Matcha milk tea is a beverage that has been increasingly growing in popularity. In a time when many people are paying more attention to what they put in their bodies and turning away from less healthy beverages like coffee and soda, teas are becoming more and more popular.
And matcha milk tea is one of the best of these healthy options. You can even find it at large stores like Starbucks these days. But what exactly is matcha milk tea? How is it made? Is it good for you? What is the best way to get it? Read on to have all of those questions answered.
What is matcha milk tea?
This type of tea is made by combining milk and matcha powder, and usually some sort of sweetener. It is a refreshing beverage with a very distinct green color. Matcha has an earthy, deep flavor that is slightly bitter, but this is offset by the milk and sweetener.
And if you don’t like dairy, that’s fine! This tea can be made with any type of milk or creamer. Almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or other kinds of milk and creamers will all work just fine. Each brings their own unique taste to the drink, so you can experiment to find which one you like best.
If you’re a fan of matcha, then you probably already know what it is. But in case you don’t, matcha is the product of powdered green tea leaves. But these aren’t just any tea leaves. While the process may vary depending on the maker, matcha tea leaves are treated with special care.
Typically, leaves are removed from any sunlight around 20 days before harvesting. This gives the plant time to boost its production of chlorophyll. This is the chemical that makes plant leaves green, and also part of what gives matcha its unique taste.
Other chemicals, like amino acids and L-Theanine, are also increased in the leaves of matcha tea. These chemicals can have other benefits which we will get to later.
Different types of matcha can have different processes, time frames, and ingredients, but this is the core of what match is. And though bubble tea may originate in Taiwan, matcha hails from Southern Japan, and that is where you will find many people growing it with pride.
Once this delicious powder is made, then it is used to make matcha milk tea. But how is that done?
Making matcha milk tea
Making this tea is actually quite easy. It is commonly found in many bubble tea shops and at other tea vendors, but you don’t always have to get it there. Once you have matcha, it’s easy to get the other ingredients involved. So you can make your own delicious matcha milk tea right at home!
Here are the ingredients you will need for matcha milk tea:
- Matcha powder, around 1.5 tablespoons (or as much or as little as you want, to taste)
- 1 cup of creamer, typically some form of milk, like almond milk, but any creamer you like will work
- Sweetener. Two tablespoons of honey are both delicious and good for you, but any sweetener will work
- 1— 1.5 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons of hot water— it should not be boiling, but shouldn’t be room temperature either. Typically around 175 degrees F, or 80 degrees C, is good
To make the tea, start by combining the matcha powder and hot water in a bowl. You need to give it a thorough mixing. You can use a whisk for this, but a common tool is a bamboo brush. Mix it until it forms a bubbly or foamy consistency.
Sometimes this stirring may take a few minutes. Once you have reached the desired consistency, let it sit for a minute, and then pour it into a cup. Mix in your sweetener and the vanilla— and if you don’t want that much vanilla, that’s fine. Use it to your taste preferences.
Lastly, you will add in 1 cup of the cold creamer and stir thoroughly. This will cool your matcha down, and help give it the smooth, creamy texture that it is loved for. If you want it even colder, you can add ice, but that isn’t necessary.
And now you have a delicious cup of matcha milk tea! Remember, there are many ways to make it, and these are just general guidelines. You can change things up and experiment with new ingredients to find methods and flavors that work for you.
What makes matcha tea so good?
Well, a lot of matcha milk tea’s deliciousness comes from the matcha itself, but the other ingredients play a role too. You already know how the leaves are removed from sunlight to let them build up certain chemicals, but more goes into it.
Often, they will take the youngest tea leaves and completely remove the veins and stems. This further helps them develop that intense greenness that contributes to matcha’s deep, earthy flavor.
Because matcha powder can have a bitter note, the other ingredients are important for balancing out the flavors. The sweetener adds some sugar or other sweetness to counterbalance the bitterness of the matcha. The vanilla can further help with sweetness, as well as adding a bit more flavor.
Lastly, the creamer serves two functions. First, it cools the matcha down, which is what lets you enjoy the coldness of every sip. And it also enhances the smoothness of the matcha, leading to the rich, smooth, creamy texture and flavor that matcha is known for.
And matcha isn’t just used in teas. There are many forms of matcha, each of which has different uses. Matcha is used in many baking and cooking recipes, both in Japan and in other places around the world. So while it may be delicious in tea, that certainly isn’t its only use.
Is matcha milk tea good for you?
In short, yes. Many studies have shown a link between matcha, and green teas in general, and better health outcomes. However, it is important to note that these studies don’t definitively prove that matcha causes these benefits: rather, it is simply associated with them. Still, it’s probably safe to assume that matcha, and green tea, have some good benefits for you.
To start out with, tea is almost always a better choice than coffee. The caffeine content is usually much lower, so you can still get your caffeine without having too much. Excessive caffeine use can be a precursor to heart problems, as well as causing issues with sleep, mood, and other health issues.
Additionally, matcha, like many green teas, is high in antioxidants. Specifically, matcha is high in a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This chemical is believed to have cancer-fighting effects, and as an antioxidant, can support many of your body’s systems.
It has shown a relationship with various heart benefits, decreased risk of cancers, decreased risk of diabetes 2, and even possibly helping with weight loss. While it has not been completely proven that it causes these benefits, it definitely has a relationship with them.
Matcha may also help protect your liver, as well as lowering cholesterol levels.
Lastly, matcha green tea, like many teas, may help improve brain function. When you drink it regularly, it can improve attention, reaction time, and memory, all of which are part of a healthy brain. This also means it can help improve focus, so it’s a great thing to drink when you need to focus on school, work, or other tasks.
Clearly, matcha milk tea has a lot of potential health benefits, and is definitely better for you than coffee. So if you were looking for reasons to start drinking matcha milk tea or try it out, there are plenty!
A healthy, delicious tea
From improving heart health to helping with focus and brain function, matcha milk tea has been linked to various health benefits. It is fairly easy to make, and is also available at many tea shops, and even large chains like Starbucks. Plus, with something so delicious and customizable, why wouldn’t you want to drink it? Give matcha milk tea a try, and it just might be love at first sip.