What Flavors Go With Matcha? A Guide to Pairing Matcha with Food

Whether you’re looking to pair your bowl of matcha with something sweet, complement a latte with a breakfast dish, or pair matcha with other culinary endeavors, we’ll cover what flavors work best alongside matcha’s unique flavor profile.

Our Matcha

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Matcha flavor pairings we recommend

Here are a few ways we like to combine matcha with other flavors and ingredients.

Pairing matcha with something sweet

A sweet treat or dessert is a classic complement to a bowl of matcha. In Japan, ceremonial grade matcha is often enjoyed alongside small sweets called wagashi. These sweets typically combine red bean paste, sugar, and other ingredients. Matcha is also frequently used to flavor all kinds of desserts, from shortbreads and cheesecake to cookies and fudge.

Eating something sweet alongside matcha can help to prime your palate and bring out the sweet notes already present in high-quality matcha. Sweet flavors also pleasantly contrast with matcha’s astringency and umami notes.

You can also add sugar, honey, maple syrup, or another sweetener of choice directly to your matcha when whisking, whether you’re planning on enjoying matcha on its own or adding it to a latte or other cozy home cafe concoction. If you do plan on adding sweetener to your matcha, we recommend using culinary grade matcha instead of ceremonial grade.

Pairing matcha with something fruity

If you’re looking to eat a little healthier, matcha and fruit is a wonderful combo. Matcha can be added to fruity smoothies, yogurt bowls, and more and topped with fruit. The rich, vegetal, umami notes of matcha make a lovely contrast to tart, sweet fruits.

We even feature a few fruity matcha-based recipes on our blog. Our Matcha Mango Smoothie recipe is packed full of nutritious ingredients including culinary grade matcha powder, mango, ginger, turmeric, spinach, and more. Enjoy it after your next workout, as an on-the-go breakfast, or even whip it up as a snack!

Similarly, our Matcha Mango Smoothie Bowl is a delectable combination of matcha, berries, mango, kiwi, coconut, and other ingredients. It’s a tasty snack if you’re looking for something light, bright, and fruity.

Pairing matcha with something milky

Matcha and milk is the classic pairing when it comes to complementing matcha’s natural flavor. Whether you’re using whole milk (a classic which we wholeheartedly recommend!) or plant-based milks like oat milk, soy milk, or almond milk, a matcha latte is a tried and true way to enjoy this tea. Similar to the way that many people enjoy adding milk to black tea, drinking matcha with milk helps to cut through matcha’s bitterness and astringency. Be sure to check out our guide to preparing a tea latte to learn how to make an iced or hot matcha latte in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Our Matcha Horchata recipe is another great way to pair matcha with milk. This drink combines ceremonial grade matcha with rice, cinnamon, almond milk, oat milk, and vanilla for a rich, creamy beverage that’s a unique twist on a Spanish classic.

Pairing matcha with something minty

Matcha and mint may sound like an unusual combination, but it works! Bright, cool mint cuts through the rich, umami notes of matcha. We have two minty matcha recipes to recommend:

Our Matcha Cucumber Refresher is flavorful and hydrating—a wonderful option to cool off with on a warm summer afternoon. It combines matcha with mint, cucumber, honeydew melon, and lime for a crisp, refreshing drink full of healthful properties.

And if you’re looking for something a little on the cozier side, our Peppermint Matcha Latte recipe is another excellent choice. This drink combines culinary grade matcha with peppermint tea, maple syrup, and steamed milk for a minty, sweet, warming treat, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day but great all year round!

Pairing matcha with something savory

Pairing matcha with something savory may not be your first thought when it comes to complementing matcha with food. But matcha’s depth of flavor can really shine when enjoyed with other savory, umami-rich foods.

We often enjoy matcha (or shade-grown green teas like Gyokuro or Kabusecha) with dishes that feature miso, soy sauce, or mushrooms.

A word about pairing matcha with other foods

In general, if you’re physically combining matcha with other ingredients, such as in a smoothie, latte, or baked good, we recommend you use culinary grade matcha. Like the name suggests, this type of matcha is designed to be used in culinary applications like baking and cooking.

If, on the other hand, you’re enjoying matcha on its own and want to pair it with another dish or snack, like a wagashi sweet or a bowl of miso soup, then we suggest using ceremonial grade matcha. This type of matcha is designed to be enjoyed on its own, and other ingredients or sweeteners are not necessary. In fact, they can sometimes obscure the delicate, nuanced flavor of matcha.

What does matcha taste like?

Thinking about what matcha tastes like can help you to decide on what foods and flavors to complement matcha with. Some of the flavor notes of high quality matcha include:

  • Vegetal
  • Umami
  • Sweet
  • Bitter
  • Smooth

Benefits of matcha

Like green tea, matcha is chock full of beneficial properties. In fact, matcha contains even higher concentrations of healthful compounds, like EGCG and l-theanine. This is because, when you drink matcha, you’re actually consuming the whole tea leaf, rather than just an infusion. Some of the benefits of matcha include:

  • High in EGCG
  • Boosts energy
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Good for your teeth
  • Good for your metabolism
  • High in antioxidants
  • Good for your heart
  • Improves longevity
  • Good for your skin
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Good for digestion

Our matcha

Whether you’re looking to whip up a matcha latte, add it to a recipe, or enjoy it on its own, we carry a variety of different types of matcha, including both ceremonial grade matcha and culinary grade matcha.

Matcha starter kit

Our matcha starter kit contains everything you need to make a bowl of matcha, including a matcha bowl (chawan), bamboo matcha whisk (chasen), bamboo matcha scoop (chashaku), matcha sifter, matcha whisk holder, and optional tin of ceremonial grade matcha.

Ceremonial grade matcha

Our Aiya ceremonial grade matcha is a brilliant green color with a mild, natural sweetness. Our Mizuki ceremonial grade matcha is another great option. This premium ceremonial grade matcha is thick and creamy, with nutty and umami notes and a milky finish.

Culinary grade matcha

Our organic culinary grade matcha is made specifically for use in lattes, baked goods, and other recipes. Culinary grade matcha has a slightly stronger taste than ceremonial grade matcha, while allowing the matcha flavor to shine even when mixed with other ingredients.

Matcha to go

No need for whisking or sifting—these matcha-to-go packets easily mix with hot or cold water so that you can shake them up and take them on the go. They contain high-quality ceremonial grade matcha blended with a small amount of dietary fiber to prevent clumping.

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