There are different ways to make a green tea latte, but all of them involve matcha, which is the fine powder made from grinding a special variety of green tea. It has two unique characteristics in its farming and processing: The first is that it’s shade-grown for three weeks before it is harvested, and then when processed the stems and veins of the plant are removed. In other words, matcha is not simply ground green tea leaves of any variety. (See my other article “25 Matcha Trivia You (Probably) Didn’t Know” for more information about Matcha) So if you want to make a delicious green tea latte, you will need real matcha.
How To Make A Traditional Hot Green Tea Latte
This method takes the most time, but will generally yield the best flavor. Start with a wide mug that’s at least eight ounces in size. Using a fine sifter, sift about one teaspoon of matcha into the mug. The sifter helps break up clumps that may happen in storage. It’s important to use wide mugs as the tools to make the latte work better with more room.
The next step is to heat some water. You can use either a tea kettle or a saucepan for this step, but the important thing is not to use boiling water in your latte. Remove 1/4 cup of water before it reaches a boil, or let the water stand after boiling for about a minute to reach the correct temperature. Boiling water will negatively affect the taste of the matcha and may make it taste harsh.
Pour the hot water into the mug with the matcha and then combine it into a paste. You can use either a whisk or a handheld frother for this step. Bamboo whisks are traditional and work the best, but the other methods will work as well. Make sure the end result is a smooth paste with no lumps.
At this point, you can heat up 3/4 cup of milk and one teaspoon of sweetener such as sugar or honey. Use more or less sweetener as desired. Any type of milk can be used, including non-dairy and low-fat milks. However, take note that low-fat milks will produce less foam and have a less rich taste. Full-fat cow’s milk, coconut, or almond milk tend to work the best.
As with the water, do not let the milk boil. The best way to do this is to use a thermometer and only let it reach about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to produce foam, you have a couple of options. If you have a handheld frother, you can run it for 30 seconds just below the surface of the warm milk. If you don’t have a frother, you can whisk the milk after you pour it into your mug.
Speed It Up – A Hot Green Tea Latte Fast
If you have less time, you might want to consider the following faster method of making a green tea latte. In this method, you’ll combine the 3/4 cup of milk with the 1/4 cup of water in a microwave-safe jar. Place it in the microwave uncovered and cook it for two minutes. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil.
When the milk and water mixture is hot, sift in one teaspoon of matcha and your desired amount of sweetener. In the quick method, it’s better to use powdered sweetener such as sugar or a sugar alternative.
Seal and cover the jar, then shake it for a full minute. Make sure to use a towel or potholder to protect your hands. You can also use an immersion blender if the jar doesn’t have a lid. You’ll only need about 20 seconds on this method.
This method doesn’t look as pretty as the long way, but it should have a similar taste.
Cool It Down – Making An Iced Green Tea Latte
In the summer, an iced green tea latte is just the thing to cool down and still get the same calming energy of matcha. In this method, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a jar with a lid or a wide glass. Cocktail shakers work the best for creating froth and making your latte nice and cold.
Put one cup of ice into the cocktail shaker and then sift two teaspoons of matcha into the shaker. Add half a cup of water and half a cup of milk along with desired sweetener. Again, higher fat milks will produce more froth. Close the cocktail shaker and shake it for a full minute.
If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can combine the above ingredients except for the ice and either whisk or use an immersion blender to mix.
Once the mixture is combined, you can use it to create two smaller lattes or one large one. Add ice to serving glasses and strain the mixture from the cocktail shaker into the glass. If you used one of the other methods, then simply pour it in. If the mixture isn’t cold enough, try chilling it for a few minutes in the freezer first.
Iced green tea lattes are perfect with a small amount of whip cream to finish.
Coffee House Green Tea Latte
Making a green tea latte similar to those found at coffee houses such as Starbucks differs only slightly from the above methods. One difference is that vanilla syrup is often used as a sweetener. In the case of an iced green tea latte, you add about four teaspoons of matcha powder to one cup of milk and blend with a frother or electric whisk. Then add one cup of ice and mix in your desired amount of vanilla syrup. Starbucks uses a premade blend of matcha powder and sugar that goes into the cup first and is followed by steamed milk. Some coffee houses also use premade matcha and milk bases that can be added to ice, blended with ice or heated up.
If you like this article, you may also enjoy following articles written by me for green tea recipes:
- How to make tasty Green Tea Bubble Tea
- How to make tasty Green Tea Cocktail
- How to make tasty Green Tea Smoothie
I appreciate the need to have a quite and dirty method for people in a rush. Let’s not forget the delightful ritual of actually using ancient methods to make a delicious bowl of matcha. I find that rituals are an important part of many tea experiences so I hope, when time permits, that some people will experiment with the traditional methods. There is a learning curve but once you’ve mastered it, it’s such a treat to drink the frothy bowl of matcha, easily worth the investment of bamboo wisk and beautiful bowl.