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Eat Well Mar. 17. 2015

Matcha Tea Latte

Mar. 17. 2015
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN


A delicious, dairy-free matcha tea latte using creamy coconut milk and high-quality matcha tea.

Whenever I share a picture on Instagram of one of my matcha tea lattes, you guys go crazy and ask for the recipe or a how-to guide on how to make them at home for yourselves. Well, I listened and am here to share my favorite Matcha Tea Latte recipe, complete with my favorite tools to use and a step by step tutorial. It’s also another green way to celebrate St. Patricks Day (hooray!), like my Pesto Green Eggs and Avocado Toast, or enjoy together for an entire “green” meal. So cheers to the most delicious coconut milk Matcha Tea Latte that’s high in antioxidants, healthy fats, and completely dairy free!

Click here to get your FREE eBook all about the health benefits of tea and how tea can boost your health today! 

Making green tea takes a bit of patience and finesse in itself even when using a tea bag. Most of us, myself included in the beginning, make green tea with water that’s far too hot which actually ruins the delicate flavor of green tea and doesn’t allow the nutrients to slowly release and open up as it should. The first 2 years I started drinking tea, before it became a daily ritual for me, I was making green tea completely wrong! I’m also cringing as I’m writing this, but I used to microwave water with a green tea bag in it (YIKES!), which is probably the worst way you can make tea. Tea leaves need a little love during the process of brewing. Because of their delicate flavor and antioxidants, they require time and the right temperature to create the perfect mug of tea.

For me, the best way to enjoy a matcha tea latte is in the morning or in the afternoon after lunch where my mind and body are craving a little more “space” and time to relax, regroup, and focus on work and productivity. The entire process of making matcha tea is very therapeutic and I respect and wholeheartedly understand the ritual and ceremonies surrounding the simple task of making tea. If meditation has taught me anything, it’s that being completely in the present moment can make the most “mundane” tasks such as cleaning dishes or making a mug of tea completely satisfying and a moment filled with passion and focus. Nowadays running Nutrition Stripped, my coaching practice, and writing the cookbook, it’s been very easy for my mind and emotions to gravitate towards overwhelm. Simple moments like this serve as a giant deep breath and air hug that reminds me that everything is working out as it should. My hope is that the next time you’re in the kitchen making a mug of matcha tea, or any type of tea for that matter, you can find a little mental and emotional “space” in your day as well.

Let’s start with the basics, what is matcha tea? Matcha tea is a young delicate tea leaf variety typically grown and processed in Japan. Matcha tea is typically used in Japanese tea ceremonies, which is on my to-do “bucket” list while traveling. I hope that when I visit Thailand this year, I can find a place to enjoy and observe a tea ceremony (not just with matcha!), so if you know of any comment below. (Update: see my Thailand trip here!) One of the greatest things about matcha tea is that it’s not just for lattes! You can actually add matcha tea powder to smoothies, cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, soup, and so much more.

Matcha tea is very high in antioxidants, amino acids, and chlorophyll, which is responsible for it’s beautiful bright green color. Of the amino acids contained in matcha tea, L-theanine is the most prevalent and is known to have a relaxing effect on the mind and body, hence why traditionally monks would sip matcha tea to help ease their mind for meditation. Plus the subtle caffeine content helps with focus, which could be because theanine increases serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in the brain. Unlike normal teas, you’re actually drinking the entire matcha tea leaf, not just the tea water. This is one of many reasons why matcha tea is much more nutrient dense than standard green tea. Because of the many steps, care, and time it takes to create matcha tea, it tends to be more expensive than standard teas but is beyond worth it!

Remember this when you’re storing matcha tea: it’s extremely sensitive to both light and heat. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a very delicate young tea as most are hand picked in Japan, ground into a powder, then flash frozen to preserve the freshness as soon as they are picked to preserve freshness. After they’re flash frozen, it’s then that they’re packaged into a container. Most matcha tea brands store it in foil or in a dark container. It’s natural that the matcha will oxidize, since that’s naturally what happens when the package is opened and it’s exposed to light. The goal is to keep it as dark and airtight as possible to decrease the time it oxidizes. Another way to keep it fresh it to store it in the fridge or freezer.  I find this optimal for those of you who don’t drink it daily.


What you’ll need:

For me, foam is a must have for enjoying any type of latte, and it’s best created using a hand-held milk frother. For the pictures here, to create the foam I’ve only used a bamboo whisk as most of you would have this rather than a milk frother, and both create a beautiful result! Here is a list of my favorite tools to use when making a matcha tea latte. An added bonus is that they’re affordable, and if you get a high quality matcha tea it lasts a really long time!

Don’t have the tools?

No problem, you can still make a latte!

Instead of the step using a bamboo whisk, just add a small amount of hot water into a mug with the matcha tea and use the back of a spoon to stir to make a smooth, green paste. Finish by adding the remaining hot water and coconut milk of choice. Sweeten with stevia, honey, or maple syrup (optional).

Using a blender:

Simply add all ingredients into the blender + 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and blend for about 1 minute. It gets beautifully frothy! Here’s my favorite blender.

hope you all enjoy this one as much as I do! I would love to hear from those of you who have been to or have engaged in a tea ceremony and how they made matcha, so share your experience below!

xx McKel

The Recipe

Serves 1



1/2 cup hot water

1/2 cup organic light coconut milk (or full fat)

1 teaspoon matcha tea powder

1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup, or stevia to taste (optional)



Add the matcha tea powder to a small amount of hot water in the matcha tea bowl or into your favorite mug.

Using the bamboo whisk, whisk briskly in a up-and-down direction to make a thick, green paste.

Then pour remaining hot coconut milk and water into the paste and stir. If adding a sweetener, add here.

The matcha will dissolve quickly and easily. If you’re using a milk frother, place on the top of the latte and turn on, allowing to froth and foam until your desired texture. Another option is to reserve some of the hot coconut milk and separately froth this in a cup, then gently pour in the match tea mug.

Enjoy hot or warm!


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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • I LOVE your website & instagram <3 Is the coconut milk the kind in a can or the coconut in the milk section?

    • I would go for the coconut milk in the carton, as the caned tends to be better for cooking. I hope this helps you, lovely.

      • I recommend using organic light coconut milk, when mixed with hot water it thins out perfectly 😉

      • I recommend using canned organic light coconut milk, when mixed with hot water it thins out perfectly 😉

        • Oops my mistake I didn’t see that. Thank you for the recipe.

        • Joseph

          Hello Mckel Hill,

          I’m wondering if you would allow us to copy the details on your recipe for our Macha Online store? We will credit you and your website for this recipe. We just wanted to give our customers the best way to our Macha product. If it’s okay?

          Hoping for a positive reply.

          • McKel Hill

            Hi Joseph, thank you for enjoying the recipe but we don’t allow reposting of any kind from the NS blog. Thank you!

  • I’ve been enjoying my daily cup of matcha ever since my friend Elise of http://www.kaleandchocolate.com hooked me on it! But the way you write about it… adds something very sweet and sacred to the ritual. I love it, McKel 🙂

  • Caroline

    Yum! Just got a bamboo whisk and it makes all the difference. What brand of coconut milk do you like best? And where is that teapot from?

  • Kelly Conlin

    Hi McKel!

    Thanks so much for this great post. I’ve always been curious about matcha but haven’t ever tried it. This post was just the inspiration I needed! I saw that you mentioned you had two favorite types of matcha but the hyperlinks weren’t showing up for me. Would you mind linking to them in response to this comment? Thanks so much! I love reading your blog.


  • I started following you when Ksenia of Breakfast Criminals recommended I look at your recipes/website and am so inspired by your healthy concoctions, blog posts and overall lifestyle (not to mention obsessed with matcha lattes). Thank you! xo

    • Aw thank you so much for the kind words, I’m so happy you enjoy reading and thanks for following along xx

  • Amelia

    Thank you for sharing the recipe! I would like to make a latte just like this. Could you possibly re-state what brands of macha you like? The sources above did not highlight and I’m not able to click on them to a link.
    Thanks again!

  • I just find your blog and it’s so lovely! Love your recipes and the concept behind your website.
    Keep going!

    Sara Ottavia C.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, I’m glad you enjoy reading and following along! xx

  • Katherine Jandernoa

    I apologize if I missed this up above, but what high quality Matcha Tea brands do you recommend? I didn’t see any links. Thanks so much 🙂

  • I just received my Matcha tea in the post yesterday. It is such a beautiful tasting tea. I can’t wait to make this recipe. Thank you dear McKel.

  • Claudia

    Love this so much. Thank you for sharing. How hot would you say should the water and milk be?

  • I just love this whole matcha craze! And I love this tea latte, looks utterly divine!

  • Sophie

    I love matcha lattes! I don’t have the whisk either so I just heat coconut/almond milk in a pot and pour it in a blender with the matcha powder and stevia and blend! It helps blend everything really well and even add a bit of froth 😉 yum!

  • Maria

    I think this would taste pretty gross with a tablespoon of stevia, no??? Not sure you meant to write your recipe like that, but thats how it sounds. I love matcha too!

  • Katherine Jandernoa

    This really is a lovely ritual and nourishing tea. Thank you so much for introducing me to, not only the tea matcha, but this thoughtful tradition and process! I think I may have a new morning ritual.

  • Matcha is the best!!

  • Angela Lydia

    I used 2 tsp matcha and cashew milk.

  • Carlotta

    I love this blog! Congrats and thank you for sharing!<3

  • Valerie

    I made this today with almond milk and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in blender. No sweetener. Perfect. I want to ditch coffee in the a.m..

  • Melissa

    What if you don’t have the bamboo whisk?

  • Andrew

    Do you have to do anything to the matcha tea if you are using it in a smoothie?

  • babyboby

    When i see the vibrant green color of matcha i see nature.

    Thanks for this simple yet satisfying recipe.

  • lauren

    What Matcha do you buy? I don’t want to spend a ton, but I’m also wary of buying low-quality tea.

  • mc

    I find that when I use a hand held frother to smooth out the matcha I still always end up with clumps at the end. Any tips?

    • You can use a little water to start mixing the matcha and then add more water as you go! That’ll help the clumps 😉

  • Tanira ferreira

    I loved so much to know about match tea latte!!!!
    Your website is fantastic!!! I loved the way you writing so clear!!!

    • McKel Hill

      Thank you Tanira, and welcome to NS! Happy to have you here xM

  • Bethany

    I took part in an intensive hands-on Japanese tea ceremony class, called Chanoyu, or Chadou in some cases. The actual making of the tea was fast. Every school has a different method or tradition in the procedure of the ceremony. This school focused on delicate smooth movement but when it comes to the mixing of the matcha with the chasen (bamboo whisk) it was a quick flicking back on forth of the wrist only while keep the rest of the body still. First, you had the chasen deep in the water to brush the matcha from the bottom but after a bit you whisk shallower to achieve a frothy finish. What I thought was interesting is that we used very hot water. It seemed hotter than 175F or 90-95C which is what temperature I usually use. But, they were the best tasting bowls of matcha, even when made be my fellow novices. I assume we used extremely high quality matcha and drank it quickly (so matcha would not settle).

    Overall, it was a very zen experience and you should take a class if you have not already.

    • McKel Hill

      Thanks for sharing this, interesting!

  • Georgia

    Firstly! I am so happy I found your blog it is just the inspiration I needed to keep up being healthy! Just a quick question about matcha: you mention coconut or almond milk – would it be bad to add skimmed cow’s milk?

    I’m not a massive fan of the coconut flavour so don’t feel I would like coconut milk

    Thank You xxxx

    • McKel Hill

      Welcome to Nutrition Stripped Georgia! If you haven’t signed up for the free newsletter be sure to do that for extra goodies. I highly recommend using almond or coconut milk, BUT if you do use cows milk, then I would only recommend organic full fat cows milk- not skim. Enjoy! xx M

  • Alyssa

    i had to try this recipe for myself! there’s a place near my work that serves matcha lattes as well. they add cinnamon and cardamom in theirs. so i tried it just like this but with the added spices. Iit was so yummy!! I was missing the coconut oil though so i will try that tomorrow morning to try to get it a little frothier.. thanks for the tip;)

    • McKel Hill

      So glad you tried this out Alyssa- you’re going to LOVE it with coconut oil, it makes it so frothy and creamy 😉

  • Ashley Johnson

    Needed an afternoon pick me up & this hit the spot! Really delicious, will become a staple.

    • McKel Hill

      SO glad you enjoyed it Ashley!

  • Tara

    What would be the ideal temperature to make the tea at? I love a good hot cup of tea but I don’t want to ruin it!
    Thank you!

    • McKel Hill

      I don’t measure the temp- just before it starts to boil!

      • Chnine

        We’ve been drinking our morning matcha (full-fat) coconut milk lattes for over a year now and they’re delicious and gently energizing! The energy boost lasts quite a while with no jumpiness (versus the big bump from coffee). Re: water temp, from the method we use (via a couple different sources, including Andrew Weil), we heat the water to 180 degrees. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt for it to be a bit hotter though (up to mid-180’s). We use high quality culinary grade matcha (Eco Matcha) … there are a couple good ones out there.

  • Cha

    i really love matcha tea so i really want to try this one! thank you!

    • McKel Hill

      You’ll love it Cha!

  • Jessica

    Wow, this post makes me craving my next matcha latte. Honestly I prefer to use almond milk instead of coconut milk, as it has kind of a stronger and distinct flavor and aroma than almond milk. Still they are both great choice though.
    I found one very nice recipe for matcha latte with almond milk which you can check out here: http://www.cookvibrant.com/matcha-latte-almond-milk-recipe/

    Thank you so much for the recipe McKel and keep up us posted with more awesome posts like this one. I just love your blog.

  • Marla

    I just ordered coconut cloud creamer and thought to mix it with matcha green tea for an instant latte mix at work. Would this work and would I need to add anything else? What proportions would you use?

    • McKel Hill

      I’m not sure what brand it is, but if it’s a “creamer”, I’d say about a tablespoon!

  • Heather

    I like using soy milk

  • Yunomius

    I sell matcha as a global launchpad for small-scale tea farms & factories, but this post has made realize: We really need to work on our photography! Beautiful photos!! Matcha from small family tea farms are at http://www.yunomi.life/collections/matcha

    A quick primer on matcha production.
    1) Tea fields are fertilized for flavor. The heavier the fertilization, the stronger the flavor.

    2) Tea plants are shaded for 4-5 weeks after the new buds come out. In general this is spring as spring leaves have the strongest flavor, but lower quality matcha will also come from summer and autumn flushes of leaves. As the year progresses, the leaves have less and less flavor / color. If machine harvesting, a plastic material covers the hedges directly. If hand-picking (only a very small percentage of matcha produced is hand-picked) then canopy shading is used. The highest quality matcha will use labor-intensive traditional material (straw, bamboo scaffolding).

    Note, the shading reduces the antioxidants in the leaf, thereby reducing the bitterness. On the other hand, it also preserves the theanine, creating the umami savory flavor.

    3) Leaves are harvested by machine or by hand, taken immediately to a factory to be steamed and dried in a special oven. No rolling is done which makes it different from other types of green tea. The resulting leaf is called “tencha” though it’s still in its rough state. The lowest quality matcha can actually be made with special techniques using the rolling machines meant for sencha. In that case, it would be called “mogacha” not tencha, and the resulting powder would be called matcha by some and an imitation by others.

    To preserve the leaf for processing at a later date, it can be flash frozen after steaming and before drying.

    4) The tencha is refined…stems and dust are removed, the leaves chopped into smaller flakes.

    4A) The highest quality matcha will be stored in refrigeration for another half year to allow the bitterness to degrade even further.

    5) The tencha is ground into matcha. This can be done by stone mill (more expensive matcha) or by other pulverization machines…some of which have gotten very sophisticated and are able to produce quite excellent quality. At this point, as a powder, the matcha’s flavor, color and aroma degrades much faster than normal tea, and you’re right, exposure to light, humidity in the air, should be minimized.

    Okay…I suspect this unsolicited comment may be deleted, so copy paste.

  • Sabrina Dawn

    I tried this but with rice milk (Rice Dream brand) and it worked very well too!

  • Katrina Mach

    How do you properly make tea via a tea bag?

    • Matcha tea doesn’t come in a tea bag because it’s not just a leaf steeped in water, it’s the entire leaf which contains the fiber- you’ll have to use powder linked in the blog post! xx

  • Janet Pichardo

    I tried your recipe with warm almond milk and a table spoon of coconut oil. Sooo delicious! Way healthier alternative to the Starbucks matcha green tea latte! Thanks so much for the post!

    • McKel Hill

      I’m so glad you liked it! Matcha is so good by itself, it doesn’t need all of the sweetener that Starbucks adds!

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