Matcha coffee, also called dirty matcha, is a smooth, creamy drink with earthy green tea notes. We love it because it's a great alternative to a regular cup of Joe. Furthermore, green tea perfectly complements the slightly acidic and bitter coffee taste.
We created this recipe after trying different combinations to find the one we love most. So if you're looking for a highly customisable recipe, you should try ours out. It's also easy to make and won't clump up in the cup.
First, we'll be showing you how to make the hot drink version. Then, if you prefer a cold beverage on a hot day to refresh yourself, you can try our cold options. Plus, we've included some fun alternatives to this delicious drink. Let's learn how to make matcha coffee!
What is dirty matcha?
Dirty matcha is made of green tea powder, milk, sugar and coffee. Unlike a matcha latte, a dirty matcha latte includes coffee. However, the plain latte drink contains just green tea powder, milk, and sugar.
Additionally, the liquid ingredients are added in a layered way to complete the fusion drink. So if you make an iced version, you'll see a stunning three-tier gradient when you make the dirty version. This colour separation is unlike a green tea latte which is uniformly coloured.
What does matcha coffee taste like?
Dirty matcha taste is bittersweet, creamy and smooth. The green tea adds a grassy or earthy flavour to the otherwise sour taste of java.
Matcha coffee benefits and calories
Drinking this fusion drink may bring some additional benefits. For example, Healthline states that the caffeine in this beverage can enhance mood and brain function. Combining green tea and java can also improve liver health. Green tea is also great for helping you to lose weight.
Skip ahead to the recipe section to recreate our matcha coffee recipe, which has around 200 calories per cup (250ml).
Dirty matcha coffee ingredients
The main dirty matcha ingredients are milk, espresso and green tea powder.
For this fusion beverage, we recommend that you can use ceremonial-grade matcha powder. If you’re looking for a ceremonial powder brand - you should try Chamberlain matcha coffee. Alternatively, you can use culinary-grade green tea powder. However, it might yield a more bitter drink.
Our recommended ratio for green tea powder to milk is 2:1. So, for example, you would add two teaspoons of the powder to your dirty matcha for every 1 cup of milk. Additionally, if you use too much powder (more than our recommended ratio), it may result in a stronger and more bitter taste.
For the coffee, we recommend a ratio of 1 espresso shot to every 1 cup of milk. If you’re using instant coffee, then dissolve 2 teaspoons of instant coffee in 2 tablespoons of hot water for every 1 cup of milk.
It's best to start with our recommended ratio of 2:1 and adjust according to your taste preference. For example, the ratio of green tea to milk is 2:1. Therefore, if you use two teaspoons of green tea powder and 1 cup of milk, then use one espresso shot.
Another tip is to include freshly made espresso from high-quality beans in the list of dirty matcha ingredients. While you can also use instant coffee in powder form, a fresh espresso shot will taste the best. The coffee should be piping hot to allow the green tea or milk to mix smoothly.
For this concoction, you can use any milk of your choice. Our recipe uses coconut milk as it is the best type of milk for frothing. Some popular plant-based alternatives that go well with green tea include oat, almond, and coconut milk. Oat milk gives additional sweetness and creaminess to the drink. Furthermore, almond and coconut milk give the beverage a sweet, creamy, and nutty flavour.
Although optional, you can add sugar or sweetener to heighten your beverage. You can use any sugar or sweetener that you prefer. Some popular options that go well with green tea include stevia, honey, and regular sugar.
Stevia is a natural zero-calorie sweetener that does not take away the flavour green tea has to provide. Furthermore, honey adds a wonderful floral sweetness to the drink and is our go-to sweetener to use. Ultimately, the best sweetener for the drink is a matter of personal preference. Experiment and see what you like.
How to make matcha coffee (hot)
Here's our simple recipe for making a hot matcha coffee latte.
Froth the milk in a separate mug with a whisk. If you do not have a whisk, pour the milk into a jar with a tight lid. It should fill only ⅓ of the jar. Shake the milk vigorously in the jar. Then, pour milk over the green tea mixture. Finally, add the coffee on top.
Hot dirty matcha coffee is typically a single-coloured drink with no distinct layers. The drink's colour will depend on the ratio of green tea powder to the coffee used. You may get a light ombre effect, but the java will dissolve quickly in hot water. Therefore there are no discernible three layers, as you would get with an iced dirty matcha latte.
If you need to make dirty matcha ahead of time, you can! For example, you can brew espresso and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can also mix the green tea powder with water to create a green tea concentrate and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. Store it in the fridge without the milk or any cream. To ensure freshness, add the milk or cream just before serving the final concoction.
How to make dirty matcha (iced)
Here's a simple recipe for making an iced matcha coffee latte.
You will first add sugar or sweetener to green tea powder in a bowl. Next, whisk the green tea powder and sugar in hot water (about ¼ cup) together. Pour the green tea mixture into a glass and add ½ cup of ice.
Then, froth the milk in a separate mug with an electric milk frother. Pour frothed milk over the mixture. Add more ice cubes if you need them.
The last step is to brew the coffee. It needs to cool down before you add it so it does not dissolve into the previous layers. Add coffee on top to make matcha coffee. To store this drink, simply place it in the fridge.
To achieve three layers in your iced dirty matcha latte, you will need to add sugar according to the order of the drink component.
The sugar content is what keeps the layers separated. Without sugar, the layers will dissolve into each other easily. The liquid that has the most sugar will sink to the bottom. Therefore, you should see that the different coloured layers in this drink are layered according to the sweetest component. For example, you would add more sugar to the milk than the coffee but less than the green tea to achieve a brown, white and green layering.
You can also get away with adding less sugar to the drink by using more ice and slowly pouring the layers in. However, the layers will not last very long without the sugar. Firstly, add matcha to the bottom, then the ice. Then, pour the milk on top of the ice, before gently adding your expresso shot on top.
Making in advance
Making the iced matcha coffee drink with layers ahead of time is not recommended, as the layers will mix, and the ice will melt. However, you can prepare some of the matcha coffee ingredients ahead of time. When you are ready to serve the drink, simply add sweetened milk to a glass with ice. Then, slowly pour in the green tea concentrate and then pour in the chilled espresso on top of the green tea layer.
This beverage is incredibly customisable. There are a plethora of variations that you can try to introduce more interesting flavours and textures to your drinking experience. So, why not have some fun experimenting with your icy or hot matcha coffee? Here are some of our favourites.
Dalgona matcha coffee
Dalgona matcha is a variation of this drink where instant coffee, sugar and hot water are whipped together until soft peaks form and then combined with green tea powder. First, combine instant coffee or espresso, sugar and hot water in a tall container. Then you must whip using a handheld milk frother until soft peaks form. Next, mix the green tea powder into the drink. The drink tastes lighter and much airier than a regular dirty matcha latte.
Dirty chai with matcha
Dirty chai is typically made by combining espresso, chai tea mix and sweetener with some boiling water. You could try experimenting by adding green tea powder to our recipe for dirty chai.
Dirty matcha boba
Add store-bought boba pearls to the bottom of a glass to make a boba version of this drink. You can also make your own using our homemade tapioca pearls recipe. The tapioca pearls add a fun and chewy texture to the drink. You may also like our matcha milk boba and coffee boba if you enjoy this combination.
Can I blend matcha in a blender?
Yes, you can blend green tea powder in a blender. In fact, combining green tea powder with milk and sweetener with an electric blender can create a smooth and frothy green tea latte. In addition, blending green tea can help ensure no clumps of powder remain and that the drink is well-mixed. A blender is a faster way of ensuring a lump-free green tea drink.
However, if you prefer a more traditional preparation method, you could use a matcha whisk or a milk frother. The whisk, also known as a chasen in Japanese, can mix green tea powder, water and air into a frothy drink. The whisking process releases aromas in the foam on the surface. Ultimately, it's not just about dissolving the powder in the water!
A chasen also has more prongs than a standard baking whisk and will not scratch your bowl. These tools can also help create a smooth beverage without clumps. Whether you use a blender or a chasen really depends on how much time you have. A blender is faster, but a chasen helps to release the aroma of green tea leaves. Although once mixed with milk, the fragrance may not be so noticeable.
Dirty Matcha Coffee Recipe (Hot or Iced)
- 2 tsps green tea powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or sweetener
- ¼ cup warm water (below or at 80 degrees celsius)
- 1 cup (250ml) coconut milk
- 1 shot (30ml) espresso (or instant coffee)
- Add the green tea powder and sugar/sweetener to a glass. Pour in warm water and whisk. Set aside.
- Froth the milk in a separate mug. Pour the frothed milk into the prepared mixture.
- Brew the coffee, then add it to your dirty matcha.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
If you try our matcha coffee recipe, you will surely love it! This is a colourful drink that has plenty of health benefits and will also give you a huge energy boost.
If you enjoyed making this frothy, energising drink, why not tag us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks? We also feature other unique and creative recipes there, so follow us for more Asian recipes that you can use to wow your family and friends.