matcha should be bright green in color, fine in texture, smell like freshly cut grass, and taste naturally sweet. It should not be gritty and nor should it have a bitter taste.
Culinary Grade Matcha
Culinary grade matcha is intended for baking and cooking. It has a stronger flavor than ceremonial grade matcha as it needs to stand up to other strong flavors. Premium, cafe, ingredient, kitchen, and classic are all grades of culinary grade matcha.5
Other Factors that Determine the Quality of Matcha Powder
In addition to grades, the best matcha powder is determined by its region, solubility in water, taste, and color.
Green tea is cultivated throughout the world, but Japan produces the best quality Matcha and follows the strictest cultivation processes. If you’re looking for a true matcha experience, avoid matcha harvested in China or elsewhere, as it tends to be of poorer quality.
Correctly removing the stems and veins from tea leaves means the matcha powder will readily dissolve in water. Therefore, solubility is a good indicator that you’re drinking high-quality matcha.
The best matcha will have a sweet, smooth flavor with only slight bitter notes. It may not even taste bitter at all. If the manufacturer has used sweeteners or other additives it could be to conceal the bitterness of low-quality matcha. Importantly, it’s worth mentioning that using boiling water to prepare your matcha green tea drink is a surefire way to make it taste bitter. Therefore it’s best to prepare your matcha with cold or warm water.
Non-Organic Matcha: A good quality matcha is bright green or emerald green in color. Lower-quality matcha can have a yellowish-brown hue because of insufficient shade before harvest or poor stem removal before grinding.
Organic Matcha: Organic fertilizers do not provide tea plants with the same amount of energy and nutrients as non-organic fertilizers. This means the color of organic matcha is naturally duller when compared to non-organic matcha.6
Health Benefits of Matcha
Matcha is everywhere nowadays, often making headlines for its positive effect on heart disease, diabetes, and even weight loss. So, even if you’re new to drinking matcha, you’ve probably heard a thing to two about its many health benefits. This section will explore some of the hype surrounding matcha and dive into what the science is saying.
Matcha is High in Antioxidants
Matcha contains many antioxidants like catechins, caffeine, phenolic acids, rutin, quercetin, vitamin C, chlorophyll, and theanine. Antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress by neutralizing harmful free radicals. Oxidative stress can cause damage to our body’s cells and tissues, which can lead to inflammation and accelerated skin aging.7
Matcha Increases Cognitive Function
I often drink a cup of matcha first thing in the morning to help me wake up, and there’s scientific evidence to back this up. Thanks to its epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), caffeine, and l-theanine content, matcha may improve focus and attention.1
Matcha Could Help You Relax & Relieve Stress
It may seem odd that matcha can improve concentration while also promoting relaxation, but that’s precisely what it does. The l-theanine content in matcha relaxes the mind and reduces stress and anxiety without making you drowsy. In short, you’ll experience a calm but alert state of mind.8
Matcha May Improve Heart Health
Matcha contains rutin, a potent antioxidant that helps strengthen blood vessels and keep them healthy.1 Furthermore, research shows that the catechins in matcha may lower the total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.9 In other words, matcha may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.10
Matcha Boosts Natural Detoxification
The high chlorophyll content in matcha responsible for its vibrant green color is also a powerful detoxifier, helping the body rid itself of toxins and heavy metals.11
Matcha Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar balance is important for health since it helps us maintain energy levels and stable moods. Consequently, a disruption of blood sugar levels can increase sugar cravings, irritability, poor sleep, brain fog, anxiety, low energy, hormonal imbalances, and weight gain.
However, matcha catechins may help prevent harsh blood sugar spikes and lower blood sugar levels by reducing the amount of glucose absorbed into the bloodstream from the starchy food we eat (like pasta, rice, and potatoes).12 That being said, these findings are a result of drinking green tea at the same time as eating a meal.1, 13
Matcha May Help with Weight Loss
If you’ve ever looked up the health benefits of green tea on the internet, you’ll see that one of them is weight loss. This is because caffeine and catechins, particularly EGCG, a potent antioxidant in green tea, have been shown to enhance metabolism and fat burning in some people.14, 15, 16
EGCG also boosts the hormone cholecystokinin (CKK), which helps you feel full.17
In fact, research shows us that there’s 137x more EGCG in matcha than China Green Tips branded green tea and at least 3x more EGCG in matcha than other high-quality green teas.18
However, no single food source will ever be, nor should it be a weight loss solution. That being said, matcha may be beneficial as part of a varied and well-balanced diet.
Matcha May Boost the Immune System
Furthermore, matcha may support a healthy immune system as it is high in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant. Research shows the vitamin C content of matcha is more than double that of regular green teas. However, vitamin C is sensitive to heat. So, to get the most from the vitamin C in matcha, keep your liquids cold or warm rather than using hot water.1
What Tools Do I Need to Make Matcha Green Tea Drinks?
Traditional Japanese tools used to prepare matcha green tea drinks include:
- Matcha Tea Scoop (Chashaku)
- Fine Mesh Tea Strainer
- Matcha Bowl (Chawan)
- Matcha Whisk (Chasen)
- Handheld Milk Frother
But honestly, you really don’t need any special equipment to make a delicious matcha green tea drink at home. As long as you have a cup, a teaspoon, and a small whisk, you’re good to go. If you have them, you could give your matcha a good shake in a mason jar or a cocktail shaker instead of using a whisk.
23 Matcha Green Tea Drink Ideas
If you’re looking for the perfect matcha green tea drinks for a morning energy boost or an afternoon pick-me-up, look no further. I have collected 23 fantastic matcha green tea drink recipes from around the web. And, I can’t wait to share them with you. Let’s get into it!
Click the continue reading buttons to go to the full recipe.
Matcha: Frequently Asked Questions
Matcha & Co Original and Premium matcha powders are my current favorites for matcha green tea drink recipes. Both are ceremonial matcha from Japan that is 100% organic. The original powder has a delicate flavor that is not too overpowering. The premium powder has a more robust taste with an almost silky texture.
And a great thing about this matcha powder is that it comes in a sealed tin, which helps to preserve its flavor and color.
Pure matcha powder does not contain sugar. However, it’s always worth reading package labels as some matcha brands contain added sugars.
Pure matcha powder is a naturally gluten-free food suitable for coeliacs. However, you should always check the ingredients list as some matcha powders that are sold may include added fillers that do contain gluten.
Pure matcha powder does not contain lactose. However, a matcha green tea drink may contain lactose depending on the type of milk you use to make it. For example, a matcha green tea drink made with dairy whole milk, semi-skimmed, skimmed milk, or yogurt will include lactose. If you stick to water or dairy-free milk like oat, soy, almond, cashew, or coconut milk, your drink will remain free from lactose.
Pure matcha powder is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk, are just some of the excellent vegan dairy alternatives that make matcha drinks incredibly creamy. Perhaps even more so than whole milk.
Cultivating high-quality matcha tea is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Before it can be sold, it must be handled with care and skill. As Michelle Frederick at Matcha Konomi explains in her video, “producing high-quality matcha is truly an art.” Any changes to the way matcha leaves are grown or the manufacturing process will affect the matcha powder’s flavor, nutritional value, and color. As a result, it is usually more expensive than your everyday tea brands.22
Matcha is high in caffeine, ranging between 19-45 mg per 1/2 teaspoon serving, compared to 11–24 mg per 1/2 teaspoon serving in other green teas. Many factors can influence how much caffeine ends up in your matcha green tea drink, from the time of harvest to the age of the leaves. Older leaves contain less caffeine than younger leaves. The amount of caffeine in matcha also depends on the tea variety, weather conditions during the growing season, and how matcha is brewed.1
Yes, matcha does go bad. Matcha is an extremely delicate tea that begins to deteriorate the moment it is ground. Therefore, consuming matcha within 12 months of being ground is recommended.
Once you open matcha, it should be used within 1-2 months. You will be able to preserve the freshness and quality of your matcha by storing it in an airtight, dark container away from heat, light, and moisture.
Matcha also soaks up strong smells and flavors, so be careful where you store your container! 23
Looking for More Drink Recipes? Give These Smoothies a Try!
- https://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/17Suppl 1/167.pdf