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If you’ve been around Live Simply for a while, then you probably know two things about me (okay, probably a whole lot more, but two things when it comes to foods/drinks and trends)…
- I like to stick to basic, yet flavorful, ingredients when I stock my pantry, fridge, and freezer. This means I’m usually the last person in the food-lovin’ world to try out a trendy food. For example: I just adopted the avocado toast trend. So good!
- I have a weakness for coffeehouse-style drinks. There’s just something about the environment of a coffee shop that makes me want to try everything on the menu. Maybe it’s the millennial in me? The need to order a specialty drink is usually halted by the thought of the ingredients, which leads me to trying to recreate these drinks at home. For example: Chai Tea Latte anyone? Or how about a Pumpkin Spice Latte? Both are made with real food ingredients.
When I finally cave in and try the $8 speciality drink at the coffee shop, and embrace the trendiness of being a millennial (even if I’m at the tail end of this generation), posts like today happen: trendy, coffeehouse-style drinks made in the comfort of my own kitchen!
A few months ago, I finally decided to try one of the trendiest fads overtaking every food-related Instagram page: matcha! I gulped at the price of the $8 drink, but finally found myself ordering one while trying to get in some work at a local coffee shop, “One iced matcha latte please!”
Two minutes later the barista called my name and handed me a pea-colored green drink. Cautiously, I took a sip.
“Mmmmmm! That’s good!” I told the barista on the other side of the counter. “How did you make that?”
“Milk, matcha powder, and a bit of sweetener. That’s it! And some ice.” replied the barista.
At this point, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry that I just spent $8 on “milk, matcha powder, and a bit of sweetener.” To make the most out of my indulgent and tasty purchase, I savored every last sip of that drink.
I fell in love with matcha that day. Not the price, but the drink completely won my heart. It was a nice break from coffee or tea, and it left me feeling energized to tackle the work at hand. I vowed that day to figure out how to make this simple blend of “milk, matcha powder, and a bit of sweetener” at home.
And clearly, because I’m writing today’s post and tantalizing you with matcha pictures, that’s exactly what I did. Not only did I figure out how to make a simple matcha “latte” (more like a matcha milk in my opinion) at home, I also figured out how to make a ridiculously simple matcha frappuccino-like drink using one additional ingredient.
Before I share both drink recipes, and you’re seriously not going to believe how easy these drinks are make, let’s talk about this trendy green powder called matcha.
Matcha has been consumed for over a thousand years in the Far East, so while it may be the latest superfood trend in America, it’s actually been around for quite a long time. Matcha is basically the highest quality green tea in a powder form. Instead of infusing the green tea leaves in water, and then removing the leaves from the water before consuming the drink, matcha green tea powder is dissolved in a liquid and then consumed.
Matcha is considered a superfood because it’s high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which are also found in many fruits and veggies, cocoa, and tea. So while some folks may adopt a habit of drinking matcha due to its superfood status, I personally wouldn’t drink it just for this reason. I truly believe there are cheaper ways to incorporate antioxidant-rich foods on a daily basis.
Why drink matcha?
Well, that’s a good question. For me, I look at matcha as a treat drink. It’s something different than a cup of hot or iced tea, or coffee. It’s a satisfying, energy-boosting drink that allows me to feel a bit indulgent when I’m craving a treat. So think of matcha as just one option when you’re looking for a real food treat that also packs health benefits.
One more thing I should note before I share my easy recipes, matcha comes with a hefty price tag. There are various grades of matcha. The higher the price tag usually equals a higher quality matcha. I’ve tried two different matcha powders at home, and have enjoyed them both despite the very different price tags. The good news is that a little bit of matcha goes a very long way, so you need only 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder to make a coffee-house style drink. Which means making a matcha “latte” at home for an occasional treat is definitely the cheaper way to go!
Iced Matcha Green Tea "Latte:" Two Ways
Matcha is considered a superfood because it’s high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which are also found in many fruits and veggies, cocoa, and tea.
Iced Matcha "Latte" (AKA: Matcha Milk):
For each recipe, combine all the ingredients in the jar of a blender. Blend on high for 30-60 seconds, until the powder is completely dissolved. You may need to stop the blender and scrape the sides of the blender jar to incorporate any stray clumps of matcha.
For the Iced Matcha "Latte" (AKA: Matcha Milk), serve immediately over ice, or store in the fridge and consume within a day.
For the Frappucino-Like Matcha "Latte," serve immediately.
As noted above, there are various grades of matcha. The higher the price tag usually equals a higher quality matcha. I’ve tried two different matcha powders at home, and have enjoyed them both despite their very different price tags.
Matcha isn’t sweet, so you really need a sweetener to take away the grassy taste and make it enjoyable. I prefer to use honey. You could also use maple syrup, or even 1-2 pitted dates in the recipes above.
You can definitely cut the frappucino-like matcha recipe in half, if you don’t want a larger serving. Personally, I’ve found that my blenders perform best when I use at least 1 cup of liquid in a recipe.