Perfecting the Matcha Latte

I first started writing this post over two years ago, but sadly, was not able to perfect the matcha latte until now. There is definitely room for improvement, especially with my latte art skills, but I am finally satisfied with the end product.

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The main issues I faced were clumpy matcha, lackluster foam, and an absence of the vibrant green colour that adorns so many matcha lattes I’ve bought. 

Clumpy matcha was probably the single most frustrating problem; lumps of bitter powder exploding in your mouth make for a very unpleasant drinking experience. I thought my problems would be solved with a matcha whisk, but while the matcha combined better, clumps were still present. My friend suggested sifting, and I used a metal tea strainer with a fine mesh. The sifted matcha combined with the matcha whisk resulted in absolutely no clumps! I highly recommend this step even if there appears to be no clumps in your matcha.

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As with most lattes, you want to make a concentrated amount of tea and then add a healthy dose of milk. Let boiled water cool to about 74°C, and then add water slowly – you just need enough to suspend all the matcha. I use about 1/2 cup of water for 3/4 tsp of matcha. When whisking, make sure to go around the side to get all the matcha before whisking in zig-zag motions to generate foam. You can add your sweetener now, or add it in the end.

Now you are ready to add your frothed milk. Begin by pouring from a height to let the milk sink to the bottom, and then bring it closer to the cup as you begin making your design. I have a lot of work to do in this department, but this technique is a lot easier when combined with foam from the matcha. I tried to save the art by poking around with a chopstick before realizing I was making it worse.

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In summary:

  1. Sift your matcha
  2. Make sure water has cooled to 74°C
  3. Make a concentrated amount
  4. Use a matcha whisk (chasen)
  5. Whisk vigorously until foamy
  6. Froth milk well and pour in slowly!

I’ll update when I perfect the latte art aspect of it, but for now, I honestly enjoy this matcha latte more than most of the ones I’ve had from cafes that usually run for over $5. Definitely worth a try at home!

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