Friday, January 31, 2014

Matcha Latte (Japanese Green Tea Latte), Hot and Iced

I took such a long time trying to set up my shots that my matcha latte started to settle. My etched flowers started to shrink and the drink had gotten cold! Food blogger problems.

For the past two to three weeks, I have noticed that the left side of my body has been unusually stiff and knotty: the trapezius, the lumbar, and who-knows-what-other muscles. I couldn't quite figure out why this could be. It was getting, and it still is, quite uncomfortable.

Then, finally, I realized what it was.

It's the blog! It's the blog!

I don't know why, as I do usually work at the computer anyway, but working on the blog specifically has resulted in stiff and tense muscles. This cannot go on.

To give myself time to recover, I decided that my second post-hiatus post should be a nice and easy one. A beverage post ought to do it.

(How many times can I write "post" in this post?)

I don't usually drink a lot of milk, but I bought some Avalon milk one day and had to use it up. Avalon is a brand of organic milk sold in glass bottles. Just the glass bottle alone is reason enough for me to buy it, but one can actually taste the difference between this and the other conventional brands of milk sold here.

In simple terms, matcha is a green tea that is finely ground. To drink it, traditionally, one dissolves the matcha in hot water.

In recent years, matcha has gained popularity in North America not only as a beverage on its own and in latte incarnations, but also as flavoring in pastries and other food items.

Dissolved matcha. In the background, condensed milk in a mug and my almost-empty Avalon milk bottle.

The first time I tasted green tea-flavored anything was way, way, way back when, upon recently arriving in Vancouver, a family friend took us to Baskin Robbins to try the green tea ice cream. Matcha and I go way back, as you can see.

More information about matcha later. Let's just make the drink.


My drink had gotten cold while I was taking pictures that I had to re-steam it, resulting in the more homogenous look above.

Dissolve matcha in hot water, preferably using a matcha whisk. Then, steam some milk and pour the steamed milk onto your dissolved matcha. (This assumes you have an espresso machine with a steam wand. If not, just heating the milk would work, but of course, one would lose the "sweetness" and additional body that steaming brings.)

From here, one can do a myriad of variations.

In my case, I tend to like my matcha latte just the teensiest bit sweet. One could just add sugar to the finished drink. Other sweetener choices include honey, agave, stevia, coconut sugar... One could even use white chocolate as sweetener! Just melt the chocolate and add to the drink. I can personally attest to the superb combination of matcha and white chocolate.

I used condensed milk in this version of matcha latte.

The choice of milk is also yours. There's cow's milk with different fat percentages. There's also soy milk, almond milk, goat milk, coconut milk, and all the other "milks" out there.

To make this particular version, I added the condensed milk to my 2% Avalon cow's milk and steamed the lot. I have tried using evaporated milk in the past, but it had too strong or rich a flavor.

When making the hot version, try to drink it in a timely manner. The matcha does tend to settle to the bottom.

An even easier version is to make your drink iced.


I quite liked the condensed milk + milk combination that I did the same thing for my iced matcha latte.

Once again, I dissolved matcha with hot water using my matcha whisk. I added the condensed milk to the matcha mixture and mixed well, then poured this over ice. I immediately topped up my drink with cow's milk ("immediately" as to prevent the hot matcha mixture from melting the ice too much).

Uh oh, I feel my left shoulder and back stiffening up. Perhaps I'll enlist JS to write about matcha.


Matcha, for those not quite familiar with it, is tea powder made from ground tea leaves. You might think of matcha as a different way of drinking tea.

The "normal" or "usual" way of taking tea is to infuse the tea leaves in water -- what we drink as tea in this case is the water that has been flavoured by tea leaves.

With matcha, the whole tea leaf is ground it into fine powder. This powder is then whisked and dissolved in water. When we drink tea in this manner, we are actually ingesting the whole tea leaf.

I think that's all I'll say on the matter of the matcha -- or we will never finish this post. For more information, there's always Wikipedia.

Wikipedia: Matcha 

When buying matcha, be sure to get pure matcha powder. There are some powder mixes that have matcha already blended with sugars, milk powders, and other ingredients or fillers. DoMatcha is quite readily available now. Aiya Matcha is also another brand I've tried. Both websites have more information about matcha.

Personally, my favourite matcha beverage preparation is TS' aforementioned matcha latte sweetened with a bit of white chocolate.

I've been on a beverage kick lately, and perhaps more beverage posts will pop up soon.

eatingclub Matcha
We also made Matcha Shortbread!

eatingclub vancouver Beverages, a selection
Matcha Latte (Japanese Green Tea Latte), Hot and Iced
Caffè Latte with Almond Milk
Cilantro Horchata
Salabat (Ginger Tea)
Turkish Çay (Turkish Tea)
Squash Churros with Orange-Sage Hot Chocolate
Avocado Shake

Matcha Latte, Hot or Iced

Make your matcha latte according to your taste. Amounts are strictly suggestions only.

For one drink:
matcha (1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon)
hot/boiling water (2 to 4 ounces; 50 to 125 mL)
choice of milk (4 to 8 ounces; 125 to 250 mL)

optional: sweetener

Warm your serving cup with hot water. Discard water.

In a small bowl, add matcha. Pour hot/boiling water into the bowl and whisk with matcha whisk using back and forth (not circular) motions. Make sure the matcha is completely dissolved.

Alternatively, one can use a small metal or silicone whisk or even a hand blender to dissolve the matcha in the water.

If using a sweetener, you can add it at this point.

Set aside.

Steam your choice of milk using a steam wand. Or, heat the milk on the stovetop or microwave, then use a milk frother to aerate the milk. One can also use a hand blender to aerate the milk. Try not to get big bubbles.

Pour dissolved matcha into your warmed serving cup. Pour steamed milk over the mixture.

Add desired amount of ice into your serving glass.

In a small bowl, add matcha. Pour hot/boiling water into the bowl and whisk with matcha whisk using back and forth (not circular) motions. Make sure the matcha is completely dissolved. Try to use as little amount of hot water as possible to dissolve your matcha.

Alternatively, one can use a small metal or silicone whisk or even a hand blender to dissolve the matcha in the water.

If using a sweetener, you can add it at this point.

Add the milk to your serving glass first, then pour in the dissolved matcha. Adding the cold milk first prevents the hot matcha mixture from melting the ice.



  1. I love the floral pattern on the latte, it's so elegant and so Japanese! The glass bottle of the Avalon is often the reason I buy it at supermarkets. It's saying my milk is glass and it must taste great! Can't resist it.

  2. Have you guys been to the newish café, Basho Café? There's matchka latte...

    1. Matcha is actually quite readily available in Vancouver... now it's just a matter of discovering if a place serves good drinks made from it. I looked up Basho Cafe and it looks delightful in there! Will try to visit it one of these days. Thanks for the heads up!


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