It’s Officially Iced Matcha Weather!

Matcha has recently experienced a rise in popularity, with shots, lattes, teas, and even desserts popping up in health stores and coffee shops. Let’s review a few of the businesses around town that make matcha.


Homemade Jade Leaf matcha latte with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

   Matcha, which literally means “powdered tea” in Japanese, is made of tea leaves grown under shade for a few weeks. Many people suggest it as an antioxidant-rich superfood that can lower stress and anxiety, prevent cancer, and improve memory. Almost everyone on the internet was convinced to try it after hearing that. As someone who has never tried matcha before, this is a very unbiased review. 


Starbucks: ★☆☆☆☆

Freshly made iced Starbucks matcha.

Starbucks uses a sweetened matcha powder for all their matcha drinks. The matcha powder has two ingredients: sugar and Japanese green tea powder. Rather than high quality Japanese matcha, Starbucks uses cheap Chinese matcha. With poor quality matcha, the color of the matcha is very vibrant and the taste can be veritably bitter due to the non-authentic matcha powder.  To mask the cheap, bitter taste, Starbucks Matcha contains added sugar. This matcha texture is a bit chalkey. It tasted like pureed pea flavored baby food mixed with beets. The price was $5.25. 


Travellers House: ★★★☆☆

Freshly made iced Travellers House matcha with whole milk.

This matcha was made with 100% whole milk. The texture was a very light green and was smooth. Since it was more light green than usual, I think honestly was just mainly milk because it barely even tasted like anything other than a sort of hint of minty-ish milk? Overall, I would recommend this for a first time matcha drinker. The price was $4.85 – $6.25. 


Homemade: ★★★★★

Homemade matcha.

I had my older sister make this matcha since she drinks it every morning. She used the Jade Leaf Organic Cafe Style Sweetened Matcha Latte Mix. She puts milk in a pot and steams it, then froths. In a bowl, she adds 1 egg yolk, sugar, and 1 Tbsp. of matcha powder. She then takes a small whisk and whips it together to where the sugar and egg yolk are light and fluffy. She pours her milk into a cup and scrapes out her matcha fluff mix. She adds the frothy milk bubbles on top and sprinkles with some cinnamon. This matcha was very smooth and was almost air-like. The frothy milk on top basically acted as “sweet cream cold foam” and the cinnamon sprinkle was a nice touch. This is obviously a more experienced matcha drinker recipe. The estimated price to make this is $15.00.


   Overall, I don’t think I like matcha all that much. I know this drink is something to get used to if you’ve never tried it before, but I’ve never been one to pick a green drink as my first choice. After trying matcha for the first time, I was so disappointed. All these “that girls” are always making and drinking matcha and they make it seem like it would taste really good, but no. Now that I’ve tried it, every time I see someone drinking matcha, I’ll just KNOW that they’re torturing themselves. The green color is off putting and if I wanted something like that, I would go blend up some grass.