I love coffee, probably more than any person should. However, there's just something about green tea's smooth flavor and the distinctive taste of matcha that can get a person addicted (Me? I can stop anytime I want!).
If you like to get your caffeine fix from tea, in general you know that coffee shops don't typically offer tons of options. Aside from the basic hot tea, you're lucky if you can get your hands on a (good) chai latte. A green tea latte is available at some specialty cafés, but priced at around 3 USD for a small 8 to 10 oz size, they aren't wallet friendly and often have way too much processed sugar.
Luckily for you, I have just the recipe to help! This concentrate will make a week's worth of 8 oz lattes and allows you to control the sugar content, type of green tea, and milk. After we make the concentrate, I'll show you how to use it to make an iced latte, a hot classic latte, and a blended matcha frappé!
Step 1: Collect Your Supplies
For the concentrate you will need:
- matcha powder (2 teaspoons)
- green tea (3 teabags or 2 tablespoons loose leaf tea)
- sugar of choice (to taste)
- filtered water (4 cups)
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (to make the latte)
- heat-proof containers for brewing tea and making matcha
- flat bottomed bowl (any bowl will work if you're in a pinch)
- small mesh strainer
- bottle or container for storing the concentrate
For the Iced Latte:
- 1 cup ice
- decorative straws for serving (optional)
For the Hot Latte:
- access to stove or microwave to heat the latte
For the Frappé:
- Ice cube tray
- plain or vanilla coffee creamer
- ice cubes
- vanilla extract (optional)
- whipped cream (optional)
- access to a freezer (and no, it can't be the one in your research science lab - gross!)
It might look like a lot of supplies, but the process is pretty simple! The concentrate itself only requires 4 ingredients that you may already have if you drink matcha at home.
Step 2: Preparing the Green Tea
The first step is to brew 2 cups of green tea using either teabags (pictured here) or loose leaf tea.
I am using the Tazo Zen green tea, which has hints of lemongrass and spearmint. Feel free to use any green tea you like! This one just happens to be my personal favorite.
With green tea it is best to brew at a water temperature of 175° F (80° C) for about 3 minutes. If you want stronger tea, use more teabags - not more time! Any longer than 3 minutes will make bitter tea and therefore a bitter latte. I used 3 teabags for 2 cups of water. If you have loose leaf tea, 2 tablespoons should be more than enough for a strong latte.
After brewing, you'll want to add your sweetener of choice to the green tea while it is hot. I used 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar and ended up with a very lightly sweetened latte product. You can use white sugar, honey, stevia (for a zero calorie latte), brown rice sugar, or another sugar of your choice. Keep in mind that this is going to be diluted with the matcha and also milk in the final product. The amount of sugar you add will end up being split into around 8 lattes, so keep that in mind if you like your drink sweet! You can also feel free to skip the sweetener completely, but what's the fun in that?
Stir until the sweetener is completely dissolved and leave this mixture out while preparing the matcha in step 3!
Step 3: Preparing the Matcha
Preparing traditional matcha perfectly takes a lot of practice and some specialized tools. I've written the directions for this step with the assumption that like me, you don't have a matcha whisk or other matcha tools, so we'll be using our kitchen whisk! The matcha I am using is u matcha natural, made by The Republic of Tea.
First, sift your matcha into a flat bottomed bowl (this will help with whisking). You'll want to sift the matcha because it will help to prevent clumps. To sift, just gently press the matcha through a small, clean, mesh strainer. Using 2 teaspoons of matcha was the perfect amount for me. You can add more for a stronger matcha flavor, but we all know this stuff might as well be powdered gold, so I like to conserve!
To the matcha, add 2 cups of hot water at 175° F (80° C) and whisk quickly for 2 minutes until a layer of foam appears.
Never add boiling water to matcha! It will burn and create a bitter taste. It is also worth noting that because we aren't using the traditional bamboo whisk made for matcha, the layer of foam will not be as thick. However, since this is to make a concentrate, it won't really matter in the long run since the foam will fall when mixed with the brewed tea.
Step 4: Making the Concentrate Mixture
This step is pretty simple: add your 2 cups of matcha tea to your 2 cups of sweetened green tea in a large bowl or pitcher and whisk them together.
You'll notice my green tea is very dark - this color will vary depending on your tea and your sweetener (coconut sugar or brown rice syrup can darken the tea). Fear not, your latte will still have a lovely subtle green color when diluted with milk.
Step 5: Storing Your Concentrate
Congratulations! You now have 4 cups of Matcha Green Tea Latte Concentrate!
You'll want to use a funnel to pour the mixture into a container that can be sealed and refrigerated. I drink a lot of mineral water, so in the name of being eco-friendly I've cleaned the labels off an old glass bottle and stored my concentrate in that.
The concentrate keeps well in the fridge up to 7 days (it might last longer, but I've never made it a whole week without finding a way to use all of it!)
Now, let's make a latte!
Step 6: Making an Iced Latte
To make an iced latte, add 1/2 cup of your concentrate and 1/2 cup of milk of your choice to a glass filled with ice (a decorative straw doesn't hurt, either!) and stir to mix. If you want a larger latte, the recipe is just a 1:1 ratio of concentrate to milk.
I have really loved using vanilla unsweetened almond or soy milk, but dairy milk or coconut milk work well too! You can experiment to find what taste you like best.
Step 7: Making a Classic Hot Latte
Similar to the iced latte, you'll add 1/2 cup concentrate to 1/2 cup of milk of your choice. You can add this directly to a mug, stir, and heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes for a hot latte. Time depends on your microwave strength, so test the latte at 30 second intervals to ensure you don't roast it (or your mouth).
For one latte I don't typically heat my mixture on the stove, but if you're making a larger batch the stove works better than individually heating up 8 lattes.
Step 8: Make a Matcha Frappé
The frappé is a popular drink that has been Americanized to mean an icy coffee beverage with a smoothie-like consistency. You can make a matcha green tea frappé pretty easily with our concentrate mixture and a blender.
First, freeze some of the concentrate into a standard ice cube tray. When your ice cubes are ready, add 4 of them to a blender with 1/2 cup of milk of your choice and 2 tablespoons of coffee creamer to make the frappé extra rich. You can also add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract at this time. For my frappé, I used vanilla almond milk and a vanilla almond milk creamer made by Silk brand to keep the drink dairy-free but still creamy. Blend the mixture, then add ice cubes until you reach the desired consistency (more ice = thicker frappé, but too much ice will water the drink down and dilute the flavor).
If you have a high powered blender, you should be able to mix this until smooth pretty quickly. If you have a blender you bought for 8 dollars on a clearance table like I do, you'll need to stir the mixture with a spoon in between blender pulses.** You may also need to add an extra splash of milk if the mixture is too thick for your blender to process.
** Please use common sense and do not try to stir your latte while the blender is running. Turn off the blender and remove the pitcher from the blender base before stirring by hand.
Once you've reached the desired consistency, pour your frappé into a cup. If desired, top with whipped cream and a decorative straw for serving!