Everything you need to know about perfecting a homemade matcha drink

By now you’ve probably seen people in cafés or on your social media feeds swapping coffee for mugs of the ever so trendy matcha latté, a form of powdered green tea. These cups of antioxidant goodness seemed to have appeared out of nowhere as the hottest trend everyone should try at least once, with the global market reaching an estimated value of $2,862.61 million in 2023. However, matcha is certainly not new. In fact, the story goes that in the 1100s a Buddhist monk returned to Japan from China with tea seeds that were later grown and turned into what we know as matcha powder.

While a trip to Japan to sample matcha straight from its original destination may be a dream for many, matcha lovers and newbies don’t need to jet off to savour a high-quality sample. Below is everything you need to know about perfecting your homemade matcha game according to Dané Prinsloo, founder of newly launched Matcha Mami.

Tools and ingredients needed for making a delicious matcha drink

To begin on your matcha-making journey you will need the following:

A high-quality matcha of ceremonial grade, which can be identified for its striking green hue.
A bamboo whisk, known as a chasen, which adds air to your matcha creating a foam/froth texture.
Filtered water to enhance the taste experience.
The milk of your choice.
A sweetener is optional.

“While we can’t list ‘mindfulness’ as a requirement for making matcha at home, I do want to encourage people to look to this process as part of their self-care rituals for the day. In Japanese culture, a matcha green tea ceremony is symbolic of more than just a drink - it’s a centuries old tradition that signifies the beauty of everyday life and being present in the moment. As matcha has gained popularity beyond Japanese culture, I love to pay homage to its cultural significance,” says Prinsloo.

How to make a delicious matcha latté at home
Some matcha has a bad reputation for tasting bitter and like grass. However, Prinsloo is adamant to change the negative perception that many have due to the low quality powders that some cafés are using. “Good quality matcha will have a slightly bitter taste, but it should also have a natural sweetness and umami notes. One doesn’t need to pay a visit to a café to try matcha out; you can truly achieve a delicious matcha drink at home,” she explains.

Step one: Add boiling water into a cup with your bamboo whisk to soften the bristles.

Step two: Add a half or one teaspoon of matcha powder to a separate cup, or small bowl, with your sweetener of choice. This is where you can control how strong you would like your matcha to be.

Step three: Add a splash of hot water (80-90℃) to your matcha powder.

Step four: Whisk the mixture with your chasen to remove any clumps.

Step five: Add the matcha liquid to a cup/mug with the milk of your choice. Should you wish to have it cold you can also add ice.

Is matcha only for drinking?
Celebrated for its abundance of antioxidants, particularly catechins, which are thought to offer numerous health perks, such as potentially combating cancer and enhancing metabolic well-being, matcha has so many benefits and can absolutely be consumed in various culinary creations. “One of the many reasons I love matcha is experimenting and creating mouthwatering recipes in my kitchen. Recently I made moist matcha flapjacks and I can’t wait to trial out some matcha and white chocolate cookies soon,” adds Prinsloo.

If you would prefer to eat your matcha Cape Town’s Mochi Mochi is well known for their matcha soft serve and Joburg-based Ooh la la Artisan Confectionery has been serving up matcha marshmallows and chocolate since 2016.