I have to admit, I was a latecomer to the matcha craze. Of course, I’ve tried a green tea Frappuccino or two from Starbucks years and years ago when they first come out, but that was nowhere near the real thing.
Real matcha is whole leaf green tea that has been stone ground into a powder, offering a wide range of health benefits. And because you’re consuming the whole leaf, not just steeping it as you would with traditional green tea, these health benefits are amplified.
Green tea is known to have a high content of catechins, a natural antioxidant that comes from plants, known to help prevent cancer, disease, neurological degeneration, boost our immune systems and even help with stomach upset, to name a few. But watch out, as not all matcha teas are created equal.
You’ve probably seen pre-made “latte” versions of matcha on the shelves at the grocery store and some coffee shops, but these products often contain a large amount of sugar and additives (think hot chocolate mix, but with matcha swapped for the small amount of cocoa – the rest is just sugar).
In my version of a matcha latte I use homemade vanilla almond milk, naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup. I don’t drink dairy based milk as I’m lactose intolerant, but in this case, my inability to digest dairy is a blessing in disguise as the calcium from dairy tends to inhibit the absorption of nutrients that naturally occur in green tea. Almond milk along with these natural sweeteners and good quality tea are key to reaping the health benefits of matcha tea. Thanks crazy lactose hating intestines!
Strangely enough, the preparation of your green tea is just as important as the quality and ingredients used. Be sure to use hot, but not boiling hot water when making any kind of green tea as extreme heat can destroy nutrients and make your tea taste bitter. I usually boil my water and then let is sit out at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, before adding my matcha powder, this ensures a nice umami taste. I also love using vanilla because it balances out the slight bitterness of green tea and gives it a smoother flavour profile… Or maybe it’s just because I really like vanilla, but either way, this latte is a staple of my morning routine. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think in the comments below!
Vanilla Matcha Tea Latte
1 Cup vanilla almond milk – recipe here
1- 2 Tsp. Matcha powder
¼ Cup hot water, not boiling hot
Pour a ¼ cup of hot water into a mug of your choice and add 1-2 tsp. of matcha powder. Stir using a back and forth motion or whisk, until the matcha is incorporated into the hot water. Steam or heat your vanilla almond milk until warm and frothy. Slowly pour the heated almond milk into your mug while stirring to mix everything together, continue to stir until the matcha powder in dissolved and your latte looks smooth.
|Sprouted Tip: For an even smoother latte experience, strain your finished drink through a fine-mesh sieve before consuming. Because the natural consistency of matcha powder doesn’t always dissolve completely, this extra step will ensure your latte is as smooth as butta!|