How to make PERFECT vanilla matcha latte at home
Matcha vanilla latte has a very pleasant, mild matcha taste, rounded with a sweet hint of vanilla.
This makes this latte a pleasure for any matcha lover, but also perfect if you are new to matcha.
Funny story: making matcha latte at home is quite simple at heart.
You just have to combine milk, matcha and round up with vanilla and sweetener to taste.
And yet, this matcha vanilla latte is probably one the the recipes I’ve tested the most times before writing it down!
While it tasted good from the beginning, I had to try several combinations until I found the best ratio of ingredients and a fail-proof way to get that fluffy froth you expect from a latte.
So I’m specially proud of this recipe!
That said, please don’t feel intimidated; as I just said, it’s easy to make delicious matcha lattes, and that without the need of expensive tools!
To help you get it from the beginning, in this post I’m sharing a couple of easy tricks that will make your homemade vanilla matcha latte truly awesome.
I’m sure you’ll never want to buy a matcha latte from a regular café again! (nothing against coffee shops; it’s just this vanilla matcha latte is on a next level).
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What is matcha?
First of all, let’s talk about the signature ingredient to make this latte: matcha.
Matcha is a type of green tea in powdered form.
The tea leaves used to make matcha are grown in the shade and then carefully harvested and processed so they preserve their delicate flavor and vivid green color.
Then the tea leaves are finely ground with a stone mill and packaged airtight.
Because you prepare matcha green tea by dissolving the powdered tea leaves in water (rather than by brewing leaves in hot water and then discarding them), it’s much higher in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds than regular green tea.
The resulting tea powder has a distinctive bright green color and an earthy, vegetal taste with what’s is often described as “umami”, a pleasant savory flavor.
While matcha is used for the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and it has also become popular to make to make sweets (like ice cream, pastries and lattes).
Want to know more about matcha? You may also find my post Matcha for beginners helpful (tips to prepare and properly store your matcha included!)
What is a matcha vanilla latte?
A matcha vanilla latte is a milk based beverage that combines matcha tea powder with a subtle hint of vanilla flavor.
Since matcha latte are inspired in lattes (which consist of espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk), you usually froth the warm milk to get that signature creamy and foamy texture.
This might be the trickiest part if you are making this beverage at home, but don’t worry, you’ll find some tricks further bellow.
Want the easiest version?
The recipe I share in this post is easy: the only trick to consider is to follow the steps in order.
But if you still want it easier, you can simply combine all the ingredients together.
It will still taste good; you just won’t get milk foam on top, as you can see the difference in the picture bellow.
What you’ll need
(Check bellow for alternatives)
For the exact measurements I use, please check recipe card at the end of post
You don’t need the priciest matcha (ceremony grade) to make matcha lattes; premium matcha or culinary grade matcha are great to combine it with milk However, I always recommend good quality matcha, tested for heavy metals.
Matcha isn’t prepared with boiling water, but with water at around 140-176 °F (60-80 °C).
You may use a water boiler that allows you to choose the water temperature or let boiled water cool for a couple of minutes.
If you are in a rush, you may use room temperature water for this recipe. But using warm water makes it easier to prepare the matcha and the latte holds warm for longer.
To make drinks, I find it much better to use natural vanilla extract or vanilla paste (instead of synthetic vanillin); the taste difference is much more noticeable than when baking.
I often use my homemade vanilla infused honey to make this vanilla matcha latte.
The frothed milk and the vanilla aroma gives this matcha latte naturally “sweet”, so you will need very little additional sugar/sweetener to get a deliciously sweet drink.
However, you can also skip sweetening this latte altogether, specially if you use vanilla syrup or vanilla infused honey, since they are already sweet.
When using vanilla bean paste, I like adding a teaspoon of xylitol instead of sugar and I think it tastes great.
Feel free to use your preferred type of milk, wether dairy or a plant-based alternative.
My personal favorites for this recipe are whole milk and barista oat milk (unfortunately, my homemade oat milk doesn’t froth).
Just take into considerations that some milk types are easier to froth than others.
The milk types that work best for make froth are:
- full-cream milk and medium-fat dairy milk (low fat doesn’t work so great)
- non dairy milk types with high protein and/or fat content, such as coconut milk, soy milk and this homemade almond milk. In my experience, homemade oat milk doesn’t froth, but barista oat milk does.
How to froth milk for matcha latte
Coffee shops have espresso machines that make perfect froth with the tap of a button.
But you can also get very satisfying milk foam with less fancy tools!
Bellow are the most common ways to make milk froth at home, and you may use any of them for your matcha lattes:
using a handheld milk frother
This might be MY FAVORITE tool to make this matcha latte because:
- it’s easy to clean
- you can use it to make the matcha AND to froth the milk
- in addition of that, it’s a cheap tool that barely takes any place in the kitchen
But beyond convenience and economy: it’s also very easy to make milk foam with it and the resulting foam is very nice, fluffy and with an easy to pour texture.
How to make milk froth with a handheld milk frother
- Pour warm milk into a tall container
- Dip the frother into the milk: the head is submerged completely but relatively close to the surface
- Turn the frother on for around 30 seconds or until you like the consistency of your froth.
With a French press
A French press is also very practical to make milk froth: it’s a surprisingly quick method and many people already have this appliance at home.
It took me a while to purchase one, so originally I only made my froth using a battery-driven frother or my milk steamer.
However, I was really surprised at how easy it is to make milk froth with a French press.
Actually, the texture of the froth I get with a French press might be my favorite.
The only disadvantages of frothing with a French press are:
- you need to froth at least the amount of milk that covers the plunger
- when frothing plant-based milk, small particles of the “milk” (like small particles of almond pulp) get in the mesh and it’s very difficult to remove them completely
How to make froth with a French press
- Pour warm milk in the French press. Make sure you only fill it to a half or less, since foaming can double the volumen of the milk!
- Put lid on, hold it with a hand and with the other, move the plunger up and down until you have the desired amount of foam. It’s really fast!
with milk steamer
Milk steamers are machines that look like a water cooker, but they warm and froth milk.
If you have an automatic milk steamer, you can of course froth you milk in it: this might be the easiest way to get froth and the resulting foam is very tight.
I love our milk steamer; however, sometimes we get too much froth (and too little steam milk) with it, so I often find it more convenient to use a handheld, battery-driven frother to make matcha latte.
How to use a milk steamer
- Pour milk into the milk steamer (no need to warm it). Most machines already have a mark that shows how much you can fill it.
- (If your machine has more than one setting) To make a warm latte, choose the setting to make warm froth.
- Run the automatic milk frother.
Tricks to make vanilla matcha latte
- Add your vanilla to the matcha (not the milk)
This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to consider if you want vanilla matcha latte with fluffy milk froth.
- To whisk your matcha
You may do it the traditional way, which is using a matcha whisk, but a handheld frother also works great (plus, you can also use it to froth the milk)
- To avoid matcha clumps
Many people sift the matcha through a tea strainer or sieve.
Another trick (the one I use) is to first only add a tablespoon warm water to the matcha and carefully mix with a spoon until you get a paste (it only takes some seconds). Then you can add the rest of the water (around 2 tablespoons more) and whisk.
- DON’T decorate your milk froth with vanilla powder
The vanilla particles (those black seeds from real vanilla) are too heavy for the foam, making “holes” very quickly. It makes the foam go down and it doesn’t look so nice.
- For an iced vanilla matcha latte
Making iced matcha drinks is easier than warm lattes. Simply mix all the ingredients together.
Yes! Both culinary grade matcha and premium grade matcha are great choices to make matcha lattes.
These are more affordable than ceremonial grade matcha (which is the one used in the traditional tea ceremony or to drink matcha straight) because they are made from older, more mature tea leaves.
This make them slightly more bitter but this taste actually goes very well for baking and making lattes.
If you want to skip the froth, you may also make matcha latte by mixing all ingredients by hand or by shaking them in a tightly closed container.
However, if you have the time, I strongly recommend to froth the milk to make matcha latte, because that way you get a lighter, airy texture (in other words, it tastes better!).
Unfortunately, you can’t make matcha powder by grinding regular green tea leaf: matcha is made from tea leaves that get a special processing (shading).
Vanilla matcha latte recipe
- Handheld milk frother (Check alternatives in “Notes” bellow)
- 1 tsp. Matcha powder
- 6 Tbsp. Warm water Not boiling – roughly 175 °F/80 °C
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract or vanilla paste I often use 2 tsp. homemade vanilla infused honey*
- 1 tsp. Sugar (You can skip it, specially if using vanilla honey)
- ¾ Cup Milk (180 ml)
- Warm the milk to approximately to 150 °F/ 65 °C (hot but not simmering).
- Meanwhile, whisk matcha powder, vanilla and sweetener (or vanilla infused honey) with a little amount of warm water, until there’s some foam on the top. You may use a matcha whisk or a handheld frother.An easy trick to avoid clumps is to first only add 1 Tbsp. water to the matcha and combine until you get a paste. Then add the rest of the water and vanilla and whisk until you get some foam on the top.
- Froth the warm milk.
- Swirl your milk container and pour the frothed milk over the matcha.
- To make matcha:
The traditional way to whisk matcha is using a matcha whisker.
If you don’t have a matcha whisker nor a handheld frother, you may prepare the matcha by shaking it in a closed container or even by just stirring the matcha and water with a spoon.
- To froth milk:
You can also use a milk steamer or froth milk in a French press (you may check how to use each of them in the post above).