Fruit-Flavored Matcha Is the Summer Beverage You Need in Your Rotation

With flavor options ranging from orange to strawberry and everything in between, adding fruit to your iced matcha latte is about to become your go-to.

Matcha has been around for thousands of years, but it’s just recently evolved into what you expect to get when you order a matcha latte from your favorite café. While matcha lattes have become a staple of most coffee shops, variations like adding ice and vanilla syrup are relatively new, especially in comparison to the origins of the drink. The latest innovation for this time-honored beverage? Fruit-based matcha.

Iced strawberry matcha latte

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Starbucks debuted one of the first of these fruity variations in 2020 with the Pineapple Matcha, which featured coconut milk and was shaken with pineapple and ginger flavors. This summer, Blue Bottle Coffee is adding to the trend by offering the Orange Blossom Matcha for the first time after seeing success in matcha lattes and indulgent coffees, like the fall-seasonal Black Cardamom Latte and Spiced NOLA (a New Orleans-inspired iced coffee).

“Orange Blossom’s original purpose was to add floral top notes to our Black Cardamom Latte,” says Matt Longwell, global product director at Blue Bottle. “When we were musing on how we could approach a seasonal matcha, we had a lightbulb moment, as the pairing seemed perfect in theory and ended up being absolutely delicious.”

The addition of the orange blossom flavoring  to a matcha base brings about a fragrant, citrusy taste, introducing a touch of sweetness that works well in a matcha, Longwell says.

“For the most part when we perceive something as tasting good, it’s a mixture or balance of multiple flavors,” says Emily Nienhaus, culinary specialist at the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen. “For example, when chocolate is extra delicious, it typically has a large amount of salt to enhance flavors as well as balance the sweet. Overall, matcha has a fairly mild flavor, but a touch of sweetness and acidity from fruit will balance some of the bitterness or grassiness and bring out the subtle nuttiness of the tea leaves.”

Plus, flavors like pineapple and orange are often reminiscent of tropical destinations and beachy vacations, so fruit-forward matcha will definitely get you in a summer mindset. (And who doesn’t want that?)

As matcha continues to grow in popularity, you can expect to see more options to try out—especially in the form of lattes. 

“Matcha-based drinks are becoming more similar to espresso-based drinks, where there’s a variety of end cups to match the needs of a diverse set of consumers—pure black drinks, steamed milk, steamed milk and flavor,” Longwell says. “Matcha lattes, because they’re on the more indulgent side of the spectrum, invite exploration of additional flavors. The guest is looking to experience fun, distinctive, insightful flavor pairings that continue to scratch that itch for newness while meeting a set of sensory needs, like something milky and slightly sweet.”

Different spins on matcha lattes continue to pop up on social platforms, too—strawberry matcha lattes are a favorite on TikTok, with the hashtag #strawberrymatcha amassing over 79 million views. Most of the at-home tutorial videos feature recipes that involve blending a handful of strawberries with milk, pouring that mixture into a glass about three-quarters of the way, and adding in the prepped matcha. Users in the comments recommend using almond or oat milk; if you’re a Starbucks regular, try ordering your matcha latte with strawberry puree.

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