I’ve always loved green tea lattes and made a point of ordering one whenever they were in sight. It didn’t take me long to realize though that while commercial green tea lattes were convenient they were definitely leaving me agitated and ultimately fatigued. There needed to be a better way to enjoy this exotic drink without compromising the flavor or authenticity and my health. Fresh homemade green tea latte. Just the idea alone made me crave it. Maybe I’d even go father and add in matcha tea. A double dose of a very good thing.
As you may already know, commercial green tea lattes often use ingredients that us erstwhile health nuts try to avoid. Steamed pasteurized milk and/or canned sweetened condensed milk is typically used which may or may not be an issue for you. However highly processed GMO soy, refined sugar, and artificial flavorings can be. For me there’s no doubt that both of these affect me adversely. Add to that the challenge of finding a green tea latte made with good quality green tea. When you add popular toppings such as canned whipped cream you start moving about as far away from the traditional healing drink as one can get. Time to de-commercialize the green tea latte. A green tea latte using all natural ingredients wouldn’t just taste good; it would also provide a gentle surge of sustained energy, and make me feel rejuvenated rather than depleted.
To create this delicious latte, I started with good quality organic green tea and pure matcha powder. That was crucial for turning this drink into powerful elixir-style beverage; which is what it is and should be.
Green Tea has a very long and interesting history. It was used to make the very first tea beverage and is also the first tea drink to be formally named “tea”. In the 7th century, the ancient Chinese began to produce green teas by forming the leaves into pies which were steamed, molded, and then baked dry. At tea-time, these pies were smashed by a roller and then boiled into a drink. This type of tea was popular until 1391 when it was banned by an Emperor in favor of loose-leaf teas.
Green Tea was later introduced to Korea in the 4th century by a Japanese monk. He brought the seeds of the tea from Mt. Tiantai of Zhejiang Province with him (along with Buddhism) and planted the first green tea in Japan. Japan initially used only this green tea, and even today many tea-makers still use the steaming method. In 1673, England imported Chinese green tea for the first time and later started tea plantations in India where it could flourish as a crop for international distribution.
- Green Tea contains antioxidants called catechins. These scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis.
- A study conducted in Japan that involved nearly 500 Japanese women with Stage I and Stage II breast cancer found that increased green tea consumption before and after surgery was associated with lower recurrence of the cancers.
- Studies in China have shown that the more green tea that participants drank, the less the risk of developing stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer.
- A recent analysis of 22 studies that probed the correlation between green tea consumption and lung cancer concluded that the risk of developing lung cancer was reduced by 18% when increasing daily intake of green tea by two cups.
- Matcha is renowned for numerous health benefits. It’s rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, and chlorophyll which gives it the green color.
- Matcha is considerably healthier than green tea because it consists of the entire leaf. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.
- Matcha is grown only in Japan, where local farmers cultivate it by traditional methods, from growing to grinding. Matcha is farmed by the Yahagi river whose microclimate and misty fog air make deal growing conditions.
I didn’t want to use dairy milk in this latte so I used coconut butter (or coconut cream) instead. Coconut butter adds richness, mild sweet coconut flavor, and a healthy dose of amino acids as well as other important nutrients. It’s great for lactose-intolerant individuals and when combined with water can be used like cream or milk. But you can use whatever full-bodied natural milk you want. Skimming the top fatty layer from a can of full-fat canned coconut milk works great too.
Other additions were fresh mint leaves for enzyme-rich phytochemicals and to stimulate taste buds, and honey for additional enzymes and to boost immunity although the honey is optional. This was blended until smooth and frothy before serving over ice cubes (to jump-start the metabolism).
To keep the tea as natural and enzyme-rich as possible, I steeped it in lukewarm water instead of hot water. I also used warm instead of hot water to mix the matcha tea. It takes a little longer to prepare this way but it’s a much gentler method for extracting the life-giving properties out of the leaves. You can steep in hot water if you want.
This is one generous drink that’s so easy to make. 1-2-3 and you’re sipping on your own healthy homemade green tea latte. Why settle for anything else?
This beverage is sweet, light, healing, and gently stimulating; a delicious way to derive all the benefits of natural green tea. I hope you enjoy it.
This recipe is dairy/gluten/nut-free, and serves 2 – 3 persons.
Iced Minty Matcha Green Tea Latte
The traditional Japanese way of preparing matcha tea is to whisk the powder into a small amount of hot water until it forms into a paste, then add enough water to create a beverage. I use warm water instead of hot water for gentler extraction and whisk until smooth and frothy. Feel free to use the traditional method if you want, keeping in mind that the warmer the water, the warmer your drink will be.
- 2 pure green tea bags or 2 – 3 tsp bulk pure green tea
- 2 tsp matcha green tea powder
- 2 cups warm filtered water
- 1/2 cup coconut butter/coconut cream or 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves or 8 – 10 drops mint essential oil or 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla-flavored stevia to taste (optional)
- 2 – 4 Tbsp honey or stevia or other natural sweetener of choice to taste
- ice cubes for serving glass(es)
- Add one cup of the warm water to a bowl and whisk in the matcha powder. Set aside.
- Steep the tea bags or bulk tea in the other cup of warm water for at least 15 minutes (depending on how strong you want it).
- Remove the green tea bags or bulk tea and add tea to a blender. Squeeze out any excess moisture from tea bags back into the blender jar.
- Add the matcha tea and remaining ingredients (except serving ice cubes).
- Blend until very smooth and frothy.
- Pour into serving glass(es) with ice cubes and enjoy.
- Yields about 2 1/2 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated without the ice cubes up to several days. If storing, blend again until frothy before serving over ice cubes.