Have you ever had green tea ice cream? The green and creamy dessert that is not too sweet, and tastes like green tea and honey? For a few years now, coffee chains like Starbucks, Quebec’s Moca Loca, and Second Cup have caught on to this delicious but expensive flavour, in the form of a hot drink just one step away from milk based hot beverages like the London Fog.
I love that this drink is available out there for when I don’t feel like the electric punch of espresso nor the heaviness of hot chocolate. Green tea lattes are perfect when you need a gentle dose of caffeine that has staying power, yet still crave the foamy milk of lattes.
What’s in this delicious green elixir, anyway? The basic recipe is just milk (or soy milk), water, and matcha. Matcha is the name of the revered Japanese green tea powder, which is ground up young green tea leaves and is an integral part of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. It delivers a higher dose of caffeine than regular green tea, because you are actually ingesting the leaves, rather than steeping the leaves whole.
From the basic recipe, you can add different flavours to boost certain aspects of the distinct matcha taste which is slightly bitter. Starbucks, when it was the first to market the Matcha Latte years ago, they would use a melon flavoured syrup. People hated it so now they are made with regular vanilla syrup. Second Cup I think uses vanilla syrup as well although I can’t really tell. Quebec’s Moca Loca Matcha Latte, after several tastings and experimentation at home, I can confidently conclude that they use white chocolate.