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A Matcha Latte At-Home Recipe This Nutritionist Loves

The Healthy logo The Healthy 5/7/2021 Vanessa Rissetto MS, RD, CDN
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DIY matcha latte

Starting your day with a morning latte is a favorite ritual for so many of us. There's nothing better than having a hot (or cold) cup of frothy milk with a nice caffeine boost to start your day.

But for some people, espresso and coffee can cause jitters, or even worse, some uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea.

If you can't go without a caffeine fix, or want to switch up your usual coffee routine, try my new favorite latte alternative—matcha lattes.

Swapping your regular latte for a matcha latte gives you a nice caffeine boost without the jitters, and has the added benefits of health-promoting nutrients like antioxidants.

Here's how to make a matcha latte and everything you need to know about the beverage.

Why is matcha so popular?

The demand for matcha is so big, reports of some sales in the U.S. say they are upwards of 10 billion dollars. This popular beverage is popping up on cafe menus everywhere, from local coffee shops to big corporate cafe chains like Starbucks. Matcha is so popular these days you can even find cafes that exclusively serve matcha with all the fixings and flavors you can imagine.

This latte trend is definitely worth trying, but you don't need to go to a fancy cafe to make it happen. With a few simple kitchen tools, you can make a delicious and nutritious matcha latte in the comfort of your home. Keep reading to find out what makes matcha lattes so great and how you can make your own matcha latte at home.

The history of matcha

Matcha is a type of green tea that has been consumed in Japan for centuries. However, unlike other green teas, matcha grows under special conditions that enhance its flavor and nutritional value.

Matcha leaves are cultivated under sun-blocking covers for several weeks before picking, drying, and grinding them into tea. This process enhances the leaves' chlorophyll and amino acid content, giving matcha its vibrant green color and smooth flavor.

What truly makes matcha unique is the way its leaves make tea. We're all familiar with the typical tea preparation of steeping dried tea leaves in hot water.

Matcha tea is actually made by grinding dried tea leaves into a fine powder that is then whisked into a hot liquid. This difference in preparation makes matcha a more concentrated form of all the health benefits we get from green tea, including a higher antioxidant content and even more of a caffeine boost.

Health benefits of matcha

The current research on how beneficial matcha is for our health is promising—but limited.

The most well-established benefit of green tea and matcha is related to their high antioxidant content.

Antioxidants are a group of chemical compounds found in certain foods that help decrease inflammation in the body.

The anti-inflammatory power of antioxidants neutralizes free radicals and minimizes oxidative stress that contributes to several types of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, autoimmune disease, liver disease, and neurodegenerative diseases, per Nature Medicine.

Matcha is one of the best sources of the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This antioxidant is part of a larger group of antioxidants called catechins.

This antioxidant group is connected to a variety of therapeutic benefits, including a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk factors, blood sugar lower effects, and a decrease in overall inflammatory markers, according to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

A review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that EGCG may also be protective against neurological diseases because of its potential to improve cognition and reduce oxidative damage in the brain.

Research in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea and EGCG may also be beneficial for weight loss because of their potential ability to reduce appetite, interfere with fat absorption, and boost metabolic rate.

More research is needed to confirm the weight loss benefits of green tea, but the findings are promising.

How to make a matcha latte

Matcha is clearly a nutrition powerhouse that's worth trying, but incorporating this superfood into your regular rotation of beverages can be pricey.

The average matcha latte can cost upwards of $6.00, which can add up to almost $200 a month for a daily matcha fix from your local coffee shop.

The good news is that you can still get the benefits of matcha without paying an arm and a leg by making your matcha latte at home. Here are my top tips for whipping up a delicious matcha latte from the comfort of your home.

Start with a good quality matcha

First and foremost, choosing good quality matcha is the foundation for having a good-tasting matcha latte at home.

The color, flavor, and texture determine the matcha quality. Some companies label their matcha using a graded system, but these grades are not regulated in the United States and can be misleading.

The best way to choose quality matcha is by choosing a bright green product that is not dull and olive-colored. Good quality matcha has a fine texture similar to cornstarch (note that clumps are totally normal). It should also taste smooth and not bitter, and have a floral, grassy smell.

If you're not able to see or try the product before purchasing, look out for where the product originated from. You'll want to choose a matcha from Japan, and if you see the words "stone-ground" that's a good indicator that it's the right texture.

Choose the right milk

Next, make sure you stock up on your favorite milk for the base of your latte. Matcha goes great with most types of milk, including my personal favorites, cow's milk, almond milk, and oat milk.

Choosing higher fat milk like whole milk will give your latte a creamier consistency. If you want a dairy-free, creamy latte, there are a ton of "barista-style" milk alternatives out there that will give you a smooth and thick texture.

Oat milk and sweetened milk alternatives will give you a sweeter flavor profile, but will also add some extra calories.

Get a matcha whisk

Once you've chosen your milk preference, you'll need to make sure you have a few simple kitchen gadgets to make your latte.

I recommend purchasing a simple and cheap bamboo matcha whisk. Using a matcha whisk helps break up any clumps in your beverage, ensuring a smooth consistency.

Traditionally, matcha preparation involves a matcha whisk, a slender bamboo spoon for measuring the matcha, a tea bowl for whisking, and a strainer getting out any clumps. You can purchase a matcha kit for the full set up at home, but I personally find the matcha whisk is the only part of the kit you need.

Tools for frothing your milk

Another simple tool that can take your matcha latte to the next level is a milk frother. These handy kitchen appliances come in a variety of price points and are simple to use.

If you don't feel like purchasing another kitchen gadget you can totally DIY and froth your milk using some things you may already have in the house.

Try warming your milk first, then shake it in a mason jar, or whisking it by hand in a bowl. If you have an electric mixer or blender, you can also foam your warm milk with these appliances.

For you iced latte lovers out there, you can prepare your matcha paste using a small amount of hot water and then add your cold milk to the paste with some ice. Top with some frothed milk, and you have an at-home version of your favorite iced matcha latte.

As you can see, making matcha at home is as simple or complex as you make it. There are a ton of different ways to put together your latte at home, which makes this drink even more versatile and fun.

Play around with different kinds of milk and different frothing methods to see what flavor and texture you prefer. The combinations are endless.

Here's my favorite matcha latte recipe.

Simple Matcha Latte Recipe

This matcha latte is made with my favorite milk at the moment, oat milk. The creaminess and slight natural sweetness of the oat milk balance out the grassy flavor of the matcha.

This recipe is simple and easy to prepare and can be made with or without a milk foamer.

It's rich in antioxidants and has about 150 calories per cup depending on the brand of oat milk you use. I recommend choosing fortified oat milk so you get additional minerals like calcium and potassium. The best part? It only takes a few minutes to make.

Serves 1

a bowl of soup on a table © Courtesy Vanessa Rissetto MS,RD,CDN

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon of good quality matcha (you can do a full teaspoon if you need more of a caffeine boost for the day)

1/4 cup hot water

1 cup hot, unsweetened oat milk

Directions:

In a small bowl add matcha powder to 1/4 cup of hot water

Whisk until you get a smooth paste-like consistency and transfer your mixture to a mug or preferred container for drinking.

Heat oat milk in a saucepan until warm.

Add warm milk to a milk frother or blender until foam forms.

Add foamed milk to your matcha paste, stir and enjoy!

The post A Matcha Latte At-Home Recipe This Nutritionist Loves appeared first on The Healthy.

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