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Here’s how to make matcha! This method shows how to make a cup of delicious Japanese green tea to enjoy at home.

How to make matcha
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Are you a tea lover? Then there’s quite like a steaming cup of matcha, aka Japanese green tea! This Japanese beverage has spread across the world: and for good reason. It’s full of anti-oxidants and a great healthier morning caffeine boost. You can make it into a matcha latte or iced matcha latte, but our favorite way to drink it? Straight up in a cup. The purity of the bitter, herbal flavors is incomparable. Here’s how to make matcha at home! (This recipe is for home use, not related to the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.)

What is matcha, aka Japanese green tea?

Matcha, aka Japanese green tea, is a fine powder made of ground green tea leaves that originated in East Asia. It’s consumed as part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and plays an integral part in Japanese culture. There’s a complex set of ceremonial intricacies to the tea ceremony (read more here). The method below outlines how to make a cup of matcha for enjoying at home.

Matcha tastes grassy and earthy. It can be consumed as a cup of tea, or as a latte like matcha latte or iced matcha latte. It’s also a popular flavor for ice cream, cakes, cookies, and more. Matcha does contain caffeine: more than typical green tea, but less than coffee.

How to Make Matcha

Grades of matcha

Here’s an important thing to note about matcha: there are three different grades! These grades have distinct differences in quality and flavor:

  • Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest grade and fit for tea ceremonies; it has the brightest green color and smoothest flavor (buy it!)
  • Latte grade matcha is slightly less bright green and has more bitter flavor (buy it!)
  • Cooking grade matcha is greenish brown in color and fairly bitter

For a cup of matcha, you’ll want to use ceremonial grade or latte grade (we used ceremonial). The difference in color and flavor is very noticeable! The ceremonial grade makes the most brilliant color and tastes much better than the other grades.

Matcha types
Ceremonial grade, latte grade, and cooking grade matcha

Equipment for making matcha

Before you make a cup of matcha, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment! Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Spouted matcha bowl: It’s easiest to whisk using the special bowl: it’s just the right size for whisking. Try this spouted bowl (and bonus: it doubles as a salad dressing pitcher!). You can also buy a large matcha bowl called a chawan.
  • Matcha whisk (chasen): This bamboo matcha whisk is just the right size and shape for whisking the matcha into a frothy foam.

Some people sift their matcha before making the tea. But with the method of making a paste with a bit of the water first, you can bypass the need to sift. Keep reading!

How to make matcha

How to make matcha

Got your tea and the right tools? Then let’s make green tea! Here’s how to make matcha at home:

  1. Make a paste: Add ¾ teaspoon matcha to a spouted bowl or a glass liquid measuring cup. Add a drizzle of the 2 ounces cool water and whisk to form it into a paste.
  2. Whisk until frothy: Add the remaining cool water and whisk vigorously back and forth until thick foamy layer appears, about 20 to 30 seconds. (For the best froth, avoid whisking in circular pattern.)
  3. Add hot water: Heat 6 ounces water to 175 to 180° Fahrenheit. Mix it with 1 teaspoon honey in a mug (optional).
  4. Combine: Pour the foamy matcha into the mug, then stir gently and adjust the sweetness to taste.

Want to skip the tools?

Don’t want to spring for the special whisk and bowl? We do recommend them for the best experience. But if you want to make it on the spot and don’t have these tools, here’s what to do:

  • Shake in a jar: Shake the green tea powder and cool water in a jar until frothy.
  • Complete the remaining recipe steps as written.
Japanese green tea

More matcha drinks

Matcha has taken off in the US, much due to Starbucks use of it in lattes. But there are lots of other ways to use it: in drinks, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and more! Here are a few more green tea-based drinks we love:

This matcha (Japanese green tea) recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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How to Make Matcha (Japanese Green Tea)


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

Here’s how to make matcha! This method shows how to make a cup of delicious Japanese green tea to enjoy at home.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¾ teaspoon matcha green tea powder*
  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) cool filtered water
  • 6 ounces (¾ cup) hot water (175 to 180°F)
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup, optional

Instructions

  1. Add the matcha to a spouted bowl or a glass liquid measuring cup. Add a drizzle of the cool water and whisk to form the matcha into a paste. Add remaining cool water and whisk vigorously back and forth until thick foamy layer appears, about 20 to 30 seconds. (For the best froth, avoid whisking in circular pattern.) Alternately, shake matcha powder and cool water in a jar until frothy.
  2. Stir the hot water and honey in a mug. Pour the foamy matcha into the mug, then stir gently and adjust the sweetness to taste.

Notes

*For the brightest green color and best flavor, we recommend this Ceremonial Grade Matcha. Latte Grade Matcha can work, but it has a more muted color and bitter flavor. Avoid Cooking Grade Matcha here; the flavor isn’t up to snuff.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Tea
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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6 Comments

  1. Donna M says:

    I just purchased Matcha for the first time. I added 1/2 tsp to hot water and stired to dissolve it. I did not realize until I emptied my cup that all the powder was at the bottome in a thick mess.

    The water was hot and I did stir it vigorously, what am I doing wrong?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! It works better if you dissolve it in a small amount first.

  2. rosita estrada says:

    how do i know if its ceremonial tea will the word ceremonial be on the box

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Every brand is different so you’ll need to compare your options. Generally, it will be more expensive.

  3. Aden Khalif says:

    According to the authors explanation matcha is more than a tea and It will be
    My morning beverage.
    Thanks

  4. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!