Make This Matcha Tea Latte for an Easy Winter Pick-Me-Up
I don't claim to know much about matcha, but I do know that it's deliciously rich, creamy and naturally "sweet" all on its own, which makes it the perfect pick-me-up drink for chilly Winter days when all you want to do is sit inside and cozy up by the fire.
My hometown of Hamilton, Ontario was hit recently with quite a bit of a snow - and an added serving of ice, to boot - which left me feeling extra home-body-ish this weekend. I baked holiday treats, wrapped gifts, wrote out Christmas cards and made a nice, huge batch of golden cocoa mix to see me through the rest of Winter. But, I got all of those "chores" done by Saturday afternoon. So of course, having nothing else to do on a frigid Sunday but lay around and catch up on The Fall (thank you, Netflix), I decided to head out and grab some matcha. You could say I was in a matcha mood!
What is matcha, you ask? Well, put simply, it's a specific type of powdered green tea grown and produced in Japan - in most cases. A good quality matcha may set you back a few dollars, but it's totally worth it for the delicious taste and heaping serving of antioxidants each cup delivers. What makes matcha so special is its high chlorophyll content; in the last few weeks of their growth, the green tea leaves used to make matcha are kept out of the sun to increase their chlorophyll along with their beautiful green coloring.
You can purchase matcha just about anywhere these days, which is great news if you're a regular consumer or are simply looking to give the powdered powerhouse a go. It tastes wonderful in smoothies, smoothie bowls, milkshakes, or on its own as a yummy tea. But my favorite way to drink matcha is in latte form. Or, more specifically, as a properly prepared cup of matcha with some homemade almond milk splashed in.
The "proper" way of preparing matcha is to add boiled water to a cup or bowl with about 1-2 tsp of matcha powder, then whisk it vigorously with a bamboo whisk until the mixture is airy and fluffy. You can drink it on its own or add in some milk (as I do) for a richer flavor. However, I find a regular whisk produces similar results and is handy if, like me, you are unable to find a genuine bamboo whisk anywhere. At best, the only bamboo whisk I've been able to find locally has come as part of a matcha-making set which cost close to $100. As I found that a bit steep, a regular whisk does the trick for me.
My take on the matcha latte is a bit different, though I'm sure there are a variety of ways to make it and you can certainly customize this recipe to suit your preference. Regardless, it's simple to make and produces a lovely cup of matcha tea latte in minutes.
What You'll Need:
- a small bowl
- 1-2 tsp of organic matcha tea powder
- 1 tsp of melted coconut oil (raw, organic)
- 1/2 tsp agave nectar (or other natural sweetener)
- 1 cup of boiled water
- 1-2 tsp of homemade almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1 small whisk (bamboo if you can find one, but metal works fine)
What To Do:
- in your bowl, combine the coconut oil, agave nectar and matcha tea powder
- pour the hot water into the bowl
- whisk the mixture vigorously in a zig-zag motion until it becomes fluffy - small bubbles and some minimal foam should appear
- add your milk (feel free to steam it beforehand for added foam!)
- drink and enjoy
For truly natural matcha tea, skip the coconut oil, agave nectar and milk and drink the tea as is. Just keep in mind that, without a natural sweetener, the tea is not that sweet but, rather, tastes quite earthy with a rich, bold flavor. I prefer it with a touch of agave to complement the tea's natural flavor, but of course, to each their own! The coconut oil simply adds a smoother texture and gives the tea some "body." Regardless of how you make it, I recommend giving matcha a try! It's wonderful for you and is a great substitute for coffee or hot chocolate!