This creamy strawberry matcha latte is inspired by the version from Boba Guys*, a pearl milk tea empire that originated in the Bay Area.
I love that this drink is strong on the matcha, and that it tastes like real strawberries. No artificial, cough medicine hued strawberry milk here!
(If you haven’t tried Korean style fresh strawberry milk though, do that asap).
How to Make It
First step: make your matcha. Combine matcha powder with hot water and whisk until the matcha is completely combined.
Ideally, this would be in a bowl with a matcha whisk, since this set of tools help aerate the mixture, but you can slide by with a metal whisk in a pinch, too.
You definitely need to use a whisk, since the prongs get rid of lumps in a way that a spatula or spoon doesn’t.
And someone might be asking, why do I need hot water for an iced drink? It does sound counterintuitive, I get it.
However, matcha and cold water don’t mix together very well, so it’s worth a few extra minutes and using ice in your drink to transform the hot matcha into a refreshing strawberry matcha latte.
Maybe you’re on the lookout for other matcha drinks – how about this mango matcha, or this watermelon matcha? Or maybe you're in the mood for something less fruity and a iced earl grey and matcha latte is more similar to what you're craving.
Then, onto the strawberries. Roughly chop them (doesn’t need to be pretty), then mix with the sugar and let them sit for a bit.
This step (called maceration) softens the strawberries as the sugar draws out the liquid of the fruit and gets them a little juicy.
I like pulp in my drinks, so I roughly mash the strawberries and call it a day.
If you are looking for something smoother, you can blend and/or strain the strawberry puree, though you might have a harder time trying to build clean layers later on.
This is delicious not gorgeous after all, so be my guest should you want to dump everything into a cup and stir.
For anyone looking for that pretty layered effect, here are a few tips to get you there:
- Add the ice in first, since you don’t want the ice disrupting the layers at the end
- Ideally, you should be layering in the most dense and coldest item first, and finishing with the least dense and warmest item on top.
- Having a cold, roughly mashed strawberry puree rather than a smooth syrup, as well as using warm or lukewarm matcha helps with this.
- When you pour the matcha on top, do so gently and slowly. You can even position a spoon with the tip against one of the inside walls of the cup, and pour the matcha into the bowl of the spoon so that it dribbles out onto the surface of the milk.
This drink is ideal for ugly strawberries or frozen strawberries. Because there’s matcha coming in to play, this probably isn’t the place to devote your perfect farmers market fruit to.
You might be weary of using frozen strawberries for this drink, but as long as you defrost them and are open to adding a teensy bit more sugar than you would with fresh, you should be good to go.
I know this is a strawberry matcha latte recipe and post. However, you can use any other fruit you would like instead.
I know that mango matcha lattes are popular too, even if I personally prefer the sweet tart flavor that strawberries and other berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc) contribute.
You can use whichever kind of milk you would like. That being said, my vote is to let the strawberries and the matcha shine, so I’d recommend using a mild flavored milk.
Make sure you adjust the amount of sugar you season the strawberries with if you end up using a sweetened milk. You probably don’t want it tasting as sweet as trashy candy corn.
My philosophy on sugar is similar to that of milk: pick something that is mild so that you can taste the rest of the drink. Granulated sugar, mild honey and agave are all good go to’s.
I wouldn’t pour in pancake syrup or maple syrup in this situation, since those can be overwhelming.
I’m seeing some interest for hot strawberry matcha lattes – I can’t say that it sounds good to me (maybe I’m biased against the sound of hot strawberries??), so I haven’t tried this before.
If you’re stubborn and set on trying a hot version out, you could warm up the milk and ignore the ice. The volume will look smaller, since there’s no ice bulking up the drink.
*Note July 2020: after hearing about the rampant racism and sexism at Boba Guys, I no longer support their stores, and would recommend that you either make this at home or find another place to get your strawberry matcha latte fix until they address these issues.
- ⅓ cup chopped strawberries frozen okay
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon matcha
- ⅓ cup hot water
- ½ cup whole milk
Combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl. Let sit for 15-30 minutes, or until the berries are juicy. Mash them coarsely with a fork, or pulse it in a food processor/blender until the berries are broken down a bit.
Whisk the matcha and hot water until frothy.
In a serving glass, add a couple spoonfuls of your mix-in. Spoon in the strawberries, then fill the rest of the glass with ice (or don’t; I like light ice, so I only added a handful). Add the milk, then the matcha. Make sure to pour gently and slowly if you want to make sure the layers stay distinct.
Adapted slightly from Honeysuckle Catering.