Matcha green tea is famed for its numerous health benefits. But, when it comes to Starbucks’ version of this antioxidant-packed drink, is it as beneficial as we’d hope? Let’s delve into the details.
Is Starbucks Matcha Healthy?
Matcha, in its traditional form, is an antioxidant powerhouse. When consumed in its pure form, matcha promotes weight loss, hormone regulation, heart health protection, and boasts impressive immune-boosting properties. The difference lies in its preparation. While regular green tea is simply steeped in water and removed, matcha is finely ground tea that’s consumed in its entirety. This means its antioxidant and nutrient levels far surpass those of conventional green teas.
However, Starbucks’ default preparation for matcha lattes uses 2% dairy milk. And if you’re going for a Matcha Creme Frappuccino, you’re sipping on a blend made with whole milk. They even offer a matcha lemonade, combining matcha powder and lemonade. While traditional matcha whisked in hot water is undeniably healthy, the sweetened version at Starbucks is a different story, with sugar being its primary component.
- 1 Cup Milk (Cow, Almond, Coconut..your choice)
- 1–2 Tsp The Tea Shelf Matcha
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Syrup (Starbucks uses this one)
- 1 Cup Ice
Starbucks Matcha Nutrition Facts
Though traditionally prepared matcha boasts numerous health benefits, Starbucks’ versions are laden with milk and sugar. Here’s a nutritional breakdown to help you make an informed choice:
A standard hot Starbucks matcha latte contains about 15 calories per fluid ounce, while its iced counterpart has roughly 12 calories per ounce. To put it in perspective, an iced matcha from Starbucks can pack nearly twice the calories of a Pink Drink.
|Starbucks Matcha||Calories (Hot Latte)||Calories (Iced Latte)|
Starbucks matcha lattes get their sweetness from two sources: the naturally occurring sugar in milk and the added sugar in the matcha powder. If cutting down on added sugars is a goal of yours, you might want to reconsider having this drink regularly.
|Starbucks Matcha Latte (Hot)||Total Sugars (g)||Sugar from Milk (g)||Sugar from Matcha (g)|
It’s clear that Starbucks matcha isn’t the epitome of health. A grande matcha tea latte, for instance, contains a staggering 32 grams of sugar! A major chunk of this sugar comes from Starbucks’ matcha powder, which isn’t just pure green tea. Instead, its primary ingredient is sugar.
How to Order a Healthier Matcha Latte at Starbucks
If you’re a matcha enthusiast but wish to cut down on the sugars and calories, here are a couple of tweaks you can make to your Starbucks order:
- Ask for Less Matcha Powder: While Starbucks doesn’t offer sugar-free matcha, you can request fewer scoops to reduce the sugar content.
- Switch the Type of Milk: Opting for almond milk instead of dairy can significantly reduce the calorie and sugar content of your drink.
While traditional matcha is a health elixir, the Starbucks version might not fit everyone’s definition of “healthy.” But with a few modifications, you can enjoy a healthier cup without compromising too much on taste.
1. Why is Starbucks matcha so expensive?
High-quality matcha is stone-ground, a process that requires human intervention. This method prevents loss of nutritional value that can occur with mill grinding. Such meticulous care in production ramps up the cost.
2. Is it OK to drink matcha latte every day?
Yes, drinking matcha can be beneficial for your health. On average, 2-3 servings a day can be beneficial for most individuals, including expectant mothers.
3. Is Starbucks matcha high in caffeine?
A typical scoop of Starbucks matcha powder contains 27.5 mg of caffeine. This is relatively low, especially when compared to the 65 mg caffeine content in an espresso coffee.
After assessing the health aspects of Starbucks matcha, we also explored the nutrition behind the popular Starbucks’ Pink Drink.