Here's What Matcha Taste Like & 3 Ways To Make It Taste Better (2023)

Matcha is super green and it’s taking the health world by storm. It’s actually not a new trend that’s recently become popular. In fact, it’s been a part of Japanese culture for over 400 years where it’s used in Japanese green tea ceremonies.

Unlike standard green tea where you steep the leaves and drink the liquid, matcha is made from the whole tea leaf and comes as a green powder, which you whisk with hot water and end up with a tea with a rich green color that has a slightly vegetal taste. You can even bake with the powder or use it to make green tea cappuccinos.

So, what does matcha taste like?

Matcha tastes similar to green tea because they’re essentially the same thing. However as ceremonial grade matcha has more chlorophyll than green tea, many describe the taste as a mild grassy taste similar to seaweed.

Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis while matcha powder is derived from the ground leaves of the exact same plant. In making matcha the plants are shielded from the sun before being harvested to encourage more chlorophyll pigment (fun fact: this is why matcha has such a vibrant green color).

  • Is Matcha Supposed To Taste Good?
  • How To Make Your Matcha Taste Good
    • Buy High-Quality Matcha
    • Add Some Flavoring
    • Add Some Fat
  • Other FAQ
    • Does Matcha Taste Better Hot Or Cold
    • What Flavors go well with Matcha
    • Do More People Prefer The Taste Of Matcha To Green Tea?
    • Why Drink Matcha Anyway? What are its Benefits?
  • The Bottom Line
(Video) 11 Tips to Make Your Matcha Taste Good!

Is Matcha Supposed To Taste Good?

For many people, matcha is an acquired taste. But if you’ve been drinking matcha consistently, and still don’t like it, there could be something else at play. If you’ve never tried it, and are wondering what does matcha tastes like; good matcha will taste smooth, buttery, and somewhat sweeter than green tea. People often describe matcha green tea as grassy. Matcha has an ever-so-slightly thicker consistency than green tea; this is because the matcha powder infusers thoroughly with the water, unlike steeping a green tea bag in boiling water.

The quality of the matcha makes a huge difference when it comes to taste so if you think it tastes bad, it could be that you haven’t gotten good quality tea. Ceremonial grade matcha or culinary grade matcha – while pricey – tastes considerably better. Matcha is not supposed to taste bad but it’s also not meant to taste particularly good either, or at least, not very sweet like iced tea or a smoothie.

Matcha can taste exceptionally bad if you are not brewing it correctly. You cannot brew it like a regular cup of tea. The matcha first needs to be whisked in a little bit of water before the remainder of the warm – or cold – water is added to the drink. It may seem like an arbitrary extra step, but it makes a difference. The water added to matcha should not be boiling hot as this can also ruin the taste.

How To Make Your Matcha Taste Good

Buy High-Quality Matcha

First, make sure you’re buying high-quality matcha. There are 4 kinds of Matcha green tea: Tencha, Koicha, Usucha, and Hiyasu. Every kind has a different purpose in the tea-drinking ceremony. There is a fifth kind of matcha that is called “culinary grade”, which has no ceremonial value and is used when making things like matcha cookies or muffins. You don’t have to buy the most expensive matcha, but don’t choose the cheapest either. It may take some experimentation to find the right one for you. Higher quality matcha will have a better flavor, but it may also contain higher levels of beneficial polyphenol antioxidants. Good quality matcha:

• Should be a powder the texture of baby powder.

• Shouldn’t be dark in color as that indicates low quality.

• Should be a vibrant shade of green.

(Video) how to make "the happy buddha", which tastes like the best matcha milkshake ever

Drinking matcha is a little bit more than simply pouring hot water over powder. It’s a whole different ball game, like drinking a fine wine or sipping on the most beautifully blended cognac ever. So, choose wisely and prepare mindfully.

The best ceremonial matcha tea comes from Japan. You can find Chinese versions that are cheaper, but they usually don’t taste as good. Also, matcha tea powder, even organic culinary grade matcha powder, can contain unhealthy amounts of lead. The plant takes up lead easily from the soil, and you consume the whole leaf. If possible, buy a brand that undergoes independent testing for heavy metals and impurities. Don’t overdo it, and don’t give it to a child since they’re more susceptible to even small quantities of lead.

Add Some Flavoring

When making a matcha latte, embellish it with some flavoring. Vanilla coffee syrup or a small amount of vanilla extract will add a pleasing flavor. Another coffee syrup flavor that goes well with matcha is cantaloupe coffee syrup flavoring. Experiment with several flavors of coffee syrup and see which appeals to you most.

If you don’t like matcha in tea form or as a latte, look for recipes online for baking with matcha. You can add matcha to a pancake mix for green pancakes with extra health benefits, make matcha cookies, and even add matcha to homemade dark chocolate. Some people sprinkle a little into their morning bowl of porridge or stir it into a container of yogurt.

Dairy and non-dairy puddings made with matcha and cocoa powder are popular too. How about adding a pinch to a fruity smoothie? Every day, people are coming up with new recipes that use matcha powder. Explore and experiment.

Another way to get the health benefits of matcha if you’re not crazy about the flavor is to add a small amount of matcha powder to a spice shaker that contains a spice mixture. With the other spices, you won’t notice the flavor but will still get the health benefits.

Also, try a squirt of lemon in matcha tea. The citrus will mask the bitter notes and give it a livelier flavor. There’s another perk – citrus also enhances absorption of the antioxidants in green tea.

(Video) This is the reason why matcha tastes like crap or fishy 😔

Add Some Fat

In the age of “bulletproof,” it’s also popular to add some fat to matcha. One of the most popular is to add a teaspoon of medium-chain triglyceride oil, perfect if you’re on a keto diet. Plus, adding fat helps you better absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.

Other FAQ

Does Matcha Taste Better Hot Or Cold

If made right, matcha tastes good hot or cold. However, cold matcha might be preferable. It seems to come out less bitter. Boiling water can ruin the flavor of matcha, leaving your drink tasting burnt and dull.

Many people don’t like hot matcha because they’re actually brewing it wrong. Bitter matcha is usually due to poor quality tea or from burning your drink with boiling water.

What Flavors go well with Matcha

There are lots of flavors that go well with matcha.

Chocolate and matcha are a match made in heaven because it makes the flavor richer, and take the edge off the grassy notes. You might notice that lots of candy and desserts in Japan combine matcha with chocolate – for good reason!

Lemon also pairs well with matcha. It helps to add some bright notes to matcha’s grassy flavor. It has the added bonus of making this health drink even healthier. Some research notes that adding citrus to matcha tea helped to increase the number of catechins in the tea the body could absorb. Catechins are compounds that act as antioxidants. So this is a win-win.

Vanilla can also add some sweetness to matcha. Many people add a vanilla pod or some vanilla flavor syrup to their matcha tea to cover the vegetal aromas and slight bitterness.

(Video) Does Temperature Affect Matcha Taste?

Honey can also add some sweetness to matcha tea while helping to dull down the vegetal taste.

Although you can use any milk in a matcha latte. Almond milk is a big hit because it’s naturally sweet. The almond can help to mask some of the slightly bitter taste and add a bright nutty flavor.

Believe it or not, coconut can also go well with matcha green tea. As mentioned earlier, combining fats with matcha can improve the taste and help reap the benefits of fat-soluble vitamins. Coconut is a good source of healthy fatty acids. This is why you might notice some coconut milk matcha lattes on cafe menus (some recipes even suggest adding coconut oil too!)

Do More People Prefer The Taste Of Matcha To Green Tea?

Taste is subjective, so some people will like one of these teas more than the other. Matcha seems to be a lot trendier than green tea. Personally, I much prefer a good quality ceremonial matcha tea to any standard green tea. Matcha has grown beyond tea with matcha lattes, bubble tea, candy, and desserts hitting the market, so it wouldn’t be so popular if people didn’t like it. Plus, it’s a little bit sweeter and creamier than regular green tea, which is why many people prefer it.

Why Drink Matcha Anyway? What are its Benefits?

Matcha is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which are linked with protection against heart disease and cancer in some studies, although more research is needed. Some studies find that it may modestly improve blood sugar control too.

Plus, matcha green tea provides a gentler state of alertness compared to coffee. It contains caffeine, but the amount is less than in a cup of coffee. Additionally, it contains theanine, an amino acid that calms your mind by activating a neurotransmitter called GABA. With theanine in the mix, you get a relaxed state of alertness rather than the jitters. There are a lot of reasons why you should drink matcha: improved memory, energy levels, mood, focus, and productivity.

With possible benefits like these, it’s not surprising that people drink matcha tea for its health benefits. The downside is not everyone appreciates the taste. It has a somewhat grassy taste that some love, but others can live without. Are there ways to make matcha taste better?

(Video) Drink Matcha Tea Every Day, See What Happens To Your Body

The Bottom Line

Matcha, a finely ground powder of green tea leaves, is the perfect solution to stay energized and alert throughout the day. Now you know some ways to make it more flavorful and best enjoy its health benefits. The most important aspect of preparing matcha is the drinking. Drinking matcha is like a ceremony. It’s a way to relax, meditate and enjoy the whole mind-body connection that you get from combining the ritual of preparation, the flavor of matcha, and the sense of calm energy it brings. Enjoy!


What does a matcha taste like? ›

Ceremonial Matcha Organic Green Tea has a complex flavor profile with mellow vegetal grassy notes, natural sweet nuttiness, a touch of bitterness with a pleasant savory ending.

What is the best thing to mix matcha? ›

If you make matcha often, I recommend investing in a bamboo whisk called a chasen (pictured here). Its special design breaks up clumps and creates a frothy layer of foam on top of the tea. If you don't have one, use a regular whisk or an electric milk frother instead.

How do you make matcha tea nice? ›

using a bamboo whisk and tea bowl
  1. How to Prepare Matcha – Step One. Sift 1-2 tsp matcha into a cup using a small sifter.
  2. Add 2oz hot water. For best results use water just under a boil.
  3. Whisk vigorously in a zig zag motion until the tea is frothy.
  4. Enjoy your matcha tea straight from the bowl.

Why doesn't my matcha taste good? ›

Matcha is filled with chlorophyll; the chemical in plant cells that make it green and make photosynthesis possible. Chlorophyll is sensitive to heat and will start to break down if exposed to extreme temperatures. This break down is what causes matcha to turn bitter.

Is matcha better hot or cold? ›

So, is matcha more effective hot or cold? If you enjoy matcha for flavour, then you may prefer to brew it cold to avoid killing any of the taste. If you prefer drinking matcha for the health benefits it may offer, then those benefits may be more effective in your body if the matcha is brewed with hotter water.

Do you drink matcha straight? ›

Traditionally, matcha is used in Japanese tea ceremonies where it is prepared hot, using a special bamboo whisk. It's whisked in hot water and sipped from a matcha bowl. Matcha usually served with something sweet to balance out any bitterness from the tea.

What can I add to matcha to make it taste better? ›

Options include: orange Peel, lemon or lime zest, cardamom, coriander; fresh ginger and turmeric root (or powder). Unless you have fresh spices available, you might consider using a powdered form to help acclimate to the fine froth of matcha tea.

What is the best way to sweeten matcha? ›

Although correctly prepared matcha is not bitter, it can take some getting used to. Sweetening matcha is another easy way to help make it more palatable. Non-flavored sweeteners like sugar and agave syrup will preserve matcha's natural flavor while sweeteners like honey and chocolate will mask it well.

How quickly should you drink matcha? ›

The nutrients won't be absorbed properly, because the tannins and caffeine in matcha green tea act as obstacles during your digestion. It's best to wait 30–45 minutes before you drink a cup of matcha green tea.

What is the healthiest way to drink matcha? ›

If you want to reap all the health benefits that come hand-in-hand with matcha green tea, the best way to drink matcha is with as little sugar and honey as possible. A little bit never hurts every once in a while, but making a habit of drinking real, organic matcha will help you feel great all day long.

Should i mix matcha with milk or water? ›

Tip: always whisk your matcha with a small amount of water first, even when you're making a latte, as matcha won't blend as well in milk.

Should I put milk in my matcha tea? ›

Please don't put milk in your good matcha, especially if you're drinking it for health reasons. The milk sticks to the polyphenols, which alters (not in a good way) the bioavailability (how well your body can absorb nutrients) of the matcha, and all the goodies just flush through.

Why doesn't my matcha taste like matcha? ›

The matcha might not have been (long enough) shaded and therefore contains less amino acids and chlorophyll which are also responsible for the sweet taste. The leaves might not have been de-stemmed or de-veined (the leave's stems and veins taste bitter).

Why do some people hate matcha? ›

"Lots of people don't like that seaweed flavor and that bitterness; when you add milk or whatever, that takes it away," she says, before giving me a list of matcha cafés to try.

Does boiling water ruin matcha? ›

You simply can't use boiling water with matcha. It will destroy it. Boiling water makes matcha taste really off, and downright bad. This is a major reason why matcha is an acquired taste for so many people.

Is matcha tea good for inflammation? ›

The Japanese powdered green tea, matcha, contains high amounts of substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Is it better to drink matcha in the morning or night? ›

Matcha green tea is best enjoyed before meals, but not after 2 p.m. or if you are sensitive to caffeine. If possible, try having Matcha in the morning or afternoon, but never late at night since it will affect your energy levels, mood, and sleep quality.

Is it best to drink matcha on an empty stomach? ›

Do not drink your Matcha very early in the morning. Avoid drinking Matcha on an empty stomach. It can lead to stomach upset. Don't drink Matcha tea at the same time as your main meals, as it can reduce the absorption of vitamin B1 in your body, which lead to a condition named Beriberi.

Is it OK to drink matcha first thing in the morning? ›

Arguably the best time to drink Matcha is right after you get up or before you leave for work. Matcha provides an excellent caffeine boost and helps you stay alert. It is great to have with breakfast so you start your day feeling energised.

Can you sleep after matcha? ›

Matcha has several natural compounds that can deliver benefits for sleep. The anxiety and stress-reducing capabilities of L-theanine make matcha a sleep-friendly, sleep-promoting dietary supplement. L-theanine reduces levels of cortisol, a stimulating hormone that is part of the body's stress response.

How do I upgrade my matcha latte? ›

Surprisingly, cinnamon goes just as well with matcha as it does with coffee. It's a super simple and easy way to upgrade a classic iced matcha latte with ingredients that are probably already in your fridge. Just a sprinkle of cinnamon and your matcha game has been changed forever.

How do you spice up matcha at Starbucks? ›

If you want to customize your Starbucks matcha drink, you can add a flavored syrup to your drink. Some of the most popular syrups to go with the matcha tea blend are vanilla, honey blend, and toffee nut. You can also customize your matcha drink by adding a scoop of vanilla bean powder.

Why does matcha make me feel so good? ›

Matcha can help make you happy: Another positive side-effect of the L-Theanine in matcha is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals are known to enhance mood, improve memory and promote better concentration.

What milk is best for matcha? ›

Oat milk is another perfect match to matcha. Almond milk is definitely a very good starting point. In fact, its texture is very similar to traditional milk (also its flavour is not too far) but with fewer calories. It has a pleasant, nutty flavour and a creamy texture similar to regular milk.

Is it OK to add honey to matcha? ›

A touch of honey balances the bitterness of matcha in this healthy latte recipe.

What milk makes matcha sweeter? ›

Almond Milk for Your Matcha Latte

Almond milk has a similar texture compared to regular milk with a fraction of the calories. It also has a sweet and slightly nutty undertones which complements matcha well.

Is 2 teaspoons of matcha a day too much? ›

If you are an adult, we recommend enjoying 2-3 servings of matcha daily ⁠— multiple studies around matcha green tea powder have found this to be the healthiest serving of matcha on a daily basis.

Does matcha help your skin? ›

Matcha is an excellent ingredient for the skin as well. Matcha is anti bacterial and contains incredibly high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is helpful in reducing inflammation and to even skin tone. The antioxidants are also known for reducing acne and increasing skin elasticity.

How much matcha per day is OK? ›

Even if there are a great many advantages to drinking matcha, it is essential that you monitor the amount of matcha that you consume. It is advised that you should not consume more than three cups of matcha every day and that the maximum amount you should ever consume in one day is five cups.

Is drinking matcha healthier than coffee? ›

While coffee and match both have their own health benefits, matcha is better for you overall and has fewer potential side effects. It's gentler on the body and is good for you in so many different ways.

Is matcha better for your gut? ›

Moreover, matcha contains high levels of polyamines and, additionally, matcha increases the polyamine production of the gut microbiota. Therefore, matcha intake is expected to improve dysbiosis.

Is matcha better for your stomach than coffee? ›

When it comes to acidity, coffee is more acidic compared to matcha with ph values ranging between 4.85 and 5.13. Matcha is alkaline with ph values of around 9. So if you have a sensitive stomach and you're looking for a less acidic caffeinated morning drink, matcha green tea is a better option compared to coffee.

Is matcha with almond milk healthy? ›

Yes that is correct. The calcium in cow's milk will counteract the absorption of many of the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants in Matcha. That is why I always advise my clients to mix it with almond, coconut or hemp milk as an alternative.

How much matcha powder to use per cup? ›

Just one-half teaspoon of matcha powder per cup provides all the health benefits of matcha tea. Make a thin paste with your matcha powder and a small amount of hot (but not boiling) water. Then add more water as desired, 8-12 oz.

What nuts go well with matcha? ›

optional: pistachios, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts & peanuts can also be used in this recipe. It's best to use raw, rather than roasted nuts. *If you love Matcha, you can increase the ratio in this recipe—try 3 teaspoons Matcha to 6 teaspoons icing sugar.

Can green tea lower your blood pressure? ›

Caffeinated green tea consumption has been shown to lower BP among people with prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension8 and reduce the risk of mortality from all causes and CVD among those with CVD9 and the general population.

Can you put matcha in coffee? ›

Can matcha be mixed with coffee? Yes absolutely. We do that right here in this recipe! They are delicious together.

Why does Starbucks matcha taste different? ›

Here's the answer: Starbucks Matcha is technically not even Matcha, but rather just plain sugar! That's because it's a powdered mix of at least 51% pure added sugar, with some ground green tea added into it.

Does matcha taste good without sweetener? ›

It's still delicious without any added sweetener. Today I'd like to share some tips for how to make a sugar free matcha latte that still tastes delicious.

How do I make matcha dissolve better? ›

Sift your matcha powder

Using a fine mesh tea strainer, push the matcha powder through the sieve with your bamboo scoop. Sifting the green tea matcha powder through the wire mesh strainer will allow the matcha powder to dissolve easier in water.

Who should not drink matcha? ›

You shouldn't drink matcha if you're pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medications.

Does matcha have any negative effects? ›

Possible side effects of matcha Matcha doesn't appear to cause significant side effects when consumed in moderation, but high doses providing large amounts of caffeine may cause headaches, diarrhea, insomnia, and irritability. Pregnant women should use caution.

Is it better to drink matcha hot or cold? ›

The taste of matcha is smoother and more refreshing when the matcha is cold. When matcha is hot, it is much sweeter, creamier, and nuttier. However, many people do consider the taste bitter. If the taste of matcha is too intense, try to make the drink with cooler water.

How do you make matcha taste less bitter? ›

For example, adding honey or agave can help counteract the bitterness. Using what would have been your matcha latte in matcha pancakes or bread recipe can be a sweet way to get out of a bitter situation.

What water is best for matcha? ›

First on the topic of water pH and TDS, fresh spring water tends to generally fit the best composition for matcha tea. That's because softer water tends to bring out the favorable flavors and aroma of matcha.

Do you get used to the taste of matcha? ›

Although correctly prepared matcha is not bitter, it can take some getting used to. Sweetening matcha is another easy way to help make it more palatable. Non-flavored sweeteners like sugar and agave syrup will preserve matcha's natural flavor while sweeteners like honey and chocolate will mask it well.

Is matcha an acquired taste? ›

Many people are curious about this trendy green tea powder. Well, matcha is an acquired taste. If you've never had it before, you will likely not love it the first time you try it.

Does matcha taste better with water or milk? ›

The only difference is the taste. Matcha mixed with water has a mellow grassy taste accompanied by a naturally sweet nuttiness with a touch of bitterness. On the other hand, matcha mixed with milk (a matcha latte) has a sweet vegetal flavor, a slightly bitter taste, and a smooth texture.

What does matcha taste like compared to coffee? ›

Matcha's flavor is described as grassy or earthy, while coffee is renowned for its roasted and sometimes nutty, chocolaty flavor and aroma. Both coffee and matcha have minimal calories and a bitter taste. Though they're both caffeinated drinks, coffee contains more caffeine than matcha per serving.

Why do I feel better after drinking matcha? ›

By increasing the amount of dopamine and serotonin in one's brain, matcha can help improve your mood and drown out any negative thoughts. Mood improvements have also been shown to improve cognitive and learning abilities, so you could almost say that match makes you smarter.

How long does it take for matcha to kick in? ›

Dosage: Consume 1 teaspoon in tea and you'll feel the effects within 30 minutes, which last for a few hours.

Why do some people not like matcha? ›

"Lots of people don't like that seaweed flavor and that bitterness; when you add milk or whatever, that takes it away," she says, before giving me a list of matcha cafés to try.

Does matcha help with anxiety? ›

Matcha tea has one huge advantage over any other caffeine drink, and that's L-theanine. This natural amino-acid in green tea boosts calm feelings and dampers anxiety in those tested.

What can you not mix with matcha? ›

Please don't put milk in your good matcha, especially if you're drinking it for health reasons. The milk sticks to the polyphenols, which alters (not in a good way) the bioavailability (how well your body can absorb nutrients) of the matcha, and all the goodies just flush through.

What milk is matcha best with? ›

We suggest to start with matcha lattes, choosing coconut or almond milk (or even oat, just less sweet). Both milks pair up very well with matcha without cover its flavour entirely.

Why should you not use matcha in boiling water? ›

Boiling water will burn your delicate matcha powder and cause a bitter aftertaste, no matter the quality of your matcha powder. This occurs due to the tannins, a type of polyphenol found in matcha, that are released from the tea when exposed to boiling water.

Is matcha better for weight loss than coffee? ›

Which is better for weight loss: Matcha or a cup o' joe? If you're looking to maintain a healthy weight, matcha might be a better morning friend than coffee. While there's not much research so far on matcha specifically, some studies have suggested a link between green tea leaves and weight loss.


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