March 12, 2019
(updated June 25, 2021)
What’s Inside: Check out these five tips for making the best matcha latte at home without a barista! I’m sharing my favorite brand, tools, and recipes for dairy-free hot and iced matcha lattes.
If you’ve ever had an amazing matcha latte before and tried to recreate the magic at home, but felt frustrated or confused … I HEAR YOU. There are quite a few variables when figuring out how to make the best matcha latte without a barista holding your hand.
Through the years of being nosey and asking the baristas at various matcha cafes around NYC and tinkering with my own concoctions, I have so many tips to share on how to make a matcha latte of your dreams (that also happens to be dairy-free).
I also have hot and iced matcha latte recipes below for you that you can use as your template after familiarizing yourself with all the factors to take into account. Keep practicing, and you’ll love the ritual of making it yourself.
My love of matcha all started after learning about the benefits and tasting it for the first time… YUM. Slightly bitter, cozy, and maybe even a little floral? This was WAY better than any bagged green tea, which always tasted like a foot in my opinion… anyone else? High-quality ceremonial grade matcha powder is a higher quality option and here’s why:
Plus, it’s delicious! Now, matcha isn’t not for everyone, but I would strongly urge you to try a few different recipes or cafes before settling on not liking it.
My love of matcha has grown more and more as I learned how to make it myself and learned what it should taste like, or at least, how I like it. It’s similar to coffee in that not all of it is created equally. There are some better quality brands/sourcing as well as kinds of milk to use… in fact for lattes, let’s be real – the milk is SUPER important because that’s most of your cup!
You want the matcha powder to really shine through it and not have the taste tampered down with sugar-laden dairy-free milk. Just like everyone has preferred coffee brands and preparation, it’s important to note the same thing with matcha (and I’m sharing my favorite clean brand below).
Looking for more tea recipes? Don’t miss my life-changing Lavender London Fog Latte! (plus, it’s AIP-friendly)
Follow these five simple tips for making the best matcha latte in the comfort of your own home.
Yes, it’s more expensive than green tea, but as you read above… there are so many reasons for that! I’m listing below some brands I’ve either tried or have been recommended by friends I trust. That all said, I’ve also been told to hit up an international market to see if they have authentic matcha from Japan on the cheaps, so that’s always an option too!
Tip: My favorite is this brand: the WORLD’S CLEANEST MATCHA. It’s quadruply screened for toxins and mold, and there are easy on-the-go travel packets you can try, too!
Lattes consist of mostly milk, so you’ll want to use a tasty one. Here’s a good way to decide… would you drink the milk alone? If not, maybe don’t use it in your matcha because unlike strong coffee lattes, you’ll definitely taste it. I love homemade dairy-free milk or, mylk when I have the time, but that’s not always possible, so I decide based on taste and quality (the fewer ingredients, the better).
And, as always, go for unsweetened milk so you can control the sweetness level in your latte on your own by adding some raw honey or another natural sweetener if you’d like!
When making a hot latte, you’ll want something that can get nice and thick/frothy, whereas for iced, it doesn’t matter. I like Elmhurst Barista milks or mixing a little full-fat canned coconut milk with any other nut-based milk also helps it froth. And if I’m going homemade, my favorite recipe is this almond milk made with coconut water!
You could also try any of these three no-strain blender milks:
When you get your matcha powder, toss a few tablespoons in a small sieve/strainer and push it through with a spoon to get out all the clumps and further prevent clumping in the future as it sits. Nobody likes to hit a big ball of bitterness in their matcha – this is key to making sure your drinks are smooth!
Then store the matcha either back in the tin it came in or an airtight jar/container in a cool, dark place. If you don’t drink it often, the fridge would be fine. If you drink it daily, store it in a cool cupboard (not near your oven or fridge). Humidity tends to make for clumpier matcha powder that even the strongest whisking and blending can’t help sometimes.
Now, this depends on how strong your matcha is AND the taste you’re going for. I like it strong, so I try to figure out based on the brand I’m using what’s going to work.
Here is my general template: 1 to 1.5 tsp of matcha with approx. 2 oz. hot water and 8 oz. milk.
If I’m making an iced matcha latte, I’ll add more milk or just because of the ice, I steer towards the stronger side (1.5 tsp+). You can optionally skip the hot water and just blend the matcha with milk also, but I find it better pouring over the milk in my opinion, plus I love whisking it!
It’s super important to not use boiling water. To make sure you don’t do this, you can grab a tea kettle with a thermometer on it (like this one). I stay around 175f – 200f degrees for the perfect temperature and do not go over that level.
Or, if using a traditional electric tea kettle that boils water, you can wing it and pull it off sooner or bring it to a boil and let it rest for 5-mins or so!
Remember that practice makes perfect, and you should try different ratios, types of milk, and brands if you’re unhappy with something. There are times I go through phases with different kinds of milk, add-ins, and of course iced vs. hot. Once you find that sweet spot, you will LOVE it!
And if you have favorite matcha you buy at a cafe, just ask them how they make it! Inquire about the brand, the ratio, and milk. It’s a great way to learn how the masters do it day in and day out. In my experience, they’re usually excited to share their tips with you.
If you’re a fan of my Best Matcha Latte, then you’re sure to love these matcha masterpieces:
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I love your recipes and try it for your family! Thanks
So easy and yet so flavorful. I just want to sip it all. Yum
Can’t wait to make a matcha latte after reading through these game changing tips! 🙂
Yay! Cheers, Chris!
I’ve been wanting to make my own matcha at home! These tips are so helpful, and the recipe came out creamy and delicious!
I’m so glad you liked it, Alison! Great name, btw 😉
Oooh that looks so comforting..Love it
That is such a beautiful and inviting drink. I am new to the matcha trend and just started enjoying it. Thank you for the tips, I will use them to make my next glass of matcha latte.
Another good company for excellent quality matcha is Jadeleaf. I recently started using it and absolutely love it.
awesome, thanks for sharing!
Could I make a big batch of this in advance and leave it in the fridge? How long would it hold up?
I wouldn’t, it may clump up again and you’d have to re-mix it regardless.