Matcha Espresso Fusion is a beautifully layered drink of matcha green tea and espresso with milk. Starbucks in Asia popularized the drink. This double-caffeinated drink is not only vibrant in colour, but as well as in taste.
This post first appeared on Sift & Simmer in May 2017. Updated March 2021.
As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.”
For this drink, I literally practiced making this every morning for almost a week before I got it just right.
Ever since having this drink at a local cafe, I wanted to recreate the beautiful layered drink at home.
Starbucks in Asia popularized the Matcha Espresso Fusion, and it has quickly become an item of interest in cafes here. With warm summer days ahead, you can quench your thirst with this delicious iced drink in your own home.
What is a Matcha Espresso Fusion?
Matcha Espresso Fusion is a visually stunning layered drink consisting of three main components:
- matcha green tea
- espresso coffee
It is also known as a camo latte, military latte or dirty matcha latte.
It reminds me of a spin on the Hong Kong-style Yuen-Yueng which is a popular drink made of 3-parts coffee to 7-parts milk tea.
What is matcha?
Matcha is one of my favourite ingredients to use and is finely ground Japanese green tea powder.
It is green in colour and it does contain caffeine.
Ingredients in the Matcha Espresso Fusion
You’ll need 6 ingredients:
- matcha: I recommend a culinary grade matcha, sifted to remove any clumps
- room temperature water: for dissolving the matcha powder
- cold milk: for the middle layer; you can use any type of milk or non-dairy alternative
- hot espresso coffee: should be boiling hot coffee; you can use decaf or regular
- granulated sugar: or any sweetener will do, such as honey
- crushed ice
The temperature of the ingredients does matter. Keep on reading to find out why.
How to create a layered drink
I’m excited to share my tips on making this drink at home with success.
First, a quick lesson in physics.
If you didn’t pay attention in high school physics (guilty!), then it’s time to pay attention now.
Density = Mass / Volume
In order to obtain the different layers in the drink, we need to create different densities in each liquid.
Keep in mind that temperature also affects density.
It is for the reason that the bottom matcha layer has sugar added to it.
How to make a Matcha Espresso Fusion
For our bottom layer, we’ll need to make this the heaviest so it will sink to the bottom.
To do this, we’ll add sugar to the matcha and room temperature water to create a dense liquid.
Then, add ice to the glass.
The next layer is the milk layer, which will sit on top of the matcha.
Now comes the tricky coffee espresso layer.
In order to get the espresso layer to float, remember that temperature affects density?
Hot water will float on top of ice because it is less dense than cold water.
Why? The hot water molecules are excited and spread farther apart and take up more space in an area. Now that we know this, rest assured that the hot espresso will naturally float to the top.
Physics lesson over.
My 3 tips on creating clean layers
First, I have an important trick to share with you when it comes to creating clean layers:
1) Use a spoon.
If you tried to pour the milk over top the matcha, the gravity of the liquid would pull it down, potentially muddling the layers.
When you pour the liquid over the back of the spoon, it gently trickles down slowly, leaving the layers intact.
2) Also, for the layers to be distinct and separate, ensure that there’s enough ice to cover the diameter of the glass.
3) And, if you’re a perfectionist, you can add a touch of sugar to the middle milk layer to ensure the coffee layer floats on top.
Does matcha contain caffeine?
Yes, it does contain caffeine so this is drink is not suitable for children.
Can I make this drink warm?
Yes, you can make a warm version of the drink, but be aware that the layers may not hold up as nicely without the ice.
Other drink recipes you may like
So when someone asks you, “Coffee or tea?” You can smile thinking, “Why not both?”
Have fun creating this drink at home, and if you do, I’d love to see your creations!
Tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave a comment/rating below and let me know! Have you had this drink before?
Homemade Matcha Espresso Fusion
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 tsp granulated sugar (or to taste)
- 2 tsp matcha high-quality
- ¼ C water room temperature
- 6 ice cubes crushed
- ½ C milk of choice (or non-dairy beverage)
- 2 oz hot espresso
- Place sugar and matcha in the bottom of a tall glass. Add water and mix well to dissolve the matcha and sugar.
- Add crushed ice cubes to the glass.
- Take a spoon and turn it around so the back side is facing the top. Position the spoon slightly above the ice. Carefully pour milk over top the back of the spoon. The milk will gently drizzle over top of the ice.
- Next, using the same technique, carefully pour the hot espresso over the back of the spoon on top of the milk and ice. The espresso will float to the top.
- Step back, pat yourself on the back and admire your beautifully handcrafted 3-layered drink. Stick a straw in, give it a stir and enjoy.