I love starting my day with a steaming cup of matcha green tea. Read on to learn how to make this energizing, antioxidant-packed drink at home!
A few years ago, matcha started popping up everywhere – in lattes, ice cream, smoothies, icing, and more. While I’ll never say no to a matcha doughnut, today I want to focus on the simplest way to enjoy it: by whisking it into hot water to create a frothy, nourishing tea. I’ve loved drinking matcha this way since Jack and I took our first trip to Japan years ago, and I still make myself a cup almost every morning. To me, it’s the perfect way to start the day. It’s energizing and calming both at once, and above all else, it’s delicious.
What is Matcha?
If you’re not familiar with matcha, it’s a Japanese green tea powder made from finely powdered dried tea leaves. It has a slightly bitter, vegetal taste and a vibrant green color that results from the leaves’ high chlorophyll levels. It’s been the cornerstone of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, but it recently became popular in the US because of its health benefits.
Regular green tea is already touted as an antioxidant powerhouse, but matcha has even more benefits. Here’s why: when you make other forms of green tea, you steep the leaves in hot water and then discard them. When you make matcha, you whisk the powder into hot water or milk. As a result, you actually consume the entire tea leaf when you drink it! The antioxidants it contains may lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and even boost your metabolism.
So what about caffeine? Well, matcha does contain more caffeine than regular green tea, but it doesn’t give you a buzzy rush like coffee. It leaves me feeling energized and focused, but still calm.
- Not all matcha is created equal. Buying matcha for the first time can be confusing – there are so many brands, and they vary widely in quality. I always advocate looking for one with no added sugar. Beyond that, the most significant distinction is between ceremonial and culinary grade matcha. The ceremonial kind will be pricier – it’s made from the youngest tea leaves and has a mellow flavor. Choose it if you plan to drink your matcha with just water. I like the Ippodo and Jade Leaf brands. Otherwise, less expensive culinary matcha should do the trick. Its flavor is more bitter, which balances well in lattes or desserts. My go-to choice is Aiya – it’s great quality, but it’s still affordable.
- It doesn’t last forever. Matcha doesn’t have a particularly long shelf life. Once you open it, use it within 2 months for the best color and flavor. I recommend buying it in small quantities and storing it in the fridge to preserve freshness.
- You might want a matcha whisk. If you make matcha often, I recommend investing in a bamboo whisk called a chasen (pictured here). Its special design breaks up clumps and creates a frothy layer of foam on top of the tea. If you don’t have one, use a regular whisk or an electric milk frother instead. Whisking or stirring with a fork or spoon will not work here.
- Sweeten to taste. Matcha’s grassy, umami flavor can be an acquired taste. If you’re new to making it, don’t hesitate to add a few drops of maple syrup or honey. You also might want to sweeten your tea if your matcha powder is particularly bitter.
How to Make Matcha Green Tea
You’ll find my full matcha green tea recipe and measurements below, but because there are a few tricks to making matcha, I wanted to break it down step by step. Here’s what you need to do:
First, sift it into a small bowl or mug. Matcha clumps very easily, so I always recommend sifting it before you add any water. Otherwise, it will be difficult to get the tea to disperse evenly in the liquid, and your drink will be lumpy.
Then, pour in a small amount of hot water, and whisk. But wait! This isn’t the circular whisking required for making baking recipes or scrambled eggs. Instead, whisk vigorously from side to side – either directly back and forth or in a zigzag pattern – to evenly disperse the powder in the water and create a foamy layer on top. If you whisk in a circular motion, your tea won’t foam.
Finally, top it off with more hot water or steamed milk. Traditional matcha green tea is made with just green tea powder and water, but you can also easily make a latte by finishing your drink with steamed milk. I love to make mine with almond milk, coconut milk, or homemade oat milk. Whisk again until foamy, sweeten to taste, and enjoy!
How to Make Matcha
- Bamboo Whisk (this is what I use for zero matcha chunks!)
- Small Bowl (stoneware ones like these are best)
- Fine Mesh Strainer (for sifting out clumps)
- ¼ teaspoon matcha
- 2 ounces hot water, 175°F is ideal
- 6 ounces additional hot water or steamed milk of choice, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, dairy milk, etc.
- Maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener, optional
- Sift the matcha into a mug or small bowl to get rid of any lumps.
- Pour in the 2 ounces of the hot water. Using a matcha whisk or small regular whisk, whisk briskly from side to side until the matcha is fully dispersed and there is a foamy layer on top.
- Add the remaining 6 ounces hot water or steamed milk and whisk again until foamy. Sweeten to taste, if desired.
Love the recipe! Matcha is one of those things that looks complicated to make at home but it actually just needs a bit of practice. Also, it has lots of benefits for our health, so 10/10!
I love your step by step guide, it gives you all the info you need to make the perfect matcha. Thank you so much!
I’m so glad you found it helpful!
I’ve recently tried Matcha tea in Japan loved it .thank you for recipes
Just ordered my first packet of Matcha, mainly because l am unable to get green tea cake in my area. However after looking at the uses for this product l can see l am going to be very busy in the kitchen.
I hope you enjoy it!
I just recently started drinking Matcha and this is my go to recipe. I use an electric whisk, because that’s what I have. Works fine. I use 6oz. water and 2oz. oat milk. If I use too much “milk” it’s a little too rich for me. Than I add just a touch of honey. Love it! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Debbie, I’m so glad you found the post helpful!
Thank you for sharing the process in detail. Have a healthy, happy New Year!
Thank you! The sifting recommendation seems like a great idea! I’ll do it that way when I make my next cup.
I had tried matcha at the coffee shop I worked at before COVID….but was using dairy milk and thought the matcha was giving me stomach pain…but it was the milk! I had become lactose intolerant in my 50s. I recently rediscovered matcha and I’m hooked. I particularly like it with coconut milk. Love your recipes.
Hi Jill, I’m so glad you enjoyed the matcha!
I am new to drinking matcha. I like mine with just hot water but I am a little confused about the amount of matcha to use. You suggest 1/4 teaspoon for 8 ounces of water. I have seen other recommendations that suggest 1 teaspoon up to 1 Tablespoon. Is it just a matter of personal taste?
Hi Kathleen, Yes, this is just personal taste. I like 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, but feel free to use more if you like your matcha stronger.
Matcha can be used in a variety of ways: as a drink, as an ingredient in recipes like smoothies and ice cream, or even to brush your teeth.
Comparing matcha with coffee: which is healthier?, click here https://getbuffed.org/comparing-matcha-with-coffee-which-is-healthier/
SUPER GOOD. I tried it. It tastes better with honey if you have a sweet tooth.
First timer here. Thank you for the recipe. I picked up a bag of Everyday Matcha from Costco. Sharing my learning lesson-8 oz of almond and matcha were whisking up nicely in my Nespresso Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother until it started streaming down the side when the frothed volume exceeded its capacity. No big deal; I now get to put a battery-operated frother on my shopping list.
Matcha tastes good to me and will prob be even better with just a touch of honey as you suggested.
Thank you for the recipe. It’s my first time making this with honey and it’s delicious!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I’m trying it for the first time I hope that this is Something I will do every day I want to change my lifestyle and the things that I put in my body I want to start a healthier lifestyle this is a start
Thank you for the great information and simple and yummy recipe!
I’m down with a stomach bug and this (minus the sweetner) feels wonderful <3
This is a very good recipe. Thank you
This is a very good recipe. I’ve been looking for green foods to add to my diet. It tastes very nice.