Iced matcha green tea latte - Matcha Source

Matcha green tea latte recipe starbucks

Green Tea / April 18, 2017

The answer is simple: don't use too much added sugar or any cow's milk.

  • Cow's Milk Nullifies Antioxidants: Like we mentioned earlier, cow's milk somehow nullifies the awesome antioxidants in green tea. If you want the health benefits of this drink to really pack a punch, give the cow's milk a pass and opt for alternatives.
  • Use Sugar-Free Milk Alternatives: Sugar-free almond milk is a great option for this beverage. If you use any kind of sugar-free milk alternative, give it a sip after you mix it, adding sugar little by little. You might be surprised by how little sugar you actually need for this to be a delicious, healthy, and refreshing drink.
  • Get Ceremonial Grade Matcha Powder: The quality of your powder makes a difference. Is it expensive? You bet it is. However, you get what you pay for. High-quality powders shouldn't have any sugar filler in them. They should just be pure, ground green tea powder. Be sure to check the container's label before buying it. It should only have one ingredient: powdered green tea (or some iteration of that phrasing).

With these three things in mind, you're bound to make a satisfying, nutrient-rich, powerhouse of a drink that's also totally delicious.

Why Is This Version Healthier Than Starbucks'?

This version is healthier because it has a lot less sugar than Starbucks' version. Let's take a look at their ingredients and compare. And let's assume that we're talking about a 16 oz beverage made with almond milk. The following information is based off of what is available on Starbucks' website. The math is a rough estimate obtained by subtracting the amount of sugar in a 16 oz glass of only milk and a 16 oz matcha drink, so the math is going to be a little off since there isn't 16 oz of milk in a 16 oz matcha drink.

  • Almond Milk: Starbucks' version of almond milk contains "Filtered Water, Almonds, Sugar, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)." What's the third ingredient? Sugar—7 grams, to be exact.
  • Matcha: The matcha that Starbucks uses is listed as a "Matcha Tea Blend" containing "Sugar, Ground Japanese Green Tea." With ingredients, you always list them in order of percentage. So, we know that there's more sugar than ground tea in this because sugar is the first ingredient. This can get deceptive because even if you order a "sugar-free" latte, it simply cannot be sugar-free because the powdery blend is at least 51% sugar. If we subtract the almond milk's 7 grams of sugar, we know that the blend has 14 grams of sugar, which is a lot. It's not as much as a soda, but when you think you're getting something healthy, 21 grams of sugar sure is a lot. My version is healthier because it uses ceremonial grade matcha powder, which is 100% green tea powder and absolutely no sugar.

What If You Used 2% Milk Instead?

  • 2% Milk: This has about 25g of sugar in a milk-only 16 oz glass. It bumps the sugar up from the almond milk version from 21 total grams of sugar to 32 grams of sugar. 2%, or even nonfat milk, has the added "benefit" of negating the green tea's antioxidant properties.
  • Matcha: The stats here are the same: it adds 14g of sugar to your drink.

Well, What If I Got Nonfat?

  • Nonfat Milk: Nonfat milk bumps the overall sugar content from 32g to 33g. So, nonfat milk is actually even worse for you in this scenario, as far as sugar content is concerned.
  • Matcha: Still has 14g or so of sugar.

What If I Got Soy Milk? Would That Help? Nope!

  • Soy Milk: A 16oz latte with soy milk is going to go above and beyond nonfat. Your 33g of sugar becomes 34g with this option.
  • Matcha: Still 14g or so of sugar.

The real takeaway here is that there is a ton of sugar in Starbucks' version of the drink, and you can make it much healthier by using unsweetened alternatives and avoiding cow milk.