What is Dirty Matcha?
A dirty matcha is simply made by combining matcha, milk and coffee.
The goal here is to create a contrast of both flavors and colors, as the brown coffee combines with the vibrant green matcha powder.
The flavors of matcha and coffee couldn’t be more different, with matcha being strong on these slightly grassy, steamed vegetable flavors and coffee drifting more into the warm, nutty and roasted direction.
This creates a true adventure for the taste buds, with each sip of the dirty matcha tasting differently, depending on how it’s mixed.
You can also make a dirty matcha using hojicha powder instead of espresso powder, which we will talk about later on.
The key to a good dirty matcha
As we mentioned briefly in the dirty matcha recipe, the key comes down to the mixing (or lack there of) of the different ldrinks. The mixing of the two drinks, which we will call the gradient for the lack of a better term, is everything.
The goal is to have an imperfect mixture of the two, with the coffee sitting on top and the matcha sitting on the bottom. This gradient is ideal, because you actually don’t want the two drinks to mix completely. You want some sips to taste like coffee, some to taste like matcha and some to taste like a mixture of the two.
Dirty Matcha with Hojicha
You might be thinking, I thought this was a tea blog! Why are you recommending we use coffee in this dirty matcha instead of tea? While the traditional dirty matcha is made with coffee or espresso powder, there is a more "tea-friendly" option using hojicha. Just use the hojicha powder in place of the espresso powder.
You will find that hojicha and coffee share a lot of these roasted and nutty taste characteristics, but the hojicha is a little bit less harsh, and may even combine better with the flavors in the dirty matcha.
Tools needed to make a Dirty Matcha
To make this recipe, you really don’t need much apart from what you might already have in your kitchen. The one exception is that we recommend you invest in a chasen or bamboo tea whisk. This will make it much easier to whisk up your matcha tea and get that perfect smooth consistency.
If you really want to take it a step further, you can also get the clay matcha bowl or chawan. This is the bowl used in the Japanese tea ceremony, and it can really make it easier to whisk without spilling the matcha because of the wider base and steeper sides.
Advantages of using these tools
The first couple of times you make your dirty matcha latte, you might notice that the matcha comes out clumpy, or it is not completely combined into the drink. If you want to avoid this, you really have to mix it properly.
We find that by sifting the matcha powder and carefully mixing it with a bamboo tea whisk, we are able to carefully remove all the clumps that would otherwise form in our dirty matcha. If you want to take your dirty matcha to the next level, try these tools out and see how you like them!