I’m an unabashed one-a-day coffee drinker and have been, off and on, for over 15 years. I’ve always taken it with a little sweetener and most importantly, a liberal pour of cream. (These days it’s dairy-free cream but still…)
In addition to the aroma, warmth and ever so slight pick-me-up, my morning coffee ritual is all about comfort and a slow, relaxed start to the day.
It also reminds me of family, probably because my dad was a coffee drinker as far back as I can remember and I can recall being woken many times in my teens and early 20s to the clattering sound of fresh coffee beans in the grinder. In my experience, it’s not a sound that is easy to sleep through!
Like anything though, coffee (regular and even decaf) can be a bit of a slippery slope. This is especially true if you’re using it as a crutch—for extra energy, for stress (ah the irony!), or for pushing through a last-minute work project or one with a tight deadline.
I have never enjoyed decaf coffee so when my relatively harmless one-coffee-a-day habit suddenly becomes a 2-3+ coffee-a-day-habit, it’s a reminder that sometimes all good things must come to an end.
Cue a self-imposed coffee “strike”.
I like the word strike because it feels like the decision to quit coffee is fully in my court – in other words, coffee isn’t quitting me! My fellow coffee lovers will understand.
And like most people, I find it’s often easier to cut something out when you have something ready to replace it. Sometimes my coffee gets replaced with a non-coffee substitute like chicory or dandelion, a herbal tea, flavoured water or even coconut water, and this often depends on the morning’s weather.
Lately, this “magical” dairy-free matcha green tea latte has done a terrific job of pinch hitting for my old friend coffee.
As far as teas go, matcha is unique compared to most: where regular or herbal tea leaves are soaked/infused in hot water and then removed before drinking, matcha’s tea leaves are ground up so you’re consuming the leaves themselves.
Matcha green tea is packed with an impressive amount of antioxidants, including one called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that is mostly found in green tea. Matcha also contains L-theanine, an amino acid with a relaxing effect that can help boost concentration and memory and that has been well studied for its ability to reduce anxiety and stress.
This dairy-free matcha latte, unlike coffee shop versions, also packs a protein punch: about 6-9 g of protein from the hemp hearts and an extra 9 g of protein if you include the collagen powder.
This “magic” trick of a latte-like beverage, which happens without milk or dairy of any kind, happens as a result of the coconut oil… so please don’t leave that out! Or if you must, replace it with another fat that will do a similar job. A few ideas are ghee (which I’ve used many times, sometimes alone or with coconut oil), unsalted butter, avocado oil or maybe even red palm oil, though I suspect this would dramatically affect the overall colour.
You can use coconut oil to make any beverage frothy and creamy (without milk or dairy) and it works best with blended drinks, including dairy-free hot cocoa, turmeric (or golden) tea and even any kind of herbal tea.
I normally include a sweetener because I find it helps offset matcha’s natural grassiness and/or bitterness, but you could absolutely leave it out for a sugar-free matcha tea latte.
Due to the matcha itself and the added protein, this coffee alternative doesn’t seem to provoke a fatigue crash or spike my blood sugar like coffee can. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine or if you simply wish to avoid it, you may prefer to skip matcha and choose a non-caffeinated option.
This recipe as written makes enough for one person but you can easily scale it up to feed a crowd.
Dairy-Free, Protein-Rich "Magical" Matcha Tea Latte
A protein-rich matcha green tea latte using coconut oil and hemp hearts for froth & creaminess!
- 1-2 tsp ground matcha (powdered green tea)
- 2 tsp coconut oil and/or ghee, liquid or solid
- 2 Tbsp hemp hearts
- 1-3 tsp maple syrup, honey or other sweetener (recommended but optional – see notes)
- 8 oz. hot water
Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high for a few minutes or until the hemp hearts are fully blended. Your latte will be frothy and ready to drink immediately.
I normally use maple syrup as a sweetener because I find it helps offset matcha’s natural grassiness and/or bitterness, but you could absolutely leave it out for a sugar-free version.
Supplemental add-ins (all are optional)
1 tsp maca powder; 1 Tbsp grass-fed collagen powder; 1 serving of L-glutamine powder
I usually include all of the supplemental add-ins, except for the collagen (which varies based on my daily protein intake). Please consult a health care provider to determine whether these supplements are or are not appropriate for your individual condition.
If you don’t like matcha or want to avoid the caffeine in it, you can blend coconut oil with any other hot drink of your choice for a creamy, non-dairy, latte-like beverage.
Life is a plate… Eat up,