I posted a while back about all my favourite Japanese teas and that while I love the pungent and slightly bitter edge to a well made traditional matcha my own efforts never lived up to my memories of those perfect brews in Japan.
They failed so badly that I used the last of my Kyoto purchased matcha powder in baking and a batch of matcha and white chocolate icecream. It hurt to do it, I’m assured it was an excellent brand but my ability to make a good brew was beyond me.
Recently I’ve had a craving for matcha flavour but the choice are limited. I tried a Starbucks concoction but it didn’t quite hit the spot although it did inspire me to experiment with some Australian locally available matcha brands and my own rendition of the matcha latte.
Firstly I have to acknowledge that this is NOT a Japanese drink. What it is, is a tasty and satisfying fusion of the great matcha flavour, moderately healthy ingredients and an indulgent afternoon pick-me-up treat.
Table of Contents
Soy Matcha Latte
- 1 t good quality matcha powder
- 1-2 t honey
- 3 T almost boiling water
- 3/4 cup organic soy milk
- Put the matcha powder in your cup or mug of choice. If there are small lumps sift it into the cup.
- Add the hot water and whisk it up well until it’s totally smooth. I use a chasen (Japanese bamboo whisk) but a small hand whisk will work too. My original one I purchased in Kyoto but they do need replacing if you use them regularly and I’ve just bought a new one online that works
- I heat and froth my milk using a unit that came with the capsule coffee machine but you can absolutely use any frother. Daiso sell a little one for $2.80 in Australia that works perfectly well. You can even heat the milk in the microwave and use a mini hand whisk to add volume and froth.
A closer look at the ingredients
Getting quality matcha powder does matter. With most tea you steep the leaves in water, throw out the leaves and drink the water. With matcha the leaves are ground to such a fine powder that it’s incorporated into the drink and consumed. Matcha is a bit of a superfood and is loaded with antioxidents, I know all green tea has antioxident properties but I was reading recently that the level of active ingredients in matcha is more than 100x the amount.
I will just say here that there’s a different between quality matcha powder and ceremonial quality which is super expensive and difficult to find. A good quality matcha will be pure, often organic and have a great flavour. I bring some back from Japan when we visit but I’ve also bought it locally in Australia and I have a couple of Australian online suppliers that source from Kyoto that I plan to try.
I’ve also found from experience that if your powder is at all lumpy which can happen in humid environment of a Queensland summer or you’re not getting it to dissolve properly try sifting it into the cup.
A matcha latte isn’t a traditional Japanese drink so there’s no right milk to use, just go with your own preference. I love organic soy milk mostly because it tastes good to me but coconut milk is good too.
What can you say about the water right? Well it’s worth noting the temperature. Water boils at 100 degrees celcius and the optimal temperature for matcha is 90 degrees. If you’re not a committed tea drinker with one of those fancy kettles that lets you choose your temperature then take it off just before it’s boiling or give it a couple of minutes to cool down if you miss it.
It’s not something to get too obsessive about but too hot water can scald the leaves and if you asked a Japanese tea master they would tell you it should be around 80 degrees. Too hot will make the matcha stronger and potentially a little bitter, the cooler the water added the more mild the flavour but at the same time the trade off for using it too cool is that it may not dissolve the powder as effectively.
When you’re adding so milk to make a matcha latte you want the flavour of the tea to be well developed so I find just off boiled is about right.
This is going to be a debatable point but I also like my latte with a bit of sweetner in it. Adjust it to your taste and consider using a natural sweetner like honey or agave nectar rather than sugar and I wouldn’t use an artificial sweetener but that’s just a personal preference.
Are you feeling inspired to give it a try?
Pin this images to Pinterest to make it easy to find next time.
Are you a long time fan of the delicate flavour of matcha or feel inspired to give the soy matcha latte a try yourself? Let me know how you go in the comments below. If you have a cafe or coffee shop that makes a great version near you I’d love to hear about that too.