Recipe: Matcha White Hot Chocolate

Some people argue that white chocolate isn’t real chocolate, because it doesn’t actually contain cocao solids. But then, there are people who call it chamomile tea and peppermint tea – and you don’t see me waving a pitchfork at them for the misuse of the word tea instead of tisane…

It’s been chilly in Canada lately. You might have heard of the three snow storms that British Columbia was subjected to last week, or the State of Emergency called in Newfoundland & Labrador (that’s the east coast for you!)… So what better excuse is there for me than to stay home with a cup of hot chocolate? And since it’s me being me, I had to be a little bit extra and fancy with it… and make it a Matcha White Hot Chocolate.

And I’ve already got the recipe ready to go so you can make two cups! One for you, and one for your equally matcha-obsessed love (or friend).

Matcha White Hot Chocolate – Serves 2

2 cups milk¹
½-⅓ cup white chocolate chips²
2 tbs matcha (sifted)³

Optional Garnish Ideas:
Whipped cream
Candy canes
Sifted matcha
White chocolate shavings
Miniature marshmallows

¹ I used unsweetened soy milk for mine, you can opt to use dairy or dairy-free alternatives.
² If you can’t find white chocolate chips at your local grocery store, a high quality white chocolate bar (chopped!) will work as well. Bonus, you can eat the leftovers. You can also use regular sweetened chocolate chips, but the colour (and flavour) definitely won’t be the same.
³ There are so many types of matcha out there! I would recommend using a traditional matcha (100% matcha, no additives or “drink mixes”). I used Whisk Premium Matcha’s Everyday in making this recipe.

In a medium-sized sauce pan, over medium heat, put in all the ingredients – don’t forget to sift the matcha for some anti-clumping action.
Whisk until chocolate chips are melted and well incorporated.
Do not allow the mixture to boil!
Once everything is heated and well-mixed, pour into mugs.
Top with optional garnish(es).

If you make this Matcha White Hot Chocolate, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!

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DavidsTea’s Candy Cane Matcha

Candy Cane Matcha by DavidsTea
Green Tea (Matcha) / Flavoured
$9.98 for 50g

First Impressions

I picked up a bag of Candy Cane Matcha as part of the Cyber Monday sales that DavidsTea had online. I quite like mint (and I do enjoy candy canes), so I was curious as to how it would taste when paired with matcha. This is a seasonal offering, so if you’re thinking about giving it a try don’t sit on the fence too long. Candy Cane Matcha came in a sealed, resealable silver pouch with a bright green label on the front.

The powder itself is a pale pistachio green and has a very strong minty aroma to it. Candy Cane Matcha consists of: cane sugar, matcha green tea, milk powder, natural candy cane flavouring. I do question how does one get natural candy cane flavouring, considering how candy canes are a candy. Candy Cane Matcha is described as a matcha drink mix and is labelled as such so nobody will be confusing it with a traditional, straight matcha.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends mixing Candy Cane Matcha with 85°C (185°F) water, so I followed the temperature recommendation.

I sifted Candy Cane Matcha into my bowl first, and then whisked it with my bamboo whisk. You can probably get away with a handheld milk frother to mix it, as I find that the matcha drink mixes often do well in heated water. If you’re new to preparing matcha, you can find out more tips and tricks in my article The Basics of Preparing Matcha.

First Taste

Candy Cane Matcha whisks easily enough in water, but I honestly forgot about the fact that milk powder was a listed ingredient when I was whisking it and genuinely thought that something had got off about the drink mix because of the colour. It’s a milky pale green and if you’re used to how a matcha is supposed to look like – you might find this a bit off-putting. Once I reviewed the list of ingredients and reminded myself that milk powder is present, I didn’t find it so wrong anymore.

Candy Cane Matcha does smell delightfully minty, which met my expectations given the name. I found it to be sweet and minty in flavour. The matcha itself isn’t very noticeable, but that’s really not surprising given the intensity of a flavour like mint. I did find it quite tasty though, and plenty sweet – but not cloyingly so.

A Second Cup?

As Candy Cane Matcha is a suspension, there were no second helpings with the same powder.

My Overall Impression

I liked DavidsTea’s Candy Cane Matcha. I found the aroma and the flavour to be spot-on for what I expected from a matcha blended with candy cane. I do wish that perhaps that it had more of a matcha flavour to it, but it does make me think of the holidays so I do think that it was appropriately minty. I can see this making an excellent matcha latte for the holidays, and perhaps would even do well with a bit of eggnog in there as well.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Buddha Leaf’s Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Ceremonial Grade Matcha by Buddha Leaf
Green Tea (Matcha) / Straight
$17.99 for 40g

First Impressions

I picked up Buddha Leaf’s Ceremonial Grade Matcha at a local grocery store in the coffee & tea aisle… because it was on sale. At first I thought the powder would come preportioned because it said “20 serving portions” on the packaging itself. So the packaging of Matcha is a resealable pouch and inside of that pouch is a sealed (non-resealable) silver packet with the matcha inside of that. I do feel like it’s double packaging, and needlessly so. The outer packaging could have been heat sealed and it would have been okay.

Ceremonial Grade Matcha is a light spring green colour. The aroma is grassy primarily, with a hint of saltiness in the background. I’m curious about how well this will taste since it’s described as being “ceremonial grade”. Ceremonial Grade Matcha consists of organic Japanese matcha.

Preparation

There were no preparation instructions on the packaging that I could find, so I relied on my matcha knowledge. I sifted the powder into my matcha bowl, and then used 175°F (79°C) water and whisked it until it produced a thin layer of bubbles across the top. It was easy to whisk up.

First Taste

Ceremonial Grade Matcha has some bright spring green bubbles across the top, and a dark green tea. The aroma is grassy. I found when I drank it, that it was quite astringent and bitter. There’s some grassy notes, as well as umami flavour. But I did find the astringency to off-putting. The back of the packaging suggests that it could be used in smoothies or lattes, which I think it might be a good idea. I think it’d be great for baking with as well, or at least adding some sweetener to it to make it more palatable.

A Second Cup?

No second steepings with matcha.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Buddha Leaf’s Ceremonial Grade Matcha was just okay. While I think the grassy notes were pleasant, I found it to be quite bitter and not very pleasant when it was drank straight. But with a little bit of sweetener and milk, it makes for a nice latte so I would recommend using it mixed with something if you’re not a fan of the bitterness.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.