My favorite hot beverage to enjoy at any time of day is a creamy latte made with authentic matcha. While caffeine-free versions are preferable most days, the slow, jitter-free caffeine release from traditionally made green tea powder can be highly therapeutic when needed.
Never heard of matcha? It is an ancient beverage with roots at least back to the early Tang Dynasty around 1500 years ago. It is made by roasting green tea leaves and then pulverizing the leaves into powder. The powder is mixed with hot water and sometimes a bit of salt for drinking.
Because tea leaves have a propensity for absorbing both good and bad substances from the soil in which they are grown such as fluoride, quality is of extreme importance. What’s more, much of the green tea powder labeled as “matcha” isn’t true matcha at all as it was not grown and manufactured according to traditional methods.
To obtain authentic matcha that is contaminant-free, it is best to source green tea powder grown according to the exacting standards required in Japan.
This is the matcha brand I use. It’s been thoroughly vetted for quality and authenticity. It is also specially packaged to preserve the freshness of the green tea powder.
Warning: authentic, pure matcha isn’t cheap, but once you taste a matcha latte and experience the immediate detoxifying effects of the concentrated chlorophyll (wheatgrass is also loaded with chlorophyll), you will realize that it is so worth it! The amino acid l-theanine is concentrated in matcha which slows the absorption of the caffeine and enhances relaxation while at the same time improving cognition. No wonder matcha was used for special ceremonial occasions throughout history!
Matcha Latte Sweetened without Sugar?
My recipe for a matcha latte below goes further by eliminating the jitter potential from added sugar as well. It is still delightfully sweet, using date syrup made from 100% fruit. This is a great option for those on a gut-healing diet like GAPS or AIP who must temporarily avoid most whole sweeteners such as sucanat, maple syrup, and coconut palm sugar.
Why not honey? I don’t prefer to use honey in a hot beverage as it can negate much of its benefits. This article on why not to cook or heat honey provides more details. I like my lattes piping hot, so the temperature would be excessive for raw honey.
The one trick is to mix it properly, so be sure to follow my guide on how to blend matcha without clumps so you don’t waste any!
More Healthy Hot Beverage Ideas
If you prefer a noncaffeinated latte or hot beverage, try these recipes too:
Naturally Sweetened Matcha Latte Recipe (dairy free option)
This recipe for a matcha latte is enjoyably sweet and creamy without any sugar with the option for your choice of dairy or nondairy milk. Has detox benefits from the chlorophyll in the green tea powder with no jitters from the slow caffeine release.
- 1 large mug
- measuring spoon
- small pot
- 1 half pint mason jar or whisk
Add 1 teaspoon matcha powder to a large mug.
Pour in hot water and stir to mix well.
Pour milk into a small pan and heat on medium-high.
While milk is heating on the stove, stir the date syrup into the mug with matcha tea blended with hot water.
When the milk is hot and starts to foam, add to a half pint mason jar, screw on the lid and shake vigorously to add additional froth. Alternatively, you can whisk the hot milk in the pan to add more foam.
Pour frothing milk into the mug and stir briefly.
Sprinkle a pinch of matcha powder on the top of the latte and serve immediately.
Use coconut milk if you want a dairy free latte. Using additive-free whole coconut milk powder is an easy way to make just 1/2 cup quickly for a latte!
If using raw grass-fed milk, be sure to heat no higher than 118 F/ 48 C in order to preserve the probiotics and beneficial enzymes!
If using almond milk, I recommend the plain bottled brands in the refrigerated section of the health food store with no chemicals, synthetic vitamins or sugar added. Do not use almond milk in cartons. The linked article explains why.
Making your own is also a great idea. I use these recipes for homemade milk substitutes.
Do not EVER use soy milk to make a latte.