What Matcha Does Starbucks Use?(Which Brand & Grade)

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Matcha has gained popularity recently for its rich flavor and numerous health benefits. Wondering what matcha does Starbucks use? If you love matcha and Starbucks drinks, you might want to know.

Great news! We’ve found out for you. We’ll show you the exact matcha Starbucks uses for their drinks. You’ll learn how they turn this green tea powder into tasty lattes and frappuccinos. With this info, you can try making your own Starbucks-style matcha drinks at home.

What Matcha Does Starbucks Use?

Starbucks uses an Aiya matcha green tea powder, which originates in the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan. This matcha is known for its light, sweet taste, and vibrant green color.

However, it’s important to mention that the matcha blend used by Starbucks also contains sugar as its primary ingredient.

This means that the flavor profile of their matcha may be on the sweeter side compared to traditional matcha drinks without added sugar. The Starbucks matcha blend consists of at least 49.9% actual matcha powder, with the rest made of sugar.

  • Matcha Tea Latte: A combination of matcha powder, milk, and ice, which can be served hot or iced, resulting in a smooth and creamy beverage.
  • Matcha Shaken Iced Tea: The Starbucks matcha powder is shaken together with lemonade and ice for a cool, crisp tea drink.
  • Matcha and Espresso Fusion: A creative and bold pairing that mixes matcha powder with espresso. This is a unique blend of energy and flavor.

What Is Matcha?

matcha green tea powder

Image credit: dung thuyvunguyen, Pixabay

Matcha is a finely ground powder made from shade-grown green tea leaves. This unique tea powder originates from Japan and has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries.

The tea leaves are carefully grown in shaded areas to increase their chlorophyll content, resulting in a vibrant green color.

As the tea leaves are shade-grown, they develop a higher concentration of nutrients and flavor. After the leaves are harvested, they are stone-ground into a fine powder, making it easy to whisk into a frothy beverage.

Matcha boasts a rich and complex flavor profile, balancing sweet and earthy notes. Its smooth and velvety texture contributes to the enjoyable experience of sipping on a matcha-infused drink.

In addition, the high chlorophyll content also gives matcha it’s signature vibrant green color.

When preparing matcha, whisk the powder into hot water to create a suspension, resulting in a thick and frothy drink. This method differs from traditional steeped tea, as we consume the entire tea leaf rather than just an infusion.

Matcha is a special tea powder from Japan known for its vibrant green color, complex flavor, and frothy texture. It is made from carefully shade-grown and stone-ground green tea leaves, which provide a rich and satisfying tea experience.

Its unique growth and production process set it apart from other tea varieties and make it an exquisite part of Japanese culture.

Is Starbucks Matcha Powder Authentic Or Fake?

Starbucks matcha powder is made from authentic Japanese matcha. But it’s important to note that sugar is the first ingredient listed on the nutritional label. This means that at least 49.9% of the powder is actual matcha, while a significant portion is sugar.

For example, a 16oz Matcha latte from Starbucks has 32g of sugar. So it’s quite a sweet beverage compared to a homemade matcha green tea latte containing no added sugar.

The green tea used in Starbucks matcha powder is sourced from Japan and adheres to Japanese quality standards. Moreover, the matcha used in Starbucks drinks is shade-grown, which enhances its flavor and color.

Despite being authentic matcha, it’s important to recognize the differences when comparing it to traditional matcha products, particularly regarding sugar content.

Starbucks matcha powder contains a few primary ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Ground Japanese green tea
  • Powdered dextrose

As mentioned earlier, the sugar content in Starbucks matcha powder is relatively high, with one serving containing about 25 grams of sugar.

It’s essential to be aware of this when choosing Starbucks matcha beverages, as it can impact your overall health and well-being if consumed in large amounts.

Regarding caffeine content, an average 8-ounce serving of matcha contains 30 to 50 mg of caffeine, while a standard scoop of matcha powder used in Starbucks drinks has 27.5 mg of caffeine.

This is lower than the caffeine content in a regular espresso coffee, which has about 65 mg of caffeine.

Starbucks Matcha Green Tea Drinks

Matcha Latte

Starbucks offers a delicious Matcha Latte made with a unique matcha blend containing ground green tea and sugar but with sugar as the primary ingredient.

The Matcha Latte provides a sweet, earthy taste with a caffeine kick. A grande serving of Matcha Latte has 80 mg of caffeine.

Green Tea Latte

The Green Tea Latte is a creamy and flavorful beverage that combines a matcha blend with steamed milk. The result is a frothy, smooth, and comforting hot drink that incorporates green tea’s unique taste and benefits.

Matcha Green Tea Latte

If you are looking for something even more indulgent, you might want to try the Matcha Green Tea Latte. This latte combines a matcha blend with steamed milk and a hint of sweetness, making it a delightful and soothing beverage.

Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino

Finally, the Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino is a blended frozen treat that includes our matcha blend, milk, and ice, topped with whipped cream.

This rich and creamy beverage is a tasty way to enjoy the benefits of matcha in a fun, frozen format. It’s the perfect indulgence for any time of the day.

Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte

If you prefer a cooler option, the Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte is perfect. It is prepared with a matcha blend, milk, and ice, creating a refreshing iced version of the Matcha Green Tea Latte – perfect for a hot day or a little afternoon treat.

Matcha Lemonade

Matcha Lemonade is a delightful and refreshing option for the warmer months. It’s a matcha blend with tangy lemonade and ice, resulting in a thirst-quenching, citrusy beverage. This fusion of green tea and lemon provides a refreshing kick.

Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink

Another refreshing and fruity option is the Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink. This drink combines the flavors of our matcha blend with pineapple, ginger, and coconut milk, creating a tropical and energizing experience. It’s the perfect pick-me-up on a hot day.

Why Drinking Actual Matcha Is Best: Health Benefits of Matcha

Matcha is a popular beverage choice due to its unique flavor and numerous health benefits. But not all matcha is created equal, and knowing what we’re consuming is essential to reap its full advantages.

  • One of the main reasons to drink matcha is its high antioxidant content. These antioxidants help protect our bodies from harmful free radicals, contributing to our overall well-being.
  • Matcha is rich in catechins, a type of antioxidant with potent cancer-fighting properties. The most abundant catechin in matcha is EGCG, which has been shown to enhance our immune system and reduce inflammation.
  • Another vital aspect of matcha’s health benefits is its caffeine content. Unlike other caffeinated beverages, matcha provides a calm and steady energy boost, primarily due to the presence of L-theanine.
  • L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes relaxation and improves brain function and productivity without causing the jitters or crashes commonly associated with other caffeinated beverages.
  • Matcha contains roughly 30-50 milligrams of caffeine per serving, making it an excellent option for those who want a caffeine boost but don’t want to overdo it.
  • Low in calories and sugar, matcha is also a nutritious addition to a balanced diet. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which support digestion and aid in regulating our blood sugar levels.
  • Chlorophyll is another component in matcha that gives it its beautiful bright green color and offers detoxifying properties. As a natural cleanser, chlorophyll helps eliminate toxins and impurities from our bodies
  • Matcha’s protein content, although minimal, contributes to muscle growth and repair, enhancing our overall health.
  • Matcha has been linked to improved cholesterol levels, which can benefit heart health. Studies have suggested that regularly consuming matcha can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.

Is Starbucks Matcha Healthy?

Regarding Starbucks Matcha’s health, it’s important to consider the ingredients and sugar content. Starbucks’ Matcha tea blend contains some Japanese Matcha, but the first ingredient listed on the nutritional label is sugar.

This means that a significant portion of the powder is not pure Matcha, affecting the health benefits you may expect from this green tea.

In terms of sugar content, a 16oz Matcha latte from Starbucks contains 32g of sugar. A homemade Matcha Green Tea latte without added sugars would contain zero grams of sugar. Starbucks does not have sugar-free Matcha, but you can reduce the sugar by asking for fewer scoops of Matcha.

Each Starbucks sweetened Matcha blend scoop has approximately 13 calories and 4.5 grams of sugar.

As for caffeine content, an 8-ounce serving of Starbucks Matcha contains about 30 to 50 mg of caffeine. This is lower than the average espresso coffee, which has around 65 mg of caffeine. The specific type of Matcha used at Starbucks is Uji Matcha, originating from the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan.

Starbucks Matcha is healthy if you enjoy it in moderation and request fewer scoops of the sweetened blend. However, it is not as healthy as traditional, unsweetened Matcha due to the added sugar content.

When Did Starbucks Start Serving Matcha Drinks?

In the early 2000s, Starbucks introduced matcha beverages to its menu, and since then, they have become a popular choice for customers seeking a delicious and healthy alternative to coffee.

The first matcha-based drink offered at Starbucks was the Green Tea Latte. This delicious and creamy beverage combines a matcha blend with steamed milk.

Over the years, Starbucks made several improvements to its matcha beverages to ensure they provide the best flavor and quality. Starbucks sources its matcha from Japanese tea fields and carefully selects shade-grown, young tea leaves picked during peak season.

These leaves are then finely ground into a powder, which provides a vibrant green color and mild and sweet flavor unique to matcha.

Matcha Sources and Quality

When it comes to the matcha used by Starbucks, it’s essential to understand where they source it and the quality of their matcha blend. The type of matcha used in Starbucks drinks is specially sourced from the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan.

This region is known for producing high-quality matcha, such as the Uji Matcha, which has a light, sweet taste, and vibrant green color.

Regarding quality, Starbucks matcha comes from the Wazuka area of Japan, renowned for its premium matcha products. Although Starbucks’ matcha blend does include added sugar, it’s important to note that the matcha powder itself comes from a reputable source and is stone ground.

The matcha blend used by Starbucks, it’s not exclusively ceremonial grade, but it still maintains a high level of quality. Made from 100% pure matcha green tea leaves, Starbucks ensures that their matcha is sourced sustainably and ethically.

They also avoid adding any preservatives or artificial sweeteners to their matcha products.

Starbucks Matcha Ingredients

Starbucks’s matcha blend includes a mix of Japanese matcha and sugar, with sugar being the first ingredient listed on the nutritional label. This means less than 50% of the powder used is matcha.

Adding this sweetened matcha powder to steamed milk creates a smooth and creamy flavor in their Matcha Tea Latte.

While Starbucks’ matcha contains some healthy fats, it’s important to consider the 32g of sugar in a 16oz latte.

Starbucks offers other matcha-based drinks, such as the Matcha Shaken Iced Tea, made by shaking together their matcha powder, lemonade, and ice.

There’s also the Matcha and Espresso Fusion, which combines matcha powder with a bold shot of espresso. These drinks use the same sweetened matcha blend as the latte.

When looking at the specific type of matcha used by Starbucks, they don’t provide information about using Sencha powder, organic matcha, or a vegan option.

If you want to enjoy a matcha drink with a healthier profile, consider making your own matcha latte at home. You can choose an organic, unsweetened matcha powder and combine it with your preferred plant-based milk.

This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of matcha without the added sugars while also catering to your preferences and dietary needs.

Customizing Your Starbucks Matcha Order

When visiting Starbucks, many of us enjoy indulging in their delicious matcha beverages. The matcha powder used by Starbucks contains sugar as the first ingredient. So it’s less healthy than traditional Japanese matcha.

To have more control over your Starbucks matcha order, try asking for a few modifications. Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Request unsweetened matcha in your beverage to control the sugar content. This might not completely eliminate the sugar, but it will reduce it to some extent. 
  • Choose non-dairy milk options to make your matcha latte vegan-friendly or lactose-free. Starbucks offers various options like almond, coconut, soy, or oat milk. 
  • Customize the caffeine level in your matcha drink by asking the barista to adjust the amount of matcha powder. A standard scoop contains 27.5 mg of caffeine.
  • Consider adding a few pumps of pumpkin spice syrup to your matcha latte.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Starbucks put in their matcha?

Starbucks’ matcha blend contains Japanese green tea powder, sugar, and fruit pectin. The first ingredient on the nutritional label is sugar, meaning a significant portion of the blend is not pure matcha.

Due to the sugar content, Starbucks’ matcha drinks can be quite sweet compared to traditional matcha.

What matcha drinks can you order at Starbucks?

At Starbucks, you can order various matcha-based drinks, such as:

  • Matcha Green Tea Latte
  • Matcha Lemonade
  • Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte
  • Blended Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino
  • Matcha Cold Foam Iced Americano

These drinks may vary by location and season, so always check the menu for current offerings.

Which brand of matcha does Starbucks use?

The company sources its matcha from Japan and uses Aiya matcha powder. This is a high-quality, finely ground powder made from whole green tea leaves.

Does Starbucks use Tazo matcha?

Starbucks does not use Tazo matcha in their matcha beverages. Tazo is a brand of tea that was previously owned by Starbucks but was later sold to Unilever.

The matcha used by Starbucks is different from Tazo matcha and is specifically sourced for the company.

Does Starbucks sell their Matcha powder in stores?

While many Starbucks locations sell retail packages of coffee, tea, and other related products, Starbucks does not currently sell their matcha powder in stores.

Takeaway On What Matcha Starbucks Uses

Starbucks sources its matcha from the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan. This matcha balances quality with cost efficiency, making matcha accessible to more Starbucks fans.

Whether it’s for a traditional matcha latte or a creative frappuccino blend, Starbucks uses matcha that’s vibrant in color and rich in flavor. Enjoying matcha at Starbucks will give you an accessible, delicious introduction to this traditional Japanese beverage.


  1. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/439/iced
  2. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/468/iced
  3. https://www.starbucks.co.uk/menu/drinks
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796401/

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Featured image credit: Starbucks