6 Essentials for Excellent Homemade Matcha Latte
The majority of matcha-drinkers outside Japan, China, and Korea are more accustomed to the milk-based concoction, otherwise known as matcha latte, than the traditional hot water-based preparation. This is perhaps how most coffeehouses in the western hemisphere introduced the polyphenol-rich green tea powder to the consumers – mixed in a cup of frothy dairy or non-dairy milk.
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As more and more people began to appreciate its unique flavor, creamy quality, and tremendous value as a healthier alternative to coffee, demand for raw matcha powder has increased sharply. And that is not only in the restaurants and cafés sector, but also the thousands of savvy individuals who decided to make and enjoy the drink in their own homes. After all, in spite of all its remarkable nutritive, curative and palliative benefits, getting your daily dose of matcha latte from your neighborhood café is not exactly easy on the pocket.
As it turns out, there is really nothing too technical in preparing matcha lattes in your own kitchen. In fact, you don't even need fancy and expensive gadgets to produce café-style drinks with a delightful foamy quality. You just need to have or learn the following basic essentials for making an awesome homemade matcha latte any time and every time:
Matcha Powder - First and foremost, make sure that you have at least Café Grade Matcha powder. The highest classification is called Ceremony Grade, which is quite pricey. It is made solely from the youngest buds and leafs taken only from the top end of green tea stalks, which has the highest chlorophyll concentration. On the other end of the spectrum is Grado culinario, which, as the name suggests, is best for cooking purposes only.
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Click here for Tips on Buying and Storing Matcha Powder
Milk – Matcha blends well with both dairy and non-dairy liquid milk products. Although many matcha aficionados, café owners, and baristas would vouch that almond milk works best with the green tea powder, what really matters is your own taste and texture preference. Try to experiment with various milk products until you find one that really suits you. Just a tidbit about dairy milk: skimmed and non-fat milk doesn't froth as well as whole or full cream milk.
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Sweeteners – Raw or refined sugar may be enough for hot beverage preparations. For chilled or iced matcha drinks, however, liquid sweeteners such as simple syrup or honey are more recommendable. You can make your own simple syrup by boiling equal parts of water and sugar, lettinga it simmer for a few minutes, and then allowing it to cool down. It can be stored in the refrigerator for a month so make an ample amount that you can use for several days (e.g. ½ cup sugar + ½ cup water). Other sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave nectar, splenda, etc. also work with matcha; then again, it’s up to you to find out what suits you best.
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Heat – Whether you are making a hot or cold matcha drink, you need to work with a restrained amount of heat. For hot drinks, you just need to warm and not boil the milk or water, or at least, let it cool down a bit (in case you brought the liquid to a boil) before mixing the powder in. As for cold drinks, it is best to whisk the matcha powder with a few spoonfuls of warm water first before mixing it with the cold liquid and ice.
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Frothing Gadget – You can actually make the milk froth by putting it in a cocktail shaker or lidded jar and shaking it vigorously. However, if you want to produce almost the same foamy consistency as those served in cafes, I suggest that you buy a battery-operated frothing wand since it doesn't really cost much. There are of course, some frothing machines available in the market, however it’s impractical to purchase one unless you are running a café or intending to make a bunch of lattes on a daily basis.
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Add-Ons – Be as creative as you can in jazzing up your matcha latte for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Top it with whipped cream, tiny marshmallows, sifted raw matcha powder, candy sprinkles, mint chips, chocolate chips, caramel sauce, crushed cereals, or whatever works for your pleasure. I am not saying that you overdo it though, just select two or three toppings that you think will work nicely together with your creamy drink.
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Click here to see some basic and simple matcha latte recipes.
Thanks for reading and I hope that you will find this simple guide helpful. I know that it won’t be long now before you start whipping up some amazing cups of delicious and nutritious matcha latte in your own kitchen.