What Matcha Does Starbucks Use? Exploring Unique Blend

What Matcha Does Starbucks Use

Starbucks, the renowned coffee powerhouse, is not only famous for its coffee but also for its delightful Matcha Green Tea Latte. If you’ve ever sipped on a Starbucks matcha drink, you might have wondered, “What does matcha taste like at Starbucks?” The matcha green tea powder used by Starbucks offers a uniquely smooth and slightly sweet flavor, making it a favorite among customers who love a refreshing twist to their beverage routine.

In this article, I explored the type of matcha used by Starbucks for their popular matcha drinks. Starbucks creates its matcha beverages using a unique blend of matcha green tea powder that is sourced from Japan and not available for retail. This blend includes sugar, which moderates the natural bitterness of matcha and enhances its overall flavor, making it appealing to a wide range of tastes. While this makes the drinks tastier, it’s important to remember that the added sugar might reduce the health benefits that pure, unsweetened matcha offers.

What Matcha Does Starbucks Use?

Starbucks, a global coffee giant, is known for its wide range of beverages, including the popular Matcha Green Tea Latte. Many customers wonder about the type of matcha Starbucks uses to create its distinct and vibrant green tea drinks. Starbucks sources its matcha from Japan, using a blend that is specially prepared for them. This blend is not available for retail sale, making Starbucks’ matcha drinks unique to their outlets.

The matcha powder used by Starbucks is made to provide a balanced flavor that’s not too bitter, which is perfect for the sweet and savory drinks they offer in their cafes. This matcha mix is a key ingredient in their green tea lattes and other matcha drinks that customers all over the world enjoy.

Matcha is like supercharged green tea! It’s made by grinding unique green tea leaves into a fine powder. It is rich in antioxidants, which are really good for you. Plus, it helps speed up your metabolism and gives you energy that lasts longer than coffee. Starbucks uses matcha in their drinks; it not only makes them healthier but also gives them a beautiful green color and a yummy, earthy taste.

Matcha Green Tea At Starbucks

If you’re curious about the unique flavors offered at Starbucks, you might find yourself asking, “What does matcha taste like at Starbucks?” Matcha at Starbucks is smooth and creamy with a hint of earthy flavor. It’s a popular choice for those who enjoy a touch of sweetness mixed with the refreshing taste of green tea.

At Starbucks, the matcha green tea powder used in their beverages does contain sugar. This blend allows for a slightly sweet taste, making it a favorite among customers who prefer not to add extra sweetener.

Starbucks’ matcha drinks include sugar. This addition enhances the matcha’s natural bitterness with a sweet, smooth finish. If you’re watching your sugar intake, Starbucks allows customization, so you can request your matcha drink with less sugar or substitute it with an alternative sweetener.

The healthiness of Starbucks green tea largely depends on how the drink is prepared. Matcha itself is known for being rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. However, the extra sugar in many of Starbucks’ matcha drinks can reduce their health benefits. For a healthier choice, you could ask for less sugar or choose the unsweetened green tea options at Starbucks.

What is Matcha

Matcha is a bright green powder made from unique green tea leaves. Starbucks uses a sweetened matcha powder, which is different from the pure, unsweetened matcha usually used in Japanese tea ceremonies.

Starbucks offers a variety of matcha green tea drinks, which include hot and iced versions, allowing customers to enjoy this flavorful tea in multiple forms.


Starbucks’ matcha tastes different from traditional matcha. It’s milder and sweeter, making it easier to enjoy for those who might not like the strong, grassy flavor of regular matcha. Starbucks achieves this by blending its matcha powder with sugar, which not only sweetens the drink but also softens the natural bitterness of matcha.

Learn about the distinctive taste of chai tea and broaden your tea experience.

Matcha Nutrition

Here’s a detailed look at the nutritional content of pure matcha powder, which is important to consider if you’re enjoying matcha in its less processed forms, such as a simple tea without added sugars or milk.

Nutrition information:

NutrientAmount per Serving
Calories from Fat60
Total Fat7g
Saturated Fat4.5g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates34g
Dietary Fiber1g

Matcha Green Tea Powder Ingredients

When it comes to the ingredients in matcha green tea powder at Starbucks, many people wonder if it is sweetened. Yes, the matcha powder used by Starbucks is indeed sweetened. This is done to make the flavor more appealing to a wider audience, balancing the natural bitterness of matcha with a touch of sweetness. 

Here’s a simple breakdown of the ingredients typically found in the matcha green tea powder used at Starbucks:

  • Matcha Green Tea Powder: 50% (pure ground green tea leaves)
  • Sugar: 50% (added for sweetness)

Starbucks “Matcha”

Starbucks “Matcha” utilizes a matcha powder blend that combines traditional green tea leaves with sugar, catering to the taste preferences of a broad customer base. This blend allows for a sweeter, more accessible flavor.

Just How Bad is Starbucks’s Matcha Latte?

Starbucks’ Matcha Latte has faced criticism primarily because of its high sugar content. While the matcha itself provides beneficial antioxidants, the added sugar can counteract these health benefits, making it less appealing to those seeking a healthy drink option.

The Quality Issue

The quality of Starbucks’ matcha has been a topic of discussion among matcha lovers. While the matcha powder used is not of the ceremonial grade typically used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, it is still a good quality food-grade matcha. Starbucks aims for a product that balances cost with consumer satisfaction.

The Concept of Terroir

The concept of terroir explains how the local environment, like climate and soil, affects the taste of tea. Starbucks’ matcha is made to taste the same everywhere, which means it might not have the unique flavors that matcha from one specific place has.

Read Also: Benefits Of Green Tea.

Matcha Processing Techniques

The process of making matcha involves several steps: shading the tea plants for several weeks, hand-picking the finest tea leaves, and slowly grinding the leaves to a fine powder using stone mills. This careful process helps keep the flavor and nutrients. However, the matcha powder used in many commercial places like Starbucks is often made more quickly and with less care to meet high demand. This can change the taste and reduce the health benefits of the matcha.

Fake Matcha?

When you order a matcha latte at Starbucks, you might think you’re sipping on pure matcha. However, the truth is a bit different. Starbucks utilizes a matcha blend for its drinks, which is a combination of sugar and ground Japanese green tea leaves. This isn’t the pure matcha powder you might expect if you’re looking for the real taste and health benefits of traditional matcha.

Why is this an issue?

The problem is that people think they are buying a healthy, pure matcha drink, which has lots of good stuff like antioxidants and gives a gentle boost of energy. But when you add sugar and mix it with other things, some of these benefits aren’t as strong. If you’re drinking it for your health, the Starbucks version might not be the best choice.

How do Companies Get Away with this?

Companies like Starbucks say they are using a matcha blend, which is true, but it might confuse people who don’t know that it’s not 100% matcha. This kind of labeling is allowed and helps the company save money and make the mix easier to use in their drinks. It’s a common practice to balance making a product that tastes good with keeping costs low.

Why You Should Drink Authentic Matcha

  • Full of Antioxidants: Authentic matcha is rich in antioxidants, helping to fight off damage in your body.
  • Energy Boost: It offers a smooth increase in energy without the harsh effects often associated with coffee.
  • Occasion: Think about why you’re buying the cake pop. If it’s for a special celebration, choose one with festive decorations, like the Birthday Cake Pop.

Read Also: Does Starbucks Have Smoothies?

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Starbucks matcha contains added sugar for a balanced flavor.

Yes, you can ask for less sugar or substitute with alternative sweeteners.

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