What Does Matcha Taste Like In Starbucks? Discover the Flavor!

By: Bryan K.

Matcha is a green tea that has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries and has made its way to the West as a popular beverage choice. Starbucks, a coffee and tea giant, has also incorporated matcha into its menu, offering a unique blend that stands out from traditional matcha. But what does matcha taste like at Starbucks? Let’s find out!

In this section, we’ll explore the flavor profile of matcha at Starbucks, helping you understand its taste characteristics and decide if it’s the right choice for you. Whether you’re a matcha lover or new to the green tea trend, read on to discover the unique flavor of Starbucks matcha.

Key Takeaways

  • Matcha is a green tea with a long history in Japan.
  • Starbucks offers its own blend of matcha, creating a distinct flavor profile.
  • Understanding the taste characteristics of matcha can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Understanding Matcha: A Brief Introduction

Matcha is a type of Japanese green tea that has been enjoyed for centuries in Japan and other parts of the world. It is made by grinding the entire tea leaf into a fine powder, which is then whisked with hot water to create a frothy drink.

There are two main types of matcha: ceremonial grade and culinary grade. Ceremonial grade matcha is made from the youngest tea leaves and has a delicate flavor that is best enjoyed on its own. Culinary grade matcha, on the other hand, is made from older tea leaves and is often used in cooking and baking, as well as in beverages like matcha lattes.

The preparation of matcha is also an important aspect to consider. The traditional Japanese preparation involves using a bamboo whisk to froth the matcha powder with hot water. However, Starbucks has its own unique brewing technique for its matcha drinks.

Origins of Matcha

The origins of matcha can be traced back to China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It was later introduced to Japan by a Zen monk named Eisai in the 12th century. The Japanese developed their own unique way of growing and preparing matcha, which has become an important part of their cultural heritage.

Sourcing Matcha Powder

Starbucks sources its matcha powder from the Nishio region of Japan. This region is known for producing high-quality matcha that is rich in amino acids and has a sweet flavor profile. Starbucks also ensures that their matcha powder is ethically sourced and produced in a sustainable manner.

The Flavor Profile of Matcha

Matcha has a distinctive flavor profile that sets it apart from other teas. Its taste can be described as vegetal, earthy, and slightly bitter, with a rich umami undertone. When brewed correctly, matcha has a smooth, creamy texture that coats the tongue.

The vegetal notes in matcha are reminiscent of fresh grass or seaweed. This flavor is a result of the unique growing and harvesting process of matcha tea leaves. The tea plants are shaded for several weeks before harvesting, which increases their chlorophyll and amino acid content, contributing to the distinct taste.

Matcha’s umami flavor comes from the amino acid L-theanine, which is abundant in matcha tea leaves. This amino acid is responsible for the tea’s savory, brothy taste. It helps balance out the bitterness of matcha, making it pleasurable to drink.

The slight bitterness in matcha can be attributed to the tea’s catechin content, which is a type of antioxidant present in tea. However, the bitterness is not overpowering and actually enhances the tea’s flavor profile, providing a refreshing taste.

At Starbucks, matcha has a unique flavor profile compared to traditional matcha due to their proprietary blend. However, the vegetal notes, umami richness, and slight bitterness are still present, making for a delightful matcha experience.

Starbucks Matcha: A Unique Blend

Starbucks has curated its own blend of matcha, which gives it a proprietary taste. The company sources its matcha from Japan, where it’s grown in shaded farms, and then grinds it into a fine powder. However, Starbucks adds sugar to its matcha blend, which reduces the bitterness and enhances the flavors.

Factors affecting the taste of Starbucks matcha: Impact on the flavor
Origins of matcha The quality of the tea leaves and the terroir affect the flavor.
Sugar content It reduces the bitterness of matcha and adds sweetness.
Preparation method How the baristas whisk the matcha affects its texture and foaminess.

Starbucks matcha comes in two variants, the classic and the ceremonial. The ceremonial matcha is made from premium quality tea leaves, has a brighter green color, and a fuller flavor. It’s also more expensive than the classic matcha. The classic matcha is well-suited for lattes and other matcha-based drinks, while the ceremonial matcha is recommended for drinking as a tea.

Indulging in a Matcha Latte at Starbucks

If you’re new to matcha, a matcha latte is the perfect introduction to this flavorful beverage. Starbucks offers a delicious version of this popular drink, available hot or iced.

To make a matcha latte, the barista combines matcha powder with steamed milk and a touch of sweetness, creating a creamy and slightly sweet concoction. The amount of matcha used determines the intensity of the flavor, so you can adjust it to your liking.

The result is a beautiful green tea beverage with a balance of sweet and bitter notes. The matcha flavor is robust and distinct, complemented by the creaminess of the milk. The drink is often topped with frothed milk, creating a latte art design that adds to the visual appeal.

For a refreshing twist, try the iced matcha latte. It’s the perfect drink for a warm day, providing a refreshing and energizing boost. The sweetness of the milk and the bitterness of the matcha blend perfectly in this thirst-quenching drink.

Whether you’re a die-hard coffee fan or enjoy swapping your caffeine fix with tea, the matcha latte at Starbucks is a must-try. Give it a sip and indulge in the rich and unique flavor of matcha.

Exploring Matcha Recipes

Matcha is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various recipes beyond beverages. Here are a few matcha recipes you can try at home or find at Starbucks:

Recipe Description
Matcha Smoothie Bowl A delicious and healthy breakfast option. Blend frozen bananas, almond milk, matcha powder, and honey. Top with coconut flakes, fresh berries, and chia seeds.
Matcha Cheesecake A creamy and decadent dessert. Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and matcha powder. Pour into a cookie crust and bake until set. Chill in the fridge and serve with whipped cream.
Matcha Popcorn A unique and easy snack. Pop popcorn kernels and drizzle with melted butter and matcha powder. Sprinkle with sea salt and toss to combine.

These recipes showcase the different ways to incorporate matcha into your culinary repertoire. Get creative and experiment with matcha in your own recipes!

The Buzz around Matcha: Health Benefits and Considerations

Matcha is more than just a delicious drink; it has been touted for its potential health benefits. Here are some of the reasons why matcha is gaining popularity:

  • Antioxidants: Matcha is packed with antioxidants, which help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. One study found that matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea!
  • Caffeine: Matcha contains caffeine, which can help boost your energy and focus.

However, it’s important to note that matcha is not suitable for everyone. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Due to its caffeine content, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume matcha in moderation.
  • Medication: If you are taking any medication, it’s best to consult with your doctor before drinking matcha, as it may interact with some medications.
  • Allergies: Matcha is made from green tea, so if you are allergic to tea, you should avoid matcha.

Overall, matcha is a nutritious and delicious drink that you can enjoy in moderation. Just remember to take into account any health concerns you may have before indulging.

Where to Find Starbucks Matcha

If you’re looking to try matcha at Starbucks, you’re in luck! Many Starbucks locations offer matcha drinks, including the popular matcha latte.

You can also find matcha at Starbucks in different countries around the world, although availability may vary. Be sure to check with your local Starbucks to see if they offer matcha on their menu.

Additionally, Starbucks sometimes releases seasonal matcha drinks, so keep an eye out for any limited-time offerings that may pique your interest.


In conclusion, matcha at Starbucks offers a unique flavor experience that is distinct from traditional matcha. With its vegetal notes, umami richness, and slight bitterness, matcha infuses a delightful green tea flavor that complements many recipes.

If you’re eager to try matcha at Starbucks, you can find it at various locations around the world. Whether you enjoy it as a latte or explore matcha recipes, Starbucks has created its own blend that stands out.

Additionally, matcha is known for its potential health benefits, making it a worthwhile addition to your diet. However, it’s important to consider any potential health considerations before incorporating matcha into your routine.

Overall, whether you’re a matcha enthusiast or a newcomer, trying matcha at Starbucks is a must-try experience. So, head to your nearest Starbucks and indulge in a matcha latte or explore the range of matcha offerings available.


Q: What does matcha taste like at Starbucks?

A: Matcha at Starbucks has a unique flavor profile characterized by vegetal notes, umami richness, and a slight bitterness.

Q: What is matcha?

A: Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder that is made from specially grown and processed tea leaves.

Q: How is matcha prepared?

A: Matcha is traditionally prepared by whisking the powder with hot water to create a frothy beverage.

Q: What types of matcha are available?

A: There are different grades of matcha available, with ceremonial grade being the highest quality and culinary grade being more suitable for cooking and baking.

Q: How does Starbucks create its own blend of matcha?

A: Starbucks sources high-quality ingredients and uses a unique brewing technique to create their distinct blend of matcha.

Q: What is a matcha latte?

A: A matcha latte is a beverage made by combining matcha with milk, creating a balanced and creamy flavor.

Q: Are there any other ways to enjoy matcha?

A: Yes, matcha can be used in various recipes, including desserts and snacks.

Q: What are the health benefits of matcha?

A: Matcha is known for its antioxidant properties and can provide a boost of energy from its natural caffeine content.

Q: Where can I find Starbucks matcha?

A: You can find Starbucks matcha at select Starbucks locations, both in the United States and internationally. Availability may vary.

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