Learn how to make a Starbucks hot matcha green tea latte at home with my easy copycat recipe. This delicious drink only requires 4 simple ingredients!
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I’m a major matcha maniac (sorry, I had to).
I’m a tiny bit passionate about it.
And while I’m all for making a Starbucks run when you’re completely short on time and energy, I much prefer to make my own at home.
You see, you can make a homemade version that not only tastes better (shocking, I know), it’s also going to save you some money. Evidence at the end of this post.
Okay, let me change your life (too much?) by showing you how to make the Starbucks matcha latte at home.
Here’s a quick video demonstration in case you learn better that way!
The written instructions are below.
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Okay, here’s everything you’ll need. It’s only 4 ingredients!
- 1 teaspoon of matcha powder – This is accurate to the Starbucks version, but I personally prefer 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of matcha powder for a stronger flavor.
- 1 teaspoon of sugar, honey, simple syrup, or maple syrup – It’s up to you whether you want to use a natural sweetener or stay close to the Starbucks version. Starbucks uses a matcha powder that’s pre blended with sugar, so use sugar for the most accurate recreation. You could also use vanilla syrup if you enjoy that flavor with your matcha, or add 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract. You can use less sugar for a more mildly sweetened drink.
- 1 tablespoon of hot water – make sure that the water is no more than 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 degrees Celsius) otherwise the heat could damage the matcha.
- ¾ cup of whole milk or milk of choice – I used to make a matcha breve with half milk and half cream, but these days I’m finding that it’s a little too rich for my tastes. The added cream also seems to dull the matcha flavor a little. You can also make this with oat milk for a dairy free version. I recommend this over unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk, which make an inferior latte in my opinion. The oat milk does mask the matcha flavor more than regular milk, so keep that in mind.
What Matcha Powder to Use?
Let’s chat matcha for just a second.
Matcha is made from green tea leaves that have been ground into a fine powder. Unlike traditional green tea, you consume the whole leaf instead of steeping it and then straining out the leaves.
It has earthy flavors that are sometimes described as grassy, sweet, or umami.
Make sure you source a high quality matcha powder for the best flavor. If you cheap out here, your matcha will taste bitter and dull.
I recommend that you always source a Japanese green tea powder since the matcha grown in Japan is usually of higher quality.
You also want to look for matcha that is a vibrant green color instead of dull or brownish.
In the U.S. there are basically 3 different qualities or grades of matcha: culinary, latte, and ceremonial.
- Culinary grade is poorer quality, more dull tasting, and has a more bitter taste. It’s usually a pale green or even brown-green color. It’s good for baking or putting in smoothies.
- Latte grade is a step above culinary grade. The matcha flavor shines through more, and it’s less bitter than culinary grade.
- Ceremonial grade is the highest quality, and it also is the most expensive. It’s a bright green powder. However, the additional cost is worth it for me. I recommend purchasing a small amount of ceremonial grade matcha for your first time ever trying matcha. Then you’ll see what matcha can truly taste like and make an informed decision about whether or not you’re a fan.
You can check out my Matcha Powder Review post where I tested 14 different brands to determine which is the best matcha powder. But for a quick recommendation, I like either the Thrive Market or Encha Matcha Ceremonial grade matcha powders because they taste great and they’re a great price.
The Encha Latte Grade matcha powder is also quite good, but just realize that you aren’t experience matcha to its fullest. In other words, don’t write off matcha until you’ve experienced high quality.
As I mentioned above, Starbucks uses matcha that’s been pre-blended with sugar. You can purchase a similar matcha latte powder from Jade Leaf that’s pre-sweetened.
What Equipment Do I Need?
At a minimum, you’ll need a jar, a saucepan, and a spoon.
I haven’t found anything that works better than a bamboo matcha whisk for whisking the matcha smooth without lumps. I’ll show you a way to do it without one below, but it can be frustrating.
You can froth your milk using a jar or a regular whisk, but for the best results I recommend using an actual milk frother. This is the milk frother I use.
How to Make a Starbucks Hot Matcha Green Tea Latte:
The simple steps for making a matcha latte are as follows:
Measure out your matcha and sugar into a mug.
Pour 1 tablespoon of warm water that’s no more than 170 degrees F or 76 degrees C on top of the matcha.
Whisk using a matcha whisk with a back and forth motion for 20 seconds, or until all clumps of matcha are dissolved.
Now if your mug is too narrow to whisk the matcha in, you can whisk the matcha in a separate bowl.
Then pour the whisked matcha mixture into the mug that you’re using.
How to Make Matcha Without a Bamboo Whisk:
Now this can be accomplished without a matcha whisk, but it’s going to be a lot more effort.
What I recommend is making a paste with the matcha and a smaller amount of water. Use either a spoon or a whisk to break up any clumps.
By making the paste, it’s easier for you to break down any clumps. Then you can thin it out with the rest of the water once the lumps are dissolved.
Frothing the Milk:
Okay, now it’s time to froth your milk.
I own an espresso machine, so that’s how I usually froth my milk.
This can also be accomplished by heating your milk over the stove and then frothing the hot milk with a hand held milk frother or hand pump milk frother.
I have a video tutorial showing 8 ways to froth milk without an espresso machine, so make sure to check that out!
Now just pour the frothed milk over the matcha mixture in the mug!
You can get fancy with latte art if you like, or simply pour it straight on top.
And there you have a matcha tea latte! That was so simple.
I personally like my matcha latte to have a stronger matcha flavor, so I use a higher ratio of matcha to milk.
But this is really similar to the Starbucks version, and it’s great for people who are just dipping their toes into the world of matcha.
This is the perfect drink to get you going in the morning, or for afternoons when you need a little extra energy, but don’t want to down a regular coffee latte (which can give you the jitters).
Health Benefits of Matcha:
Besides tasting absolutely amazing, matcha also contains health promoting properties.
Matcha is high in catechins, including Epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC), a type of antioxidant. An antioxidant is a substance that prevents free radicals from damaging human cells (or living organisms in general). Matcha contains more catechins (antioxidants) per serving than regular green tea since you consume the whole leaf instead of just steeping and discarding the leaves.
Some studies seem to indicate that matcha can be beneficial for reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and could support skin health and your immune system. Read more about the benefits of matcha here.
Matcha also contains an amino acid known as L-Theanine (also simply Theanine). This amino acid can promote alpha wave activity in the brain. Brain wave frequency is a spectrum: it ranges from delta waves (slow) to gamma waves (fast). Alpha waves fall in the middle of the spectrum. When your brain is at the alpha frequency, you’re neither sleepy nor hyper-focused/anxious. You’re calm but awake.
Matcha contains both L-Theanine and caffeine, which will promote a state of alertness but calmness at the same time. Unlike coffee, which gives you a burst of energy which quickly tapers off, matcha will give you the energy from caffeine with the added calmness from the Theanine.
This is sometimes called Zenergy, and I can personally attest to this benefit. Caffeine from coffee gives me the jitters, but I have to drink a lot of matcha to get the same jitters.
How Much Sugar is in the Starbucks Matcha Latte?
A tall hot matcha tea latte from Starbucks contains 24 grams of sugar. A Grande contains 32 grams, and a Venti contains 43 grams of sugar.
You can also order a short (8 ounce) hot matcha latte, which contains 14 grams of sugar.
How Much Money Will I Save Making it at Home?
A tall hot matcha tea latte from Starbucks will set you back $4.58 (including taxes).
If you use all natural and organic ingredients, my homemade version will cost about $1.55.
And if you use the same quality of ingredients as Starbucks, it will only cost you about 84 cents per cup.
That’s an insane savings!
So that’s my homemade matcha latte recipe!
If you’d like to learn how to make all the Starbucks matcha drinks at home, then make sure to watch my video tutorial!
More Matcha Recipes:
- Iced Matcha Latte (Green Tea Frappuccino)
- How to Make a Sugar Free Matcha Latte
- Matcha Cocoa
- Matcha Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
- Best Matcha Brownies Recipe
More Tea Lattes:
- Dirty Chai Latte
- London Fog Tea Latte
- Iced Chai Latte Recipe
- Spiced Apple Tea Latte
- Golden Milk (Turmeric) Latte
More Starbucks Copycat Recipes:
- Starbucks Peach Green Tea Lemonade Recipe
- Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino Recipe
- Sweet Cream Cold Foam Recipe
- Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso
- How to Make a Mocha Latte
- Oat Milk Latte
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Homemade Frappuccino
- 1 tsp matcha powder (see note)
- 1 tsp sugar, maple syrup, honey, or sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp hot water (no more than 170°F or 76° C)
- ¾ cup whole milk (see note)
Place the matcha, sugar, and hot water in your mug (or a separate bowl if you mug is too narrow). Whisk with a matcha whisk until the matcha is completely dissolved and there are no clumps, about 20-30 seconds.
Heat and froth the milk (see note).
Pour the frothed milk over the matcha mixture in the mug. Enjoy!
- Make sure to use a high quality matcha powder, as described in the blog post above.
- See blog post above for recommendations of alternate types of milk to use.
- You can heat the milk over the stove and then use a whisk, jar, French press, or hand held milk frother to froth the milk.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125