Hand pouring matcha into a glass of layered oat milk and ice

A guide on how to make matcha latte

This guide is a framework for helping you understand how to make matcha lattes so you can tweak the formulas on your own. It  is not a recipe to simply follow, though we do have many of those that we will link at the end of article.

Navigate the topics in this guide

Basic formula for matcha lattes

All matcha latte is made of matcha, milk and usually some type of sweetener. After testing things out many times, we found that a good basic formulation to start out with is 1.5 tsp of matcha mixed with 1 oz (30ml) of water, 6 oz (170 ml) of milk and 1 tsp of sweetener. This is also the formula we use for our Classic Matcha Latte recipe.

Matcha latte ingredients

But it is a basic formula that you should use as a starting point. After trying it out, you can tweak the type and amounts of milk, matcha and sweetener to create a matcha latte that you truly enjoy. If you’re not sure how, just check out our other recipes. We have already done the hard work and can save you the trouble of testing  these variables by yourself.

How do I mix the water and matcha?

This question is often overlooked by many matcha latte recipes. Our preferred method is to make a thick matcha shot by first mixing the matcha and water. You can either do this in the cup you will use for your latte, or mix them separately and add it in later.

If you want to create the layered effect in your matcha latte, add sweetener to the bottom layer (usually that is the milk layer). The sweetener will make the milk heavier and help to keep separate from the matcha layer when you pour it in.

pouring matcha into a glass of oat milk

What you really want to do is break up clumps of matcha. Most places recommend sifting the matcha first. That works, but our preference is to use a different bamboo whisk for the task. If you don’t own a bamboo whisk, a battery operated milk frother may also help to whip matcha and water into an even mixture. It may be tempting to use a fork, but this just creates more problems.

If you’re going to make matcha latte in a taller glass, you may want to invest in a bamboo whisk with a longer handle. These are smaller, and the longer handle allows you to whisk matcha and water efficiently in a glass.

Which milk is best?

types of milk for matcha latte

We have tried many varieties of milks, ranging from regular cow’s milk to oat, almond, soy, coconut and rice. All of work well, though you must remember that some of these alternative milks like rice and oat milk will naturally be quite sweet. If the milk already has natural sugars or has been sweetened, cut down the amount of sweetener. 

Which sweetener is recommended?

Our personal favourite is powdered brown sugar or simple syrup made from the same sugar. It has nice caramel notes without the artificial sweet taste that is sometimes present in sugar substitutes. Our preference is for lightly sweetened drinks, so we do not usually add more than a teaspoon of sugar to our matcha latte recipes.

  • Honey and maple syrup are very popular amongst our customers
  • Stevia and monkfruit work well too, though we find that some brands have an aftertaste that makes matcha lattes taste a little off
  • If an alt-milk contains added or naturally occurring sugars, we normally try the matcha latte with normal levels of sweetener. If it is too sweet, we then cut the amount of sweetener added.
  • If you’re making an iced matcha latte, just be mindful that it may be difficult to dissolve sugar crystal in cold water. If you will mosty make iced matcha lattes, make some syrup beforehand or use a liquid sweetener.

Is it possible to make a matcha latte without any sweetener? This is definitely possible. If you steam milk, it will be gently sweetened so you need less or even no sweetener. We personally prefer our matcha lattes with a little sweetener.

What about an iced matcha latte?

Making an iced matcha latte is not too different from a regular hot matcha latte. But there are two important things to note. 

Firstly,  not all sweeteners dissolve nicely in cold milk. Our favourite powdered brown sugar will dissolve in cold milk after some thorough stirring, but liquid sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or simple syrup will work best. 
Secondly, you should use a higher quality matcha. Heating up milk makes it sweeter, and this added natural sweetness will be missing in iced matcha lattes. If you persist in using cheaper matcha for iced lattes, you will need to balance out the bitter taste with even more sweetener. This can be easily avoided if you choose a better matcha to work with.

What type of matcha powder should you use for matcha lattes?

Use an entry-level “ceremonial grade” matcha. For most matcha companies, this will cost between $18 and $25 an ounce. Using more expensive is possible, though that will make your matcha latte quite expensive.

If you use Naoki Matcha, use either our Superior Ceremonial Matcha or Organic Ceremonial Matcha for matcha lattes. These are incredibly versatile blends that allow you to make an affordable matcha latte with reduced levels of sweetener. Between the two, the Superior Ceremonial Matcha has the more intense matcha flavor.

You can use our other ceremonial grade matcha blends to make lattes, but the costs will quickly add up. Most of the nuanced flavors will also be lost amidst the milk and sweetener. We do not recommend using our Creative Culinary Matcha because it has quite a strong taste. This may lead you to add more sugar and/or milk to balance out the taste.

Naoki’s Superior Ceremonial Matcha and Organic Ceremonial Matcha blends for matcha latte, and a glass of iced matcha latte

Are matcha lattes healthy and will it help me stay awake?

A matcha latte can be healthy, but you have to pay attention to the type of milk and sweetener you are using. Certain milks and sweetener are high in calories or fat, and would make your matcha latte more of an indulgence than a healthy alternative to your usual coffee-based drinks.

  • Matcha has nearly zero calories, but any sweetener or milks you add in a matcha latte has the usual amount of calories. 
  • We recommend using a slightly higher quality matcha that has less bitterness. 
  • A drink with a cup of milk and more than 2 tsp of sugar will quickly add to your recommended daily intake! 
  • Also be mindful that some milks like coconut milk have high levels of saturated fat.

A matcha latte can help you keep away thanks to the caffeine in matcha. Because the caffeine comes from matcha, you should evaluate the caffeine content based on how much matcha you are adding to your matcha latte. In our experience, a tsp of matcha has about 70mg of caffeine which will help you stay alert for approximately 4 hours. Obviously, these effects will change if you use more matcha.

Caffeine in matcha vs coffee graph

Our matcha latte recipes

We continuously try different matcha latte recipes and filter the very best for you to try them yourself. If you have suggestions for what we should include, share them with us! 

We also welcome guest post contributions for our matcha latte recipes. If you have a unique matcha latte recipe you’d like to share with the world, send us an email at [email protected] with “Matcha Recipe Collaboration” in the subject line. We will credit the author (you) in a unique byline feature and share your work with our community.

Next in this series

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Our guide on how to make matcha tea

How this article is organized What is “matcha tea”? What we mean by “matcha tea” is simply a category of matcha drinks made with matcha and water only. So this

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