How to Make Matcha Milk Tea + Best Toppings

How to Make Matcha Milk Tea + Best Toppings

No other milk tea is as craveworthy as matcha milk tea. This delicious drink conquered the hearts and taste buds of not only matcha tea lovers, but all tea drinkers across the world seemingly effortlessly. The good news is you can make a super tasty drink at home almost as effortlessly as well.

This recipe will help you:

  • make the most delicious matcha milk tea in less than 10 minutes,
  • adjust the calorie content so you can enjoy it anytime you want, completely guilt-free,
  • prepare it in a way that maximizes the potential health benefits.

What is matcha milk tea?

Matcha milk tea is a drink made with green tea powder, water, a choice of dairy or plant-based milk, ice and a topping. Over the last decade, matcha milk tea became so popular it’s now one of the most classic milk tea flavors and it’s available as a pre-made instant powder as well.

You can make a completely customized matcha milk tea at home in less than 10 minutes and adjust sweetness, milkiness and toppings.

Pouring matcha over ice

Is matcha milk tea the same as matcha boba tea?

Yes, and no. Until boba tea became a world-famous milk tea, matcha milk tea was served without boba pearls or other toppings. Today, adding a topping is a must. Tea without toppings will usually be called “matcha tea with milk” rather than matcha milk tea.

However, toppings make it more fun and chewy, and give that feeling of enjoying a real dessert. You can leave out the toppings and still enjoy the same delicious drink.

Best toppings for matcha milk tea

Toppings make matcha milk tea super chewy and fun. There are many to choose from and you can make all of them by yourself and add matcha to them as well.

Some of the best toppings for matcha milk tea are:

  • Brown sugar boba pearls from tapioca starch – these boba pearls are the most commonly used pearls in boba milk teas and are widely available. They don’t have an intense flavor and go well with matcha tea and any kind of sweetener.
  • Vanilla or custard pudding – pudding is just delicious as a matcha milk tea topping. You can use a pre-made pudding or make one by yourself by using flavor extracts or other teas, cornstarch, and milk. Matcha goes really well with flavors such as earl grey and hojicha green tea.
  • Fruit jellies – fruit jelly or even matcha jelly can be very low in calories and thus a wonderful topping if you want to reduce the calorie value of your homemade drink and still enjoy a topping. Flavors such as coconut and strawberry complement matcha flavor well.
  • Popping boba – popping boba are boba pearls filled with fruit juice. Try blueberry or chocolate popping boba, they pair well with vibrant grassy flavors.

Pouring milk into matcha

Best milk for matcha milk tea

You can use any type of milk for making matcha milk tea, but some will give a creamier tea than the others. Some of the best options are half-and-half, whole milk, barista style pant-based milk like oat, coconut or almond.

If you are choosing milk alternatives, keep in mind that they will change the flavor profile of the tea. A suitable replacement for half-and-half is a coffee creamer with the same percentage of fat, but it may be sweeter. Other great alternatives are evaporated milk and condensed milk.

How much milk should you use depends on your personal preferences. For a regular milk tea that’s not too milky, 2 tablespoons of milk or milk alternative or 1 tablespoon of half-and-half or coffee creamer will be enough.


Not too milky
Very Milky
Whole milk
2 tablespoons
4-6 tablespoons
10+ tablespoons
1 tablespoon
2-3 tablespoons
4-5 tablespoons
Plant based milk (barista)
2 tablespoons
4-6 tablespoons
10+ tablespoons

1 tablespoon of half-and-half and 2 tablespoons of whole milk will add the same number of calories, but half-and-half will give a better texture.

Best matcha for matcha milk tea

You can use any authentic matcha powder to make matcha milk tea. Both the all-purpose grade matcha and ceremonial matcha will taste delicious with milk. Sift the matcha powder before frothing it. To maximize the benefits, make matcha with hot water first. This will intensify the flavor, add depth, and maximize the potential antioxidant properties of matcha tea [1].

Read more about benefits of matcha green tea here.

Matcha milk tea

What are the benefits of making it at home?

  1. You choose your own ingredients.

You can choose all ingredients by yourself, including the type of matcha powder, milk and a sweetener. Not all matcha teas taste the same. Some will have a grassier and fresher flavor, other will be nutty and more intense on umami. Pre-made matcha milk teas rarely state the type of matcha powder, but it’s usually not a ceremonial grade.

  1. You can make it healthy or indulgent.

Choosing your own ingredients means you can choose how healthy or indulgent it will be, without compromising on flavor. Each ingredient you add will add calories. You can make it as healthy as possible and very low in calories (less than 50 per serving if you are using 2 tablespoons of milk or 1 tablespoon of half-and-half and 1 teaspoon of honey)

  1. You can use a real ceremonial grade matcha powder.

Pre-made matcha milk tea powders will usually contain a higher ratio of sugar than tea. There are benefits to using a pre-made powders and they include an easy mixing and a balanced flavor profile. However, 1 ounce of a pre-made tea will likely contain over 0.5 ounce of sugar, and less than 0.5 ounce of matcha tea. Next, powders will usually not state the origin of matcha tea. If you want to enjoy the highest quality drink without unnecessary sugars and maximize the potential health benefits of matcha tea, making it yourself will pay off.

 Matcha boba tea


Matcha Milk Tea Recipe


  • Small saucepan for boiling boba pearls
  • Colander for straining boba pearls
  • Chasen or electric hand whisk for making matcha
  • Kitchen sifter for sifting matcha


  • 2 oz of freshly boiled water, 176°F – for tea
  • 5 oz of cold filtered water – for tea
  • 4-5 cups of water for boiling boba pearls
  • ½ teaspoon of matcha powder
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 7-1 oz of boba pearls
  • A glass of ice
  • 1 tablespoon of half-and-half


  1. Add water to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat and add tapioca pearls.
  3. Wait until all the pearls have floated to the top, then cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Strain the pearls and wash them under cold tap water to prevent further cooking.
  5. In a small bowl, coat the pearls with honey.
  6. Sift matcha tea powder into a clean cup (if using an electric hand frother) or chawan (if using a chasen).
  7. Add 2 oz of hot water and froth well.
  8. Fill the glass with ice.
  9. Add matcha tea and top it with cold water.
  10. Add boba pearls coated in honey and stir well.
  11. Add half-and-half and stir.
  12. Serve with a long teaspoon or a large straw.





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