You may be in the habit of drinking coffee to get yourself out of bed, out of the house, and to get the day started. That being said, once in awhile starting with a tea latte is a great way to jump-start your day in a healthy way. In this post, I'll cover three latte options you can make hot or iced.
1. Matcha latte
Flavor profile: grass, almonds
Mouthfeel/texture: thick and creamy, rich
Caffeine: very high (similar to coffee)
Other perks: lots of antioxidants
Matcha latte is a trending drink for a reason. Not only is it packed with antioxidants, it's high caffeine content makes it a good substitute for coffee. Matcha tastes grassy, nutty and a little umami. The flavor is complex, rich, and holds it's own when paired with milk. Overall, a matcha latte is a tasty, healthy, and caffeinated drink to add to your morning routine.
Pro tip: use a plant-based milk, not a cow's milk for matcha lattes. Cow milk contains casein, which has been shown to eliminate the cardiovascular health benefits of tea. See the full study here. So, to reap the full benefits of the matcha, use a plant-based milk like oat milk if you like creamy or almond milk for something a little lighter and sweeter.
2. Black tea latte
Flavor profile: malt, forest floor
Mouthfeel/texture: smooth, soothing, satisfying
Other perks: pairs well with breakfast foods
Black tea with milk is an English afternoon tea classic. This particular latte pairs really well with little cookies, scones, and other sweets. Although typically enjoyed in the afternoon by the English, black tea lattes are really nice in the morning as well. They have relatively high caffeine content as far as teas go (although not as much as matcha) and go well with breakfast foods like oatmeal, toast, and fruit.
Similarly to with the matcha latte, if you want to take advantage of the full health benefits of the black tea then opt for plant-based milk. You can also alternate between plant-based and cow's milk if you like both. Stay away from sweetened milks like vanilla almond milk because it masks the taste of the tea and isn't as healthy as the unsweetened alternative.
Pro tip: Be careful when adding oat milk to hot tea, it curdles more easily than regular milk does. Either wait for the tea to cool a little or pour the milk slowly into the tea.
3. Rooibos latte
Flavor profile: vanilla, cedar wood
Mouthfeel/texture: sweet, light, easy to drink
Other perks: naturally sweet without sugar
Rooibos latte is an unconventional latte drink. Not many herbal teas are enjoyed with milk but rooibos' naturally sweet, woodsy flavor goes well with it. This is a caffeine-free option if you are trying to cut back on your caffeine intake, or simply want a pleasant latte recipe for the afternoon that won't mess with your sleep.
Pro tip: Let this tea steep for at least 5 minutes with boiling water before putting milk in it. This latte tastes best when the rooibos flavor is strong and there is just a touch of milk.
You may be tempted to add a sweetener to your latte but I encourage you to try and stay away from them if you are going for a healthy beverage experience. However, if you do have a sweet craving you need to satisfy, I recommend indulging in some raw local honey. Did you know, having a little raw local honey or pollen can help ward off seasonal allergies? Allergy season could be the perfect excuse to add a little sweet to your steaming cup of tea.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.