This mango matcha latte is somehow refreshing and creamy at the same time, thanks to the sweet tart mango, slightly bitter matcha, and a generous pour of milk.
One thing I love about this recipe is that it works just as well with frozen mango as fresh mango. There’s no need to wait for mango season, or get lucky with a soft and silky fresh mango.
Even if your mango is a little on the sour or bland side, you can accommodate for that by increasing the amount of sugar and/or salt that you add.
You could even sub in mango puree, like the kind you can find in cans at an Indian supermarket. Using mango puree is even easier, since you don’t need to blend up mango chunks.
I find that most of the time canned mango puree is already sweetened, so you do get a little less control in the sweetness department. I’d be very stingy with adding more sugar to this drink, or even omitting it if you like your beverages on the less sweet side.
You can use mango juice in a pinch, but it’s definitely not my first choice. It’s not as flavorful as fresh/frozen mango, or mango puree.
If you’ve read anything about making matcha drinks at home, you’ve probably heard that you should be using the best matcha you possibly can. Sorry to bore you, but I’m going to repeat the same thing.
My (sometimes) frugal tendencies led me to get a big bagful of matcha for only $10, and it’s so powdery and muted and bitter that I’m still working through it almost 2 years after I bought it. Bleh.
Cheap matcha doesn’t really dissolve well into drinks in my opinion, even if you whisk it real well and use a high ratio of hot water to matcha. Powdery drinks aren’t it for me (and I’m betting they’re not for you, unless you’re the kind of person who swallows dry protein powder), so I’m not a fan of this.
And on a less important note, the color is a murky, swampy green with a heavy hand of brown added in. It’s not nearly as vibrant or bright as all those beautiful matcha drinks you get at boba shops.
You might be fine with that (and if I’m making myself a quick matcha latte on a weekday morning, I’m not super picky about how it looks either), but would you have clicked on this post if the matcha layer in this drink looked like it was scooped up from Shrek’s house? I didn’t think so.
Anyways – use the best matcha you can find. It should be bright green, and it’ll probably be more expensive than what your instincts are screaming at you to buy, but I promise that your mango matcha will be 45819x better after this decision.
Maybe you’re thinking, but what am I going to do with the rest of the (admittedly small amount of) matcha after I make this drink?? Good thing you can check out this gently spiced matcha and masala chai latte, and this jasmine tea cake layered with whippy matcha buttercream.
Any milk works here. I typically use soy milk out of convenience and flavor preference, but anything else goes.
I would recommend something on the creamier side (aka no rice milk pleaseeee unless you can’t have anything else or you really love it, then you’re excused). The mango and matcha are very light and refreshing, so the decadence of this treat really comes from the milk.
My preference for sweetener is plain white granulated sugar in this drink. There’s enough going on with the matcha and mango, so the caramelly notes from brown sugar or the intensity of maple syrup isn’t necessary here.
If you don’t want to use granulated sugar, any other mild sweetener (ie honey or agave) would be great instead.
How to Make
First, make the mango puree. Blend together the mango (making sure that it’s defrosted if you’re using frozen mango) until you reach your desired texture.
I like my drinks kind of chunky and thick, but if you want it super smooth, I’d recommend blending the mango really well and perhaps even putting it through a sieve if you don’t mind cleaning sieves.
Taste the mango puree and see how sweet it is; this will help you figure out how much sugar to add to your matcha. You never know, maybe your mangoes are actually nature’s candy and you can get away with omitting extra sugar!!
Then, make the matcha. Pour hot water into a matcha bowl or another wide, shallow bowl, then add the matcha.
Whisk until the matcha is completely dissolved, and the top is nice and frothy. Add the sugar if using, and a pinch of salt, then mix until the sugar is dissolved.
And now assembly time. Grab your serving glass, and spoon in the mango puree. Add enough ice to fill it a third or half full, then pour in the milk, and gently dribble the matcha on top (I know in these pics it looks like the milk was added last, but the matcha sunk; still tasty, I promise!). Give it a stir before sipping!
It might seem counter-intuitive to make hot matcha only to ice it down, but I promise that it has a purpose.
Cold water doesn’t allow the matcha to dissolve as nicely as hot water, so you’re more prone to lumps and/or powdery bits in your final matcha.
Too Much Matcha
One teaspoon of matcha might not seem like much to use, especially if you’re used to deliciously flavorful matcha beverages. That being said, there is such a thing as using too much matcha.
Hot water has a saturation point where it can’t dissolve any more matcha, and while you could add more hot water to help out, you don’t want the rest of the drink to get bogged down by the extra water either.
So one teaspoon is the perfect sweet spot for having smooth, strong matcha.
For anyone who wants a pretty green matcha latte like the above picture, you can completely ignore this section. Everyone else who wants three distinct layers: stick around for a bit, will you?
There are a few different elements that can nudge you towards a layered drink.
Let’s start with density. More dense liquids sink, less dense liquids rise. The mango is definitely the thickest, so it makes sense to put it at the bottom.
Temperature has a part to play in density as well; something hot is less dense than something cold. Ergo, hot matcha on top of the refrigerator-cold milk makes sense.
The speed and force at which you pour the layers in can also determine what your drink ends up looking like. Ice makes assembly a little more forgiving, since it acts as a natural barrier between the mango and the milk.
For the matcha however, dumping it on top of the milk quickly will likely mix the two. To mitigate this, I like to hold the tip of a spoon against the inside of the cup above the milk, and slowly pour the matcha into the spoon.
The matcha will dribble slowly out of the spoon onto the milk, rather than sloshing its neighbor around.
Aside from the part that ice plays in keeping the layers separate, I personally think it’s necessary for the flavor. The hot matcha will warm up the mango and matcha, and you don’t really want a lukewarm or room temperature drink.
TLDR put ice in your drinks even if your usual order is no ice!
Tools to Use
You might be tempted to reach for a spoon, a butterknife or some other kitchen utensil that’s handy when you’re mixing the matcha powder with the hot water. Please don’t.
A whisk cuts through any clumps or lumps, and also aerates the matcha in a way that other tools can’t. You can use a fork in a pinch, but I implore you to use a whisk if possible.
Ideally, you should make the mango puree in a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender. Something with a small container size, since it’s not that much mango (unless you’re increasing how much you make).
I don’t have anything small enough to do that, so I mash the mango by hand with a fork or a potato masher. This will definitely give you a chunkier puree, so you can strain this if you don’t have any appliances that will work for you and you want a smoother drink.
- ½ cup chopped mango defrosted if frozen
- ⅓ cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon matcha
- ½ tablespoon granulated sugar or to taste
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- ⅔ cup milk cold
Using a small food processor, small blender or an immersion blender, puree the mango until homogeneous. You can also mash the mango with a fork or potato masher by hand, though the puree will be a lot chunkier. If you want something smoother, press the mango through a strainer.
Then, make the matcha. In a matcha bowl (or any small bowl), whisk together the hot water and matcha until the are no more clumps of matcha, and the mixture is bubbly.
Mix the sugar and salt into the matcha, and stir until dissolved. You may need to add more or less sugar, depending on how sweet your mango is (I would recommend tasting your mango now and making adjustments to the matcha).
Spoon the mango puree into your serving glass, then add enough ice to fill your glass one third to half full. Pour the milk on top, then slowly add the matcha on top (in these pictures, the matcha sunk below the milk, but it was added last I promise).
Give the drink a good mix before sipping.
You can use fresh or frozen chopped mango, or even canned mango puree. I would not recommend mango juice, since it isn’t as flavorful.
Any kind of milk is fine, as long as you find it creamy to your taste.