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Does Starbucks Matcha Have Caffeine? Explained

Matcha is made from finely ground green tea leaves and is renowned not just for its bright color and distinctive taste, but also for its caffeine content. Unlike regular brewed tea, when you drink Matcha, you consume the entire leaf in powdered form, which can significantly affect its caffeine level. This makes Matcha a unique player in the lineup of caffeinated beverages.

At Starbucks, Matcha has become synonymous with a variety of inviting green-hued drinks, from hot lattes to refreshing iced teas. In this article, we’ll explore exactly how much caffeine is in Starbucks Matcha drinks, and how they compare to other caffeinated options available at the coffee giant.

Quick answer: Yes, Starbucks Matcha drinks do contain caffeine. The caffeine content in Starbucks Matcha beverages varies depending on the size and specific drink type. For example, a Grande Matcha Green Tea Latte contains approximately 80 mg of caffeine. These beverages combine finely ground Matcha powder sourced from high-quality green tea leaves with sugar, creating a popular choice for those seeking a refreshing, caffeinated option at Starbucks locations worldwide. This makes Starbucks Matcha an excellent choice for a midday boost or a morning starter.

How Starbucks Prepares Matcha Drinks

How Starbucks Prepares Matcha Drinks
Image: Envato Elements

Starbucks is well-known for its extensive range of coffee and tea beverages, including its popular Matcha drinks. The preparation and sourcing of Matcha at Starbucks cater to consistency and convenience, aligning with their fast-paced service model.

How Starbucks Sources and Prepares Its Matcha

Starbucks sources its Matcha powder from green tea leaves grown primarily in Japan, China, and other parts of Asia where green tea cultivation is prevalent and respected for its high-quality outputs. The green tea leaves are shade-grown and carefully harvested to enhance their flavor and nutritional content. Once picked, the leaves are steamed, dried, and ground into a fine, vibrant green powder.

At Starbucks, this Matcha powder is then blended with sugar, which is a key difference from traditional Matcha. This pre-sweetened mix simplifies the preparation process in busy store settings and ensures a consistent taste in every cup.

To prepare a Matcha drink, baristas measure the appropriate amount of this sweetened Matcha powder and combine it with milk or water, depending on the customer’s order, either serving it steamed for hot lattes or shaken with ice for cold beverages.

Difference Between Authentic Matcha Preparation and Starbucks’ Methods

Traditional Matcha preparation is a meticulous and ceremonial process, deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Authentic Matcha is made using pure, unsweetened Matcha powder. The traditional tools involved include a bamboo whisk (chasen), a tea sifter, a ceramic bowl (chawan), and a bamboo scoop (chashaku).

The process begins by sifting the Matcha powder to remove any clumps, ensuring a smooth consistency. Hot water—just under a boil—is then added to the sifted powder. Using the bamboo whisk, the mixture is whisked vigorously in a W-shaped motion until a frothy layer forms on the surface, indicative of well-prepared Matcha, which is then immediately enjoyed in its pure, unsweetened form.

In contrast, Starbucks simplifies this process significantly. The use of pre-sweetened Matcha powder eliminates the need for sifting and measuring out sugar, and electric blenders or steam wands replace the bamboo whisk to mix the Matcha smoothly and quickly with hot or cold liquids.

This method is tailored for speed and consistency, suitable for a commercial environment but distant from the meditative, slow-paced ritual of traditional Matcha preparation.

While Starbucks offers a convenient and accessible way to enjoy Matcha, it differs significantly from the traditional methods that tea enthusiasts might seek out for a more authentic experience.

Does Starbucks Matcha Have Caffeine?

Yes, Starbucks Matcha drinks do contain caffeine. The caffeine in these beverages comes from the Matcha powder used, which is made from ground green tea leaves that naturally contain caffeine.

Here’s a breakdown of the caffeine content in some of the popular Starbucks Matcha drinks:

Young woman drinking Matcha green tea latte on wodden table in the coffee shop. Top view.
Image: Envato Elements

Matcha Green Tea Latte

  • Tall (12 oz): approximately 55 mg of caffeine
  • Grande (16 oz): approximately 80 mg of caffeine
  • Venti (20 oz): approximately 110 mg of caffeine

Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte

  • Tall (12 oz): approximately 55 mg of caffeine
  • Grande (16 oz): approximately 80 mg of caffeine
  • Venti (24 oz): approximately 110 mg of caffeine

Matcha Lemonade

  • This refreshing drink combines Matcha with lemonade, resulting in slightly lower caffeine levels due to the dilution with lemonade.
  • Grande (16 oz): approximately 45 mg of caffeine

These caffeine amounts reflect the standard recipes used by Starbucks and can vary slightly depending on the specific barista or store. It’s important for consumers, especially those sensitive to caffeine or monitoring their intake, to consider these values when choosing their drink.

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