What Does Matcha Taste Like?

Maybe you’ve seen some people walking around with bright green drinks from Starbucks. What could possibly be in there, you wonder. Well, it’s probably an iced matcha latte.

Low-quality matcha has a somewhat bitter, earthy flavor, not unlike grass. Good quality matcha still has an earthy flavor but also has some slight sweetness to it. However, if you’re getting your matcha from Starbucks, it will be much sweeter as it’s pre-sweetened.

What your matcha tastes like really depends on the quality of the matcha you’re drinking, or where you’ve purchased it from. Sometimes the qualities are referred to as ingredient grade and drinking grade for low and good quality matcha respectively.

Matcha, after all, is simply green tea leaves ground up into a fine powder. So the better the leaves, the better the matcha.

Low-Quality Matcha

Low-quality matcha will likely be bitter and taste grassy. It will probably have a yellowish or brown color and might smell somewhat fishy.

The consistency of low-quality matcha is also chunkier. The powder has larger particles and won’t blend as smoothly in the water.

Lastly, when you’re whisking your matcha, if you have low-quality, you’ll have a much more difficult time frothing the matcha. It will be difficult to get air bubbles and your matcha will be flat.

In order to bear the taste of low-quality matcha, you might find yourself piling in the sugar.

Good Quality Matcha

However, good quality matcha will have an earthy, bright, fresh taste to it with a hint of sweetness. It should be bright green and smell somewhat sweet. 

Good quality matcha is super fine and has a somewhat silky feel. It blends easily to make a smooth, silky beverage.

When it comes time to wish your good quality matcha, you should get a beautiful, frothy consistency. The finer particles of the matcha make it easier to get air whipped into the beverage.

Starbucks Matcha

If you order your match from Starbucks, it will probably be difficult to know the quality of your matcha. Starbucks pre-sweetens their matcha so you probably won’t have a grassy taste.

Matcha from Starbucks will taste sweet with the smallest hint of bitterness.


Believe it or not, the temperature at which you drink your matcha will also change its flavor and texture.

Hot Matcha

If you drink your matcha in a hot tea, it will be somewhat sweeter and the consistency will be a little thicker and richer.

Traditionally, matcha is served hot.

However, be careful if making your own match at hot. Do not boil the water for your matcha tea. Boiled water will ruin the matcha and it will become sour, bitter, and overly thick.

Cold Matcha

Cold matcha seems to be in fashion lately. If you choose to drink it this way, you’ll find it has a lighter taste and texture. It will be less sweet, and more earthy. 


There are some other things that change the flavor, texture, or smell of your matcha. Here are some tips for keeping it fresh.

First thing is first, sunlight is bad for your matcha. It will fade the beautiful bright green color as well as make your matcha taste somewhat metal-like. Don’t store your matcha in a clear container.

Now that you’ve chosen a container, preferably one that is airtight, put your matcha in a plastic bag first. Then put the plastic bag in the container and the container in the refrigerator.

Do not prepare your matcha directly out of the refrigerator. By doing this, you introduce humidity into your matcha. This leads to stale tasting matcha that is difficult to blend in water.

Matcha In Its Different Forms

So, you can see that the flavor and texture of matcha will vary depending on where you get it and how you prepare it.

If you’re looking for a traditional matcha experience, try it hot and enjoy a sweeter flavor. However, you want to try something newer, go with it iced and savor how refreshing it is.