While creating a collection of Starbucks drink recipes, I knew the homemade version of Matcha Lemonade was one I needed to master. The calming energy of matcha, mixed with tart and sweet lemonade makes a vibrantly green refreshing beverage… the perfect drink for a hot summer day.
Before you start mixing this quick and easy drink, you should know that Starbucks Matcha Lemonade is very matcha-forward.
Typically, matcha is paired with creamy milk, like in Starbucks’ Iced Pineapple Matcha Drink made with coconut milk, which balances out its strong, earthy flavor.
When milk is removed from the equation, as in this copycat Starbucks Matcha Lemonade, matcha is center stage. This delicous drink is made for matcha lovers. (raises hand)
If that’s you, let’s get started!
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Here’s what you don’t need… a sifter, a special matcha whisk, or a cocktail shaker. You certainly can use those items if you don’t have my #1 recommened tool, but the recipe has been streamlined to be as easy as possible.
I recommend a…
Blender: My Blendec does all the work in 20 seconds. Any home blender can handle the easy blending you’ll do in this recipe. Matcha is a fine powder that does not dissolve. It has to be thoroughly mixed into your liquids. But your blender will do all of the work for you. It’s the best part of making this drink. No sifting matcha, no whisking, no shaking… and no clumping!
1 cup of lemonade: Just like your local Starbucks barista, we’re using premade lemonade to put together this popular drink. Choose your favorite lemonade from the store or a homemade lemonade recipe. I use Simply Lemonade, which is easy to find in most grocery stores and has simple ingredients.
1 teaspoon of matcha powder: The unique flavor of matcha is intense enough in this recipe that it’s important to use a high-quality matcha: ceremonial grade or latte grade pure matcha powder. Culinary-grade matcha, which is better suited for baking matcha cookies or other food recipes, would be too bitter.
I enjoy matcha daily, in some form, and have vetted Encha Matcha, but there are a lot of quality matcha brands on the market.
½ cup of ice: The ice adds an essential touch, making your drink cold and refreshing.
In a blender combine lemonade and matcha powder until fully mixed, approximately 20 seconds.
At Starbucks, the matcha lemonade is shaken, but the blender is easier and so much more adept at getting rid of all the little matcha clumps!
Fill a glass with ice. Pour the Matcha Lemonade over the ice.
Adjust the ice to your preference, roughly 1/2- 1 cup. On a hot day, I add lots of ice for a more refeshing drink!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Green Tea Bags Instead of Matcha?
Not really. You can use green tea bags, but then you’re really just making iced tea lemonade. A perfectly wonderful drink, but you’ll want a recipe better suited to that venture.
Matcha powder and green tea are derived from the same plant but are pretty different.
According to the Republic of Tea, most matcha is grown in Japan, where it is kept in the shade during the final weeks before harvest, increasing chlorophyll and the vibrant color of the young tea leaves. Most green tea is grown in China.
The tea made from steeping green tea leaves, is still earthy, but mild. While matcha powder is more intense, which is often balanced by creamy milk and sweet sugar in a matcha latte.
In terms of nutrients, you’ll get more with matcha due to how it is grown and harvested, and also because you consume the leaf, rather than steep it and remove it.
Can I Use Homemade Lemonade?
Making your own lemonade with fresh lemons is an excellent alternative to store-bought lemonade. It gives you the ability to tweak the tartness and sweetness of the recipe. I recommend preparing homemade lemonade at least a few hours in advance, so the flavors have time to meld.
Can I Make Matcha Lemonade Ahead?
It’s better to make Iced Matcha Lemonade when ready to enjoy it. If you make it in advance, the matcha will oxidize and change color a bit over time. It still tastes amazing, but this vibrant green drink turns into an unappealing army green.
Can I Double the Recipe?
Yes, you can easily double or even quadruple this recipe in most blenders. It’s perfect if you want a large lemonade or want to serve it to a couple of friends.
Once you go beyond about four cups, you will likely reach the limits of your blender.
To make this recipe for a crowd, calculate one cup of lemonade and 1 teaspoon of matcha per serving. Easy math!
Mix one cup of the lemonade with all of the matcha in a blender for about 20 seconds, so it doesn’t clump in your lemonade. Then, add the matcha mixture and the remaining lemonade to a large pitcher and stir.
Is Iced Matcha Lemonade Healthy?
Yes and no.
Like most Starbucks drinks, Iced Matcha Lemonade is high in added sugar due to the lemonade. To reduce sugar, use a homemade lemonade recipe rather than store-bought lemonade. You can cut back on the amount of sugar and/or replace it with honey, maple syrup, or another sugar substitute recommended by your doctor or dietician.
I tested this recipe with homemade honey lemonade and think honey pairs perfectly with the flavors of earthy matcha and tart lemons. It has a different taste than the Starbucks drink, but equally amazing! (maybe even better)
Matcha powder and lemons have health beneftis and contain vitamin C and powerful antioxidants.
Is Matcha Lemonade Gluten-Free?
Yes, Iced Matcha Lemonade, like all recipes on Go Gluten Freely, is gluten-free. You still need to vet the actual ingredients you purchase. I use:
- Simply Lemonade: This product is made by Coca-Cola, and the company states it is gluten-free.
- Encha Matcha: I contacted Encha Matcha the company responded that, while it does not test for gluten, only fruit and nuts are processed in the same facility as its matcha, and the equipment is cleaned between products.
Making Matcha Lemonade at home is the safest way to ensure it is gluten-free. Starbucks does not guarantee that any of the beverages made in its stores are free from cross-contamination.
How Much Caffeine is in the Starbucks Matcha Lemonade?
At Starbucks, a tall Matcha Lemonade contains approximately 55 mg of caffeine.
For the recipe below, caffeine amounts vary depending on the brand of matcha you use. If you use Encha Matcha (either latte grade or ceremonial grade matcha), a glass of matcha lemonade comes in at 60 mg of caffeine, much less than a cup of coffee.
For comparison, an equivalent amount of coffee contains approximately 95 mg of caffeine.
The caffeine in matcha is balanced by the amino acid L-theanine, which releases dopamine and serotonin, providing the calming energy that makes matcha so popular.
Matcha Lemonade (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)
- 1 cup lemonade
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder
- ½ cup ice cubes
- In a blender combine lemonade and matcha powder until fully mixed, approximately 20 seconds.
- Fill a glass with ice. Pour the Matcha Lemonade over the ice. Enjoy!