Originating from the heart of Japanese tea culture, matcha is a finely ground green tea powder traditionally whisked with hot water to make a thick, frothy tea. Its strong grassy flavor and bitterness make it an acquired taste, but adding milk transforms it into a matcha latte, mellowing out the intensity and making it a cozy afternoon treat. I enhance my green tea latte recipe with white chocolate, which further balances the bitter notes of the matcha with a creamy sweetness that makes this both indulgent and refreshing. This creamy green tea only contains three ingredients, but by keeping a few tips in mind, you can easily make one at home that beats Starbucks matcha lattes.
Why This Recipe Works?
- High-quality white chocolate sweetens the latte and adds body to it, making it nice and rich.
- To get a vibrant green color and taste it's important to use high-quality matcha.
- Using a microwave oven to heat the milk, matcha tea, and white chocolate together makes it super easy to make, but you can do it on the stove.
- Tipping the immersion blender to one side causes the blades to incorporate more air, allowing you to froth the milk. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can also use a whisk or milk frother.
- Whole Milk - I like using whole milk for my matcha latte recipe because it contains a higher fat content, which helps mellow out the bitterness of the matcha powder, but another type of milk such as skim or non-fat will work too. You could also make this with a dairy-free alternative like almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, or soy milk, but if your goal is to make this vegan, you'll also need to find a plant-based alternative for the white chocolate.
- White Chocolate - Sweet, creamy white chocolate perfectly contrasts matcha's grassy and mildly bitter notes. It also contributes body to the green tea latte, making it indulgent and comforting while helping it develop a thick head of foam. Forty five grams makes for a moderately sweet matcha hot chocolate, but you can adjust the amount up or down based on your preferences. As for the brand, I like using Valrhona Ivoire, but other brands like Callebaut will also work. Alternatively you can skip the chocolate and use another sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
- Matcha - Matcha is a finely ground powder of steamed and dried green tea leaves. The tea leaves used for matcha powder are covered with shade cloth for a few weeks before harvest, which increases their chlorophyll content, giving the matcha an emerald hue while mellowing out its astringency. It's loaded with antioxidants and flavanoids like catechin and will also five you an energy boost thanks to an ample dose of caffeine. Matcha tends to oxidize quickly once ground, so freshness is crucial and ceremonial grade matcha tends to have a better color than culinary grade matcha. I buy mine directly from a tea farm in Kyoto called D:Matcha.
How to Make Matcha Latte
If you are using a microwave oven, add the white chocolate, matcha, and milk to a microwave-safe beaker or bowl and heat it in the microwave. Aim for steaming hot milk - this typically takes about one minute at full power in a microwave.
If you're making this on the stovetop, add the milk to a pot and heat it until it's steaming but not boiling – overheating milk will cause the protein to coagulate and form a skin on top. Then, pour the hot milk over the white chocolate and matcha. Letting it rest for a minute allows the residual heat from the milk to melt the chocolate, ensuring a smooth texture.
Next, blend the ingredients using a whisk or an immersion blender. The goal is to emulsify the cocoa butter in the chocolate with the hot milk while distributing the matcha evenly so there are no lumps.
Tipping the immersion blender to one side introduces more air into the latte, creating a frothy texture like a cappuccino. A regular whisk or electric milk frother will work if you don't have an immersion blender. I don't recommend using a traditional bamboo whisk for this as the fat content of the milk and chocolate will damage the whisk.
I recommend serving this matcha latte in a glass mug, and you can use a spoon to control the mixture of latte to foam. This makes for an elegant presentation by showing off the distinct layers of foam and the verdant matcha hot chocolate underneath.
Serve it With
Matcha hot chocolate is a comforting drink that will warm you up from the inside. Whisking the chocolate matcha latte creates a foamy head that doubles as a topping but you could also top it with mini marshmallows or a dollop of whipped cream. If you want to take this to the next level, try serving it with some Western or traditional Japanese sweets. One of my personal favorites is a creamy slice of caramelized Basque Cheesecake (I also have a Matcha Basque Cheesecake), which offers a rich, velvety texture that goes beautifully with the latte. Matcha brownies, with their dense, fudgy texture, work equally well, and if you want a textural contrast, try out my Matcha Crinkle Cookies.
If you want a traditional Japanese accompaniment for your green tea latte, I have some good options. Ohagi are sticky mochi rice balls covered in sweet red bean paste. Butter Mochi is a more modern alternative with a rich, chewy texture and mild sweetness that perfectly complements the bitter matcha. Finally, Taiyaki, a fish-shaped pastry that can be filled with almost anything, is a whimsical snack that's perfect alongside a cozy mug of matcha latte.
- 45 grams white chocolate
- 1 teaspoon matcha
- ¾ cup whole milk
- Add the 45 grams white chocolate, 1 teaspoon matcha, and ¾ cup whole milk to a microwave-safe beaker and heat it in a microwave oven until the milk is steaming hot (about 1 minute at full power).
- Alternatively, you can make it on the stove by heating the milk until it's steaming (but not boiling) and pouring it over the white chocolate and matcha. Let it sit for a minute for the chocolate to melt.
- Use a whisk or immersion blender to blend the ingredients together. You can tip the blender to one side to make some foam. Otherwise, you can use a milk frother to get a more prominent head of foam.
- Serve your matcha latte in a glass mug for the best presentation.