The ultimate guide to perfect matcha lattes at home – Singapore Edition

We tried more than 20 permutations of matcha lattes and used up at least 4 litres of milk so you don’t have to.

For many of us, our first brush with matcha took the form of a matcha latte in a café. Most of us also know that unlike its coffee-based cousin, you do not need any fancy equipment or serious barista skills to make a great matcha latte in the comfort of your home.

So what’s stopping us from giving it a try at home? Perhaps it is the perceived amount of time required, or a lack of confidence in the recipe or process. Today, we will attempt to demonstrate that making great matcha lattes at home is both economical and easy. Coupled with natural properties that makes matcha a potentially healthier alternative to coffee, there’s simply no reason why matcha lovers should not try making matcha latte at home (especially while WFH remains the default mode of work)!

In fact, all you need to make café quality matcha lattes at home is a good understanding of the main ingredients of the matcha latte and the methods of mixing matcha and water.

How to make great matcha lattes at home 

Want to avoid wasting time and matcha in fine-tuning your homemade matcha latte? Start by reading up and avoiding the usual mistakes. In this section, we cover basic principles, analyse preparation techniques AND run through common issues when trying to make cafe-worthy matcha lattes at home.

If you’re reading this guide, you probably have gone out to a café specifically for matcha lattes more than twice or have purchased some matcha in the hopes of making a matcha latte at home.

The good news is that the material in this guide is simple to follow and execute. If you are capable of stirring liquids and pouring them from one vessel to another, you should be able to find success in making café quality matcha lattes at home with this guide!

There are some great cafes in Singapore for matcha latte, but when each of these drinks are upwards of $6 a glass, the costs can add up quite quickly! Many matcha drinks are typically also sweetened liberally. They also seem on the sweet side even with the “less sugar” option. Since we’re all spending more time at home these days, now is the best time for you to try making your own matcha latte at home.

A matcha latte is made of matcha, milk, sweetener and usually, some water. The matcha powder is first mixed into the water before sweetener is added. The matcha mixture is then mixed into milk and served.

Sounds easy, but there are a few problems. Below are frequent issues people encounter during this process.

What’s the best matcha:milk ratio?

The problem is, no one can really agree on a best ratio between matcha, milk, sweetener and water. If you were to look for this information online, people recommend anywhere from 1 tsp (2g) to 3 tsp (6g) of matcha powder. It’s easy to say “go with what you like best”, but where do we start and how do we discover our preference without wasting a heap of milk and matcha?

What type of matcha powder is appropriate for making lattes?

A further problem is that different types of matcha powder can have very different tastes. Using the cheapest matcha powder is possible, but usually means you will need to use a lot of sweetener to disguise the bitterness. Assuming we are using good matcha powder so that the bitter funk you normally experience with cheap matcha is nonexistent, the taste can veer from vegetal-grassy (fresh baby spinach leaves/edamame) to umami (marine/mushroom) to nutty (pistachio, hazelnut notes).

For simplicity’s sake, we recommend that you stick to either our Barista Blend or our Superior Blend for matcha lattes. However, for those who are keen to explore something more adventurous, our Chiran Single-Origin makes for a VERY unique matcha latte.

If you’d like to know more about the differences between our matcha blends, you may want to check out our guide here.

How do I mix matcha into my matcha latte?

If you’ve managed to browse some of our other content, you would know that we share several ways to mix matcha and water. You could use a bottle to shake all the ingredients together, or use an electric frother, or a bamboo whisk.

As far as matcha latte is concerned, the main difference is the amount of matcha powder you’ll end up using. Using a whisk usually means you will need more matcha since you are first mixing it into water. Other methods like the frother allows you to omit water altogether and use less matcha.

If you’d like to go into more detail on the different ways of mixing matcha and water, we have a whole article on that here.

But first, what kind of matcha latte are we trying to create? Most of us would agree that a good matcha latte needs to be rich, creamy with a smooth and bittersweet matcha taste. In choosing and scoring the different recipes, we first select for a pleasant matcha taste that stands up well to the milk. Next, we look at the optimal sweetness level and finally texture and ease of preparation.

Because of all these variables, taking the time and effort to test out your favourite may involve using huge amounts of matcha and milk! This may not be practical for everyone, so we decided to conduct our own tests and share the result. If a particular combination sounds like your cup of tea, feel free to start from there and then tweak accordingly. That may save you some time (and more importantly, matcha).

For us, this experiment is focused on finding out the best ratios to use for a matcha latte recipe. As a control, we used the same type of milk (Meiji full cream) and same type of sweetener (powdered brown sugar).

Of course, we tried to be as consistent as possible and used measuring spoons and cups to measure out precise amounts of each ingredient. You should too! This will give you consistent matcha lattes.

We tried 3 types of matcha: the Barista Blend, the Superior Blend and the Chiran Single-Origin. Using type of milk and sweetener as a control, we tried making matcha latte in [20] different ways, slowly tweaking the amount of water, matcha powder, sweetener and trying different preparation methods so that we found the perfect balance.

Our favourite recipe, along with some other noteworthy combinations, are listed out below. But don’t just take our word for it, have a look at the full results table form at the bottom of this page. If the description of a particular combination sounds appealing to you, give it a try. Taste is ultimately subjective and you may just find your favourite from one of the combinations we tried.

For the full list of recipes and our verdict, click here to navigate to the bottom of the page.

Before we introduce our favourite matcha latte recipe combinations, it would be good to share our three (3) main styles of making matcha latte. There are definitely more methods out there, but these are the ones we have personally tried and found to work well. Shaking in bottle, whisk, and electric frother.

Shaking in bottle

This is the simplest method, and really only involves you adding matcha, a liquid and shaking everything together. You only need a mason jar, water bottle or something similar.

The main drawback is the time taken and strength needed. Depending on the amount of liquid in the bottle, you may find yourself shaking the vessel for longer than what is comfortable to get rid of all the clumps. Our verdict: this method is easy to pick up and master, but still needs considerable effort to complete even when you get good at it.

Bamboo whisk 

The bamboo whisk works like any other whisk – you use it to mix matcha into other liquids. The prongs of the whisk are exceptional in breaking up matcha clumps, and allows you to make a smooth matcha shot that you can pour into a glass of milk for that impressively aesthetic matcha swirl.

It does take some practice to become proficient. The first attempts will undoubtedly be awkward or even messy, but once you master it, you’ll see that the amount of effort needed is very minimal compared to an easier method (such as the bottle shaking method above).

One other drawback of using a bamboo whisk is that it is not advisable to use it to whisk matcha directly into milk. This tends to wreck the wood in the bamboo whisk and sometimes leaves it with a lingering damp smell.

Electric frother

 The electric frother promises the functionality of the bamboo whisk and the ease of the shaking method, but does it live up to the hype? In our experience, it’s a qualified yes. The electric frother is very easy to operate and also convenient.

The electric frother blitzes all the clumps of matcha into a smooth mix, and you can directly mix matcha into milk without water.  This lets you get away with using less matcha powder since the taste will be more concentrated without the diluting effect of water.

frothing and whisking matcha tea with electric frother

So why is it only a qualified yes from us? The electric frothers create a large, often ridiculous, amount of foam. Not everyone is a fan of this excessive amount of foam (ourselves included). That’s why our preparation method involves a workaround – our recommendation is to use a small amount of milk (about 50ml) as the “solvent” to mix your matcha powder and make the base “shot”. There will be a bunch of foam created in the process, but not to worry. Once the matcha, milk and sweetener is evenly mixed, you simply pour the remaining amount of milk (about 150ml) in. This drastically reduces the total amount of foam. If you were to directly froth all 200ml of milk AND your matcha powder, the end result might be undrinkable due to the tremendous amount of foam produced.

Another issue is that electric frothers come in various shapes and sizes, so make sure you get one that is powerful enough to deal with matcha. The ones sold in Daiso or IKEA or discount retailers tend to be on the weaker side – only suitable for frothing plain milk. To save you the time, we’ve sourced a good, powerful frother that’s convenient to wash and store for all your matcha latte frothing needs.

Now that you have a better understanding of the preparation techniques involved, it’s finally time to move on to our favourite matcha latte recipe combinations.

The Winning Recipes from our experiments

We drink matcha for different reasons. Some of us are looking for a “fun” drink to enjoy, some of us look to matcha as a replacement for coffee, some others may consume matcha for its health properties. After trying more than 20 combinations of matcha lattes, we settled on these 4 winning recipes. Each of these serve a distinct need, and taste quite different between themselves. 

Our favourite matcha latte recipe boasts a smooth and rich matcha flavor that is robust and tasty with just the right amount of sweetness. It also makes for a very satisfying prep experience. This is the perfect matcha latte recipe for serious matcha fans and those who obsess over iced matcha lattes in cafes.

We love this because it’s the same matcha latte you’d get in a café outside for at least S$6.50. Note: this recipe uses 3 tsp of matcha, so be sure not to consume this too close to bedtime!

Taste wise, this matcha latte is on the smooth-umami side because of the incorporation of our Superior Blend matcha.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp of our Superior Blend matcha
  • 50 ml of hot water
  • 200 ml milk (we used Meiji full cream milk)
  • 1 tsp sugar (we used brown sugar)

 

Directions:

  1. Add matcha, sugar and water into a bowl and whisk using a bamboo whisk. If the matcha has been in the fridge for awhile, we recommend giving it a quick sift to break up any existing clumps.
  2. Whisk thoroughly until smooth. The consistency should be similar to gravy.
  3. Pour out your milk and add ice cubes.
  4. Pour the “matcha shot” into your milk. If you want to achieve the “gradient” or “cloudy” matcha latte look, add some ice cubes and pour the matcha shot over the ice cubes so that the green wisps slowly disperse.

 

Click here for the full recipe. 

If you’re looking to maximise your matcha, one option is to replace the bamboo whisk with an electric frother. This recipe cuts out the need for water so you get a more punchy matcha taste with just two (2) teaspoons of matcha. It’s also quick and convenient so you can make this anywhere – at home, the office or even on-the-go.

Taste wise, this matcha latte veers towards the grassy side because thanks to the Barista Blend matcha. The vegetal notes go superbly with darker sugars and syrups. Try everything from brown sugar, molasses to even gula melaka – the taste may surprise you.

One drawback is that the frother creates a lot of foam bubbles, as explained above. This is not to everyone’s liking but our method outlined below minimises this problem.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp of our Barista Blend matcha
  • 200 ml milk (we used Meiji full cream milk)
  • 1 tsp sugar (we used brown sugar)

Directions:

  1. Add matcha, sugar and 50 ml of milk into a glass. We start with just 50 ml of milk first because the frother generates a lot of foam.
  2. Insert the electric frother and turn it on at full power. Froth the mixture until all of the matcha is incorporated into the mixture.
  3. Once smooth, add the remaining 150ml of milk into the glass and give the entire glass a good stir. This should reduce the volume of foam.

 

Click here for the full recipe. 

If you’re pursuing the healthier lifestyle, then cutting sugar and sweetener is definitely one major way to accomplish your goals. A sizeable proportion of our community expressed interest in a sugar-free matcha latte, and the good news is that we found something that works very well using our Superior Blend Matcha.

The tricky part about sugar-free matcha lattes is that you have to use higher quality matcha since there is no disguising any unpleasant notes with sweetener. The low bitterness and smoothness of the Superior Blend matcha also makes it an ideal blend for making matcha latte without sugar.

This recipe relies on the whisk method. Because there is no sugar, the matcha taste is still quite present.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp of our Superior Blend matcha
  • 30 ml of hot water
  • 200 ml milk (we used Meiji full cream milk)

 

Directions:

  1. Add matcha and water into a bowl and whisk using a bamboo whisk. If the matcha has been in the fridge for awhile, we recommend giving it a quick sift to break up any existing clumps.
  2. Whisk thoroughly until smooth. The consistency should be similar to gravy.
  3. Pour out your milk and add ice cubes.
  4. Pour the “matcha shot” into your milk. If you want to achieve the “gradient” or “cloudy” matcha latte look, add some ice cubes and pour the matcha shot over the ice cubes so that the green swirls slowly disperse.

 

Note: If you think you want an even stronger matcha taste, try reducing the volume of milk in 20ml steps down to land on your desired balance.

Click here for the full recipe. 

If you really, really like matcha, we have something interesting to share. Our Chiran Single-Origin tastes very good as an usucha or matcha tea thanks to its unique nutty-umami flavours.

But when you add it to milk using the frother method, what you get is truly unique. We tried various methods and concentrations to try and keep the costs within reason, and landed up with a recipe that requires only 2 tsp of matcha and only two (2) ingredients – matcha and milk.  

The result is an intensely creamy, nutty-umami matcha latte that’s almost naturally sweet. We can almost taste notes of pistachio and hazelnut in this. You definitely won’t find something like this in any café in Singapore. Best of all, there’s also no sugar required in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp of our Chiran Single-Origin matcha
  • 200 ml milk (we used Meiji full cream milk)

Directions:

  1. Add matcha and 50 ml of milk into a glass. We start with just 50 ml of milk first because the frother generates a lot of foam.
  2. Insert the electric frother and turn it on at full power. Froth the mixture until all of the matcha is incorporated into the mixture.
  3. Once smooth, add the remaining 150 ml of milk into the glass and give the entire glass a good stir. This should reduce the volume of foam. 

 

Click here for the full recipe. 

The full list of matcha latte RECIPES we tried 

If you find yourselves with an abundance of matcha, time and/or patience, you may want to  refer to the full list of matcha latte combinations that we tried. Who knows, you may just find your favourite combination. If you know of other recipes that you would like us to try and evaluate, just reach us out to us on email or Instagram and we consider adding it to this table for everyone’s benefit!

Table Last Updated: 7 June 2021

No. Matcha Type Matcha Amount (tsp) Sweetener Type Sweetener Amount (tsp) Milk Type Milk Amount (ml) Water Amount (ml / tbsp) Water Temp Preparation Method Verdict Comments
1 Superior 3 Brown sugar 1 Meiji full fat 200 50 Hot Whisk Recommended Strong matcha taste, pleasant sweetness. Smooth.
2 Superior 3 N/A 0 Meiji full fat 200 50 Hot Whisk Too strong, overwhelmingmatcha taste
3 Superior 3 Brown sugar 0.5 Meiji full fat 200 50 Hot Whisk Very intense matcha taste. May be too much for most
4 Superior 2 Brown sugar 1 Meiji full fat 200 30 (2 tbsp) Hot Whisk
5 Superior 2 N/A 0 Meiji full fat 200 45 (3 tbsp) Hot Whisk Recommended Tasted pretty good, balanced matcha taste without bitterness.
6 Superior 2 Brown sugar 0.5 Meiji full fat 200 30 (2 tbsp) Hot Whisk
7 Barista 3 Brown sugar 1 Meiji full fat 200 50 Hot Whisk Strong matcha taste but more on the grassy side. Smooth and sweet.
8 Barista 3 Brown sugar 0.5 Meiji full fat 200 50 Hot Whisk Strong matcha taste, moderate bitter – may be too strong for some.
9 Barista 2 Brown sugar 1 Meiji full fat 200 30 (2 tbsp) Hot Whisk Lighter matcha taste, milk taste is balanced out by the added sweetener
10 Barista 2 Brown sugar 0.5 Meiji full fat 200 30 (2 tbsp) Hot Whisk Lighter matcha taste, milk tends slightly overpowered
11 Chiran Single 2 N/A 0 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother Recommended Interesting and unique matcha flavour.
12 Superior 1.5 N/A 0 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother
13 Superior 1.5 Brown sugar 0.5 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother
14 Superior 1.5 Brown sugar 1 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother
15 Superior 2 N/A 0 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother Stronger matcha taste but lacks balance.
16 Superior 2 Brown sugar 0.5 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother Milk but pleasant matcha taste. Good for beginners.
17 Superior 2 Brown sugar 1 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother Pleasant but quite sweet – too sweet for our liking
18 Barista 1.5 Brown sugar 0.5 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother Light but pleasant matcha taste. Tastes mildly sweet only
19 Barista 1.5 Brown sugar 1 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother
20 Barista 2 Brown sugar 0.5 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother Less milky than the version using Superior Blend. Taste lighter but still pleasant.
21 Barista 2 Brown sugar 1 Meiji full fat 200 N/A N/A Frother Recommended Smooth, milky and nicely sweet. Grassy notes compared to Superior Blend. Enjoyable.

Try Naoki Matcha today

We work with tea estates, factories and tea masters to create matcha blends tailored to your needs. Free standard shipping for Singapore. Also available on Lazada, Amazon.sg and Shopee.

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