What does matcha taste like?
Matcha has a savoury umami flavour that is both fresh and earthy, due to the amino acid l-theanine.
Newcomers to matcha ask us all about the flavour and how to prepare the perfect matcha latte, and the best way to answer properly is to compare matcha to coffee.
What I mean by that is that just like with coffee, you can create a matcha beverage to suit your tastes.
Can the Quality of Matcha Impact Its Flavour?
Yes, how matcha tastes depends on the quality and where it is grown. We have opted to source our matcha powder from Uji, Japan. Firstly, because of the region's renown and secondly because this matcha is a touch sweeter than other heavy, earthier matchas.
You can read more about the impacts of poor-quality matchas here but overall a poor-quality matcha can be seen immediately; the powder will be a dull green-brown. The second you open your pouch or tin of matcha powder you should immediately smell the freshness and see a beautiful verdant green tea. A poor quality matcha will taste just like it looks: dull at best, but bitter and far too earthy at its worst.
The other factor to describing how matcha tastes is preparation.
Matcha first and foremost is a tea, but the way we handle it, from preparation to taste is similar to coffee. The way to start your matcha will always be the same: combine 60ml (if using an electric whisk) of 80 degree water (never boiling water, this is a cardinal sin and will burn the powder) or 30ml if using a traditional matcha whisk with to 1-3g of matcha powder. I've given you some inspiration for what you do next but it really is up to you.
The Matcha Espresso
Matcha powder combined with a shot of water should be thought of as your espresso. It is strong and slightly bitter depending on your pallet. Traditionally, you can have a thinner or thicker drink depending on how much matcha you add. Due to the strength of the matcha, wagashi, a traditional Japanese sweet can be enjoyed alongside to balance out the matcha, however, a cookie also pairs really well!
The Matcha Latte
Matcha powder combined with a bit of water and milk (oat milk is our preference) is your latte, it’s a better intro if you’re new to matcha and want a creamier drink. You can add a syrup as with a regular latte. We would recommend the barista range from Sweet Freedom, especially their vanilla syrup as it goes beautifully with the natural sweetness of matcha. A matcha latte can be served both iced or hot, just remember to prepare your matcha first with 80 degree water.
The Matcha Hot Chocolate, The “Macha”?
Matcha also goes well with white chocolate, so we would recommend adding about 40-60g (depending on how indulgent you're feeling) of chopped white chocolate to 250g of hot milk. Whisk that up using the best whisk in town and then add a shot of matcha powder prepared with 60ml of 80-degree water then combine.