Matcha is stealing the spotlight in the global coffee scene: here's how to up your matcha game at home

Published Jun 13, 2024


The world of coffee is forever changing, with fans and makers alike dreaming up fresh and exciting ways to enjoy and share that favourite morning pick-me-up.

Every year brings a flurry of new coffee trends, making it a bit of a challenge to keep up.

Lately, you've probably noticed more and more people at your local café or on your Instagram feed swapping their usual coffee cups for bright green matcha lattes.

This vibrant, powdered green tea has quickly become the must-try drink, with its popularity sky-rocketing and the global market value hitting an impressive $2,862.61 million (about R52m) last year.

But matcha isn't exactly a newcomer to the beverage scene. Legend has it that the tradition of matcha started back in the 1100s when a Buddhist monk brought tea seeds from China to Japan.

Those seeds eventually grew into what we now recognise and relish as matcha powder.

Matcha is packed with catechins, a type of antioxidant that helps fight against cell damage and prevents chronic disease. Picture: Supplied

Matcha is packed with catechins, a type of antioxidant that helps fight against cell damage and prevents chronic disease. The most powerful catechin found in matcha is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which has been linked to fighting cancer, viruses and heart disease.

The combination of caffeine and L-theanine, an amino acid found in matcha, can help improve cognitive function, resulting in enhanced mood and memory, and a better ability to focus.

For those who dream of experiencing matcha in its birthplace, Japan, that might not be an option right now. But don't worry, matcha aficionados and first-timers alike can still enjoy a top-notch matcha experience without having to travel.

Here's the low-down on how to up your matcha game at home, straight from Dané Prinsloo, the visionary behind the newly introduced Matcha Mami.

Tools and ingredients needed for making a delicious matcha drink

To begin your matcha-making journey you will need the following:

  • A high-quality matcha of ceremonial grade, which can be identified by its striking green hue.
  • A bamboo whisk, known as a chasen, to add air to your matcha creating a foam/froth texture.
  • Filtered water to enhance the taste experience.
  • The milk of your choice.
  • A sweetener is optional.

“While we can’t list ‘mindfulness’ as a requirement for making matcha at home, I do want to encourage people to look to this process as part of their self-care ritual for the day.

“In Japanese culture, a matcha green tea ceremony is symbolic of more than just a drink – it’s a centuries-old tradition that signifies the beauty of everyday life and being present in the moment.

“As matcha has gained popularity beyond Japanese culture, I love to pay homage to its cultural significance,” noted Prinsloo.

Matcha, known for its vibrant green colour, sometimes gets a bad rep for tasting bitter or too much like grass. Prinsloo, however, is set on shifting this negative view, blaming it on the low-grade powders used by some cafes.

She explained: “If it's good-quality matcha, expect a hint of bitterness, sure, but there'll also be a sweet side and that rich umami flavour.”

Her message is clear: don't let past experiences fool you; with the right powder, anyone can whip up a delicious matcha beverage at home.

How to make a matcha latté at home

Step one: Add boiling water into a cup with your bamboo whisk to soften the bristles.

Step two: Add half to one teaspoon of matcha powder to a separate cup, or small bowl, with your sweetener of choice. This is where you can control how strong you would like your matcha to be.

Step three: Add a splash of hot water (80-90℃) to your matcha powder.

Step four: Whisk the mixture with your chasen to remove any clumps.

Step five: Add the matcha liquid to a cup/mug with the milk of your choice. Should you wish to have it cold, you can also add ice.

Is matcha only for drinking?

“One of the many reasons I love matcha is experimenting and creating mouthwatering recipes in my kitchen. Recently I made moist matcha flapjacks, and I can’t wait to try out some matcha and white chocolate cookies soon,” shared Prinsloo.