Starbucks Matcha is Not Real Matcha

One evening after dinner out and a movie, my husband and I had some time to fill before the babysitter expected us home so we stopped off at Starbucks.

As an avid & daily matcha green tea drinker, that’s what I ordered: plain with just hot water. Powder + water = matcha.

When my cup was prepared, I retrieved it from the counter and settled into a chair to enjoy. I took a sip. It tasted like hot sugar water! I went back to the counter and shared with the barista that I didn’t want my matcha sweetened. Just the matcha tea powder and hot water, please.

She said that she added nothing but the green matcha powder. I asked her if it was pre-sweetened. She didn’t know. So I asked to see the matcha package.

The barista brought out the silver bag of Tazo matcha and I could not believe my eyes!

Ingredients: sugar and green tea powder

As you may or may not know, ingredients are listed in order of prevalence. This label tells me that with just two ingredients, it is 51% or more sugar. (If it were 50-50 you know they would have listed green tea first.) And there is no way to know just how much more than 51% it may actually be.

This infuriates me!

Why? Because people who are learning the myriad benefits of green tea, especially whole leaf matcha green tea, will choose it as a more healthful option to coffee. Yet they don’t know they are being SKUNKED with toxic powered sugar! Like this person here and this person here.

Someone choosing Starbucks matcha to help control their blood sugar imbalance is being pumped up with inflammatory, acidic sugar. It’s criminal! It’s deceptive marketing and every real matcha tea lover needs to inform the public that Starbucks “matcha” is anything but authentic. Please share this post far and wide.

Additional Resources:

Matcha Green Tea, Oh How I LOVE Thee!

Falling in Love with a Chlorophyll-Rich Diet

Alkalizing the Body is Oxygenating the Body

Humans Can Photosynthesize!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Carla Golden is a vegan nutritionist and a massage therapist in private practice specializing in therapeutic essential oils. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Health & Healing, she enjoys helping others discover the benefits and liberation inherent in a whole food, plant-based diet. The Vegan Key™ is her newest online nutrition program based on tried and true methods which foster performance, vitality, and purpose.

{ 158 comments… read them below or add one }

Tea Leana April 3, 2015 at 4:32 am

Anyone who thinks they can get a healthy drink from a Starbucks is a fool.


Carla Golden April 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm

I agree Tea!


Seksit Atta December 15, 2015 at 12:01 pm

She just called you a fool and you agree!! That just make me laughs!


Carla Golden December 15, 2015 at 4:42 pm

I don’t happen to be one of those people who think you can get a healthy drink at SBux. ;o)


Rbrez April 24, 2015 at 11:23 am

Not true. Brewed coffee, brewed tea, espresso, Americanos? I am a barista. There’s a lot of sugar options but it’s your choice to drink them or not.


Carla Golden April 24, 2015 at 11:35 am

Yes, teas are a more healthful choice (depending on the tea) but I don’t think Starbucks is known as a tea house as much as a coffee house. Whether coffee is healthful or not is debatable.

Click: The Blog Post That Starbucks Doesn’t Want You to Read


Eric December 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm

I read that Starbucks coffee beans are filled with pesticides.

I starting to think Starbucks is like McDonald’s. There’s Nothing good.

I hope it safe to say.. That tea is the opinions.


Sbucksbarista April 22, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Starbucks isn’t the one advertising the matcha water, it was a drink created by someone trying to cheat the system and get a cheap drink. Starbucks itself does not advertise it’s matcha as being healthy and one should never assume that anything from starbucks is “authentic” or healthy for that matter.


Carla Golden April 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Matcha does have a reputation of being a “healthier” choice and I would think that when matcha is ordered in any drink that a person believes they are getting matcha, not green sugar. I think it’s false advertising on Starbuck’s behalf. I agree with you, any savvy consumer would not go to Starbucks for authentic or healthful choices, except maybe plain coffee.


NTea April 22, 2015 at 11:51 pm

They advertise it as a “green tea latte.” And it comes as a “green tea frappuccino” as well. They aren’t advertising Matcha, which you call the “healthier” choice.

They even advertise it as a “sweetened green tea latte.”

American’s like sweet. Few people would purchase Matcha from Starbucks if it was pure. That’s why they goto Starbucks Coffee for green tea and not an actual loose leaf tea place.


Carla Golden June 1, 2015 at 9:07 pm

Most restaurants and shops that I’ve been to are willing to meet special requests as long as the ingredients are on hand. When dining I often order things on the menu that I request to be customized by adding this, omitting that, and requesting dressing on the side, for example. Not sure why asking SBux to make a water based tea with a powder ingredient they have on hand is abnormal or surprising. If they were not willing to serve hot water with matcha green tea powder then they should have said it wasn’t available.

I agree. People like sweet.


Ana April 23, 2015 at 6:19 am

Starbucks matcha is for a sweetened green tea latte and was never intended to be served how you’ve ordered it. As a former employee there, customers would nearly riot if they were served unsweetened matcha. Teavana, who’s now owned by Starbucks, sells real matcha powder.


Carla Golden June 1, 2015 at 9:10 pm

The definition of matcha is ground green tea. There’s nothing about matcha that lends itself to being known as something sweet. It’s all very ambiguous and distorted at SBux.


N(N) February 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm

I think the barista may have thought that by plain matcha tea you meant adding hot water rather than milk.

I love unsweetened matcha, but I also like to use it as a baking ingredient. So when you say there’s nothing about matcha that lends itself to be known as something sweet, I assume you’re not aware of the popularity of its use in desserts in Japan.

I suggest a Google Image search for <抹茶デザート> [matcha dezāto: matcha dessert]. Matcha-flavoured sweets run the gamut from wagashi [和菓子: Japanese traditional confectionery]), sponge cakes and macarons to ice cream.

Maybe it offers you some solace to think of that if people are to sweeten up, it’d better have some matcha than none 😉

8yr employee June 17, 2015 at 7:31 pm

I worked as a shift manager for 8 yrs. Starbucks introduced the green tea lattes while I was there. NEVER was it promoted to be a healthier beverage than anything, as that would be false information & Starbucks corporate would never allow it to be promoted otherwise. When the Vivanno-now called Smoothies, that was/is a healthier choice, as it contains protein powder, any milk you choose, a fresh banana, and/or strawberry compote, which with ANY compote, is slightly sweetened. Everyone is taught the beverages, exactly how to make them, and informed of caloric values.

I HIGHLY stress that ANYONE who gets any drink there should READ calories, sugars, etc. It tells all! There is a FREE BROCHURE listing all available beverages is ALL in the STORES. If the store is temporarily out of stock-ASK! We always had a laminated copy behind the counter! If you aren’t sure, it’s also all ONLINE thru


Carla Golden June 17, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Thank you for adding these notes and suggestions!


Ginger Battle April 22, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Its sad but most consumers do not pay attention to what they are getting. The quality of Tea and what is in it. It really pays to known the company you are dealing with so you can trust what they say you are getting is really what is in the bag.


Carla Golden April 22, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Yes, Ginger, it’s important to trust the brand and to know the contents. I agree!


Leigh May 1, 2015 at 10:05 am

THANK YOU for posting this article. I’ve been reading about the health benefits of matcha, so I decided to order one at Starbucks today. Even though mine was “unsweetened”, with the first sip I could tell it was loaded with sugar. I think many people don’t realize this since they eat so much sugar as it is, their palate can’t tell the difference. The real problem here is companies using low-quality/ addictive ingredients to make a profit, and the sugar epidemic that is ruining our health.


Carla Golden May 1, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Glad you found your way here Leigh. I appreciate you sharing your recent Starbucks experience. It shows that Starbucks is profiting from public education of matcha yet selling a fake substitute.


Cj April 21, 2016 at 10:40 am

It’s very hard to find signaled at Sbux. Their “healthy” coconut milk is loaded with sugar too. They used to do the cool lime refreshers with Stevia, and along the way changed it to sugar….I missed the memo! Almost all of their brand mixes are sugared. I found the only thing you can get is bagged tea with hot water and fat free milk. Everything else has sugar. They don’t like to share that info, so you have to ask. Yea, I’m that girl that makes them read me the labels with ingredients and yes they get pissy and annoyed, but that what they get for recreating the standard. We used to spend over $100 a week at Starbucks but since they have gone deceptive and sugar ridden we spend $0. Consumer beware!


Carla Golden April 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm

Thank you for adding to the message CJ! Appreciate your comment!


El Groucho May 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Starbucks isn’t falsley advertising or profiting. Like the people who order a small coffee and ask for it in a larger cup so that they can fill it up with free milk from the condiments bar, the free cup of water + matcha is the latest scam cooked up by cheapos who want to get cheap Starbucks drinks. It’s not an official drink and it takes the same time to make so they could argue that they are losing money.


Carla Golden May 2, 2015 at 9:37 am

When I ordered matcha made with only hot water (the traditional preparation) I expected to pay a fair price for a cup of tea. I was not looking for a “deal.”


Tee May 14, 2015 at 11:34 pm

People are actually now charged for a custom tea when they order matcha and water. It’s no longer a cheap deal as people were getting away with it before.


Carla Golden June 1, 2015 at 9:03 pm

I would have been happy to pay $5 to get a cup of real matcha tea. My intention was not to cheat Starbucks but to get a decent cup of tea.


Pina_Sunshine July 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm

I agree!!! I wouldn’t mind paying that much for REAL matcha tea because it will actually nurish my body!!! Lol


Carla Golden July 28, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Yes ma’am! 🙂

Jessi May 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm

I personally like matcha from starbucks just as a nice refreshing drink! I own very fine grade matcha powder that I always use at home but if I am on the go and need a nice ice cold caffeine boost I go to sbux for an iced matcha water. BUT today I went to get the drink and it cost me about $3.60 for two scoops instead of the .86 it always used to cost me!!! The barista said that just today they got word that they need to charge you for a “specialty tea”, which I think is bologna because sbux matcha powder is no where near worth almost $4! You can get very good matcha for wayyyyy less money per serving. Typical sbux just trying to rip everyone off! Overpriced low quality products.


Carla Golden May 12, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Well, I think this will discourage a bunch of people from requesting matcha at SBux and, healthwise, I can’t say that I’m disappointed. No one needs to be drinking matcha colored powdered sugar. Stick with your good stuff Jessi!


Joy May 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Thats not fair. Your ok with deliberately cheating Starbucks. But your upset with them putting a stop to it? What drink do you know at Starbucks costs under a dollar?


Carla Golden June 1, 2015 at 9:02 pm

I would have been happy to pay $5 to get a cup of real matcha tea. My intention was not to cheat Starbucks but to get a decent cup of tea.


Theresa May 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

I call it my flaw, but I tend to see both sides of a situation. I am a dietitian working in a food service establishment that has a Starbucks. I was excited to learn of matcha water at Sbux for its health benefits. I am green/white tea fanatic. However when I tasted it, I tasted sugar which disappointed me. This is what lead me to even research the product. When I learned it did have sugar, I chose to stop purchasing.
On the other hand I truly believe Sbux is not advertising the matcha water. It was intented to be mixed in drinks. Possibly similar to a cocoa powder which can come in varying degrees of sweetness. People came in asking for it. We do pay more than $.86. My conclusion, if I want real matcha water, I will make myself. I can not think of many (if any) eating establishments, particularly chains, where health is the priority. Whether the topic is GMOs, hormones and anitiotics, transfats or sugar, we are usually left to purchase and prepare ourselves.


Carla Golden June 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Right, plain matcha tea is not on the SBux menu. However it’s not a totally absurd request to order plain matcha tea. I guess we all now know why SBux never put that on the menu. It’s because they don’t use matcha though they seem to throw that word around. SBux uses matcha tinged powdered sugar in their “green tea” drinks. It’s false advertising.

From the SBux website:

“Although matcha tea is best known for its central role in the serene ritual known as the Japanese tea ceremony, tea drinkers all over the world have come to enjoy the gentle, uplifting taste of this finely-powdered green tea in their own way. We particularly like the way it blends with milk and ice in this refreshing Frappuccino® blended beverage. And we think you will too.


Our Matcha green tea is infused with subtle hints of tropical fruit flavors.”


sandra May 29, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Where can I purchase real Matcha tea.


Carla Golden May 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Sandra, I love purchasing my organic Morning Matcha from!


Consumer Savvy June 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I totally agree with commenters stating the starbucks isn’t trying to cheat anyone, they actually have most things at facevalue, and even have all the nutritional information in plan sight for each drink they ADVERTISE. Key word here, they don’t advertise matcha water, in fact they don’t advertise matcha at all. They advertise a green tea latte or frappucino, two things that a vast majority of people want to be sweet. Might I ask why it is that you only reply to commenters who agree with you? I’m not trying to argue or anything (my sincerest apologies if it seems like I am!!) I’m just genuinely interested and trying to see both sides of this (:


Carla Golden June 1, 2015 at 9:23 pm

If I went in and ordered coffee, I wouldn’t expect it to be pre-sweetened. Anyone who knows matcha would never expect matcha tea to be pre-sweetened. Yes, SBux doesn’t advertise matcha tea on their menu. I understand. Then the SBux employees should have never served it to me.

Perhaps the problem stems from most people first learning about matcha from SBux.

mat·cha (mä′chə) n.
1. Powdered green tea, used in Japanese tea ceremonies and as a flavoring for sweets and sweet drinks.
2. Tea prepared by mixing such powder with hot water.

It was an oversight that I had not replied to everyone. I have gone back and done so. I favor comments from people who use a real name and a real email address when sharing their opinion.


Eduardo March 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm

Just 1 thing, SBux offer: green tea latte, they never, never offer marcha latte, but yes SBux coffee sucks for people who real y knows about coffee, real espresso based drinks. SBux is just for fanatic people of that beverages.


Gina June 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm

I’m sorry you had such an experience! I work for Sbux, and had I been your barista, I would have informed you first that the “matcha” is pre-sweetened with sugar to make a sweetened latte beverage. What frustrates me is that I cannot even find the grams of sugar info anywhere! It’s not on the silver bag or the box it’s shipped to us in.


Carla Golden June 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Thanks for being awesome Gina! I wish you had been my barista too!!! I have a feeling that my local barista did not know 1) about matcha or 2) that it contained sugar. I couldn’t find out the sugar grams of the SBux matcha blend either. All I could discern is that there is more sugar than matcha based on the order of ingredients. It’s got to be a lot!


Bowdre June 3, 2015 at 7:08 pm

I had read that macha has a decent amount of lead due to the leaves being turned into powder as opposed to brewed tea. I would think that’s more of an issue than sugar.


Carla Golden June 4, 2015 at 8:38 am

From what I have read, this is more of a concern with matcha produced in China. The matcha that I order is organically grown and comes from Japan. This is a true concern, however, for those purchasing lower quality, cheaper matcha. It could be the matcha being used by SBux.

“…the region (and other issues) will affect lead levels. Among the green tea leaf products tested, the lowest amount was from a product which specifically identified it as coming from Japan. It is likely that most other products were from tea leaf from China.”


Amanda Schofield June 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm

I’m absolutely disgusted and so infuriated that a diabetic or someone simply choosing not to drink sugar is being tricked into think they’re recieving a “sugar free” drink. I choose for health reasons to eat zero sugar in my diet and thinking I was doing so until I learned my favorite “guilt free” drink is infact the exact opposite I’m digusted and feel scammed/cheated. I work hard on my health and fitness and Starbucks has taken that away from me. I spend $10,000.00/year on a trainer and drink their drinks 2 to 4 times a week, they should be taken to cout and sued. The sad part is there staff probably isn’t trained to know that there’s sugar in there. So they are false advertising and deserve to have what they’ve done to millions of consumers justified.


Carla Golden June 21, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Thank you for sharing your opinion here Amanda.


Rachel Brooks June 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Amanda, apparently ignorance is bliss. If you have been going to Starbucks for a couple of years and or 2-4 times a week for however long now you should know that not everything at Starbucks is healthy but not ALL of it is unhealthy. By NO MEANS IS STARBUCKS SCAMMING ANYONE. Starbucks is not there to trick you and they do not deserve to be sued. The baristas are not UNINFORMED, in fact the baristas will know WAY more than you would ever imagine is possible about the millions of combinations of drinks available on the menu from personal customization’s, regular customers’ everyday orders, to every standard recipe card there is (and yes there is a recipe for every drink in that store). Remember, those baristas don’t look at a recipe card every time they make a beverage, they do all of that off of memory. Starbucks has taken nothing away from you. If you would have taken the time to talk to your baristas (because they are in fact REAL people, weird right) they could tell you a lot about what you are ordering. Starbucks’ green tea latte (matcha powder [aka sugar] with milk) comes STANDARD with their classic syrup in it. You may ask for it without They have never advertised this drink as healthy nor as a classic Japanese zen tea that will calm your soul and enrich your body with antioxidants that will make you feel like a million bucks. Every iced tea comes standardized with classic syrup and you have the ability to ask for it with no sweetener (Straight iced green tea?! Oh my gosh an extremely healthy drink with no sugar, how could it be). Lattes come without syrup. Brewed coffee comes without syrup and without milk. You have the option to ask for Nonfat milk, soy milk (which is actually packed with sugar) or any other milk. Americanos are espresso shots with hot water, no sweetener is standard in these. Now that Starbucks has partnered with Teavana you actually have the option to get a variety of HOT STEEPED TEAS that do not come sweetened. There is no false advertising going on. For those of you who are mad about being charged more for your fake matcha, the reason for the price hike is because kids and adults alike were coming in asking for waters with lots of pumps of syrup or waters with 7 scoops of matcha. Mind you I understand that Starbucks has money and their matcha is fake and blah blah blah but you must understand that every wasted plastic cup costs them money, that matcha is expensive, those syrups are expensive, the filters that filter the water 3 times cost A TON of money, all of the FREE half and half, sugars, honeys, napkins, stir sticks, spill stoppers, cinnamon/vanilla/chocolate/nutmeg powders costs them money. Frankly paying $0.89 for a drink you think is healthy is such a joke. We live in America and in this day in age we all know that most food that comes cheap isn’t good for you and most that is healthy is more expensive (whole foods). So Starbucks isn’t scamming you. They are doing what they feel is right to continue to make a profit which is what every business is out there doing. STOP BLAMING YOUR OWN IGNORANCE AND LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND WILLINGNESS TO LEARN ON OTHER PEOPLE/COMPANIES. Inform yourself and ask questions.


Carla Golden June 24, 2015 at 9:07 am

Thank you Rachel. I only order the tea bags now on the rare occasion that I go to Starbucks. And I ask for a venti with only one tea bag and I’m always so impressed and thankful when the barista charges me for a smaller cup size because I want only one tea bag. (Can’t imagine two tea bags in a venti. The bags are huge and black tea is STRONG!)


Liz August 24, 2015 at 10:05 am

I know I’m not the person this reply was directed towards, but IMHO the snarky tone doesn’t sit well when one *is* looking for correct info. 🙁

I’ve had baristas use soy milk instead of skim milk when I specifically requested the latter. I’ve had them get my drinks wrong all sorts of ways. I usually don’t go back and re-order, because by that point I’m already set up to get some business done.

I don’t go to Sbux *just* for the drinks. I go there for atmosphere, and to get some self-employment stuff done. I go there to be in a semi-peaceful, aromatic environment that’s around people without having to interact with them much. I go there to do what I have to do in a stress-free environment away from my sometimes all-too-quiet house. A *lot* of people do. And a *lot* of us want to trust that what we ask for is what we’re getting.

I don’t eat much sugar, or try not to. I have weight issues, and in the middle of the summer in the South, getting exercise isn’t always feasible. So to find out that the powder itself is bad from the get-go is disappointing. 🙁 But, as I said before, I know that’s not the fault of the baristas; they’re working stiffs just like the rest of us, and I don’t expect them to know ALL the ingredients of every single thing they sell. However, I *will* be MUCH more picky about my drinks from now on when I go down there. Or I will simply learn to make my own. 🙂 (I *did* make my own green tea latte at home with inexpensive bagged green tea, skim milk frothed by hand, with Equal stirred in, and noticed it was FAR better than the Sbux lattes I’d been spending nearly $5 on. Also, didn’t give me the tremblies. Now I know why.)

BTW, had I not been researching matcha to purchase for my home, I would *never* have come across this. I like to trust the businesses I frequent, because it’s obnoxiously stressful to be suspicious of everyone all the time. (I’ve been there, done that, have a closet full of tees to prove it!) Just my own $.02.


Carla Golden August 24, 2015 at 10:18 am

Knowledge is power. Glad you found this post in your research Liz!


Denise January 22, 2016 at 10:38 pm

Unfortunately it’s true that diabetics should research their diet thoroughly (as do all I dividiuals who have any sort of food allergy or intolerance to specific food. Or even those on a specific diet), but blaming Starbucks for “tricking” you into ordering sugar is a bit ridiculous… That’s like wanting to sue McDonald’s for their burgers not being prime quality beef and fresh vegetables. There are legitimate tea shops to sell you actual healthy matcha. Starbucks has never advertised matcha as a healthy drink alternative (we, yes I am a partner, don’t advertise anything as a healthy alternative) or even as actual matcha. It’s great that you tale your health very seriously, but don’t blame Starbucks for assuming something is healthy when it was never said to be.


Carla Golden January 24, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Thank you Denise. No one is looking to sue anyone here.Thank you for aligning SBux with McDonald’s and for confirming that both are fast junk food establishments. The only thing I ever order from SBux anymore, and it’s only when I am traveling/driving, is a venti Earl Grey hot tea with one tea bag and I add nothing. Hot water & a tea bag. Happily, SBux hasn’t messed that up yet.


Georgia June 28, 2015 at 11:11 am

omg I love and drink Starbucks Green Tea Lattes. I’m so upset there’s so much sugar. I know Starbucks doesn’t promote or market it as a “Healrhy drink” but I assumed I was doing good for my body :/

This info is really awesome. I may write into Starbucks headquarters and ask if in the future they may have and promote a “healthy green tea latte and “


Carla Golden June 29, 2015 at 9:48 am

The current sugar content is astounding! It’d be great to have a healthful alternative!


Lauren June 29, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Since we are reading about “fake” matcha, can someone please provide a name, brand, or website that I can get the “real” stuff from?



Carla Golden June 29, 2015 at 6:27 pm

My favorite matcha green tea comes from Matcha Source!


Kermit July 11, 2015 at 12:31 am

if your intention was to “get a decent cup of tea,” why would you go to a coffee shop like you said? But that’s none of my business.


Carla Golden July 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Good question. Because I was with my husband who is a coffee drinker and visits Starbucks multiple times a day.


sue July 12, 2015 at 3:15 pm

I am sitting here now drinking my matcha/ice water drink (from SB) and it tastes sweet to me. I asked for 2 scoops matcha. I know that some matcha is sweeter than others n am thinking…I should always get it at Starbucks cos it’s so good! Glad I asked google why starbucks matcha is so sweet, just now…how can they blend with sugar… it should be much cheaper too…. like nestea powdered iced tea I feel duped n now will make my own. Wholefoods sells republic of tea matcha pretty affordable…that’s my plan diy


Carla Golden July 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Good thing you checked Google Sue. Now you know the truth! Anything you buy at Whole Foods will have the ingredients listed.


Vishal Bagchi July 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

Great post, Thank you !
I have ordered this drink for 3 years now and always have paid $4-5, so to those baristas that claim people do this to be cheap, not true. Secondly, if someone wants to be “cheap” would not come to starbucks, it might be less than 1% of the population but I am sure that gets noticed first.

I know the drink had some sugar in it since pure green tea leaf taste like paper, as far as scientific evidence of green tea leaves having antioxidants value is debatable. I personally drink it for the refreshment and taste value, but like Tea said going to STBX to be healthy is like going to McD and trying the same.

Least I ask for is for stbx to disclose how much sugar this has so we know. According to calorieking its about 70g sugar in a venti green tea latte, i believe its more than that.


Carla Golden July 14, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Thank you Vishal for the comment and the sugar information!


Melissa July 23, 2015 at 3:03 pm

I wish I had read this sooner! My sister “had” to stop at Starbucks yesterday, but I do not drink any coffee. I decided to ask if they have matcha tea, and the barista said yes. I ordered a hot matcha, only with water, and no sweetener. Once I tasted it, I knew it had to have sugar in it! Since I ordered it without sweetener, I think the barista should have told me it came pre-sweetened. Never again!


Carla Golden July 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Yes, it would have been nice for the barista to let you know it was pre-sweetened….had s/he known that was the case!


Ebony July 29, 2015 at 12:27 am

I’m so happy I read this information! I’m new to drinking matcha and I’ve been getting mine from Fresh Market but could never prepare it to suot by taste. So, when I discovered SB sold it, I gave it a try. I order an iced green tea with matcha. I always ask for it unsweetened with 4 scoops, yes 4 because I thought I was being extra healthy. They charged for an iced green tea and .20 cent per scoop of matcha. I had NO idea the matcha already had sugar it. Knowledge is power.


Carla Golden July 29, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Now you know! Glad this article was able to empower you Ebony. Thx for taking the time to read & comment!


Cynthia Robinson July 31, 2015 at 9:30 am

Hi… I had a VERY bad experience with the Matcha Latte. I only ordered a medium, but thought the taste was pleasant. About an hour after sipping through the drink I began to get a migraine. I lost part of my vision, my heart began to race… the head pain was BAD! and I could do nothing by lie down and pray I came through this. I have not had such a migraine like this in YEARS! There is more than just sugar in this mix… the HAS to be preservatives. I had a similar migraine from a glass of wine from Germany… where it was reported that the use of certain chemicals were used on the grapes… I was sick for days… and today is day 2… I am still not well, feeling like I am hung over, very edgy… and feeling heart palpitations periodically. I did send Starbucks an e-mail detailing my experience and how DISAPPOINTED I am that the Matcha, which should be a fabulous experience, is tainted!!! to say the least… more like poison!


Carla Golden July 31, 2015 at 8:09 pm

So sorry to read of your experience Cynthia! Please let us know if you hear back from SBux!


Liz August 24, 2015 at 9:47 am

While I didn’t get migraines, I can identify with the weird feelings! x_x;;;; Not cool, Sbux!


Liz August 24, 2015 at 9:46 am

This is very, very disappointing to learn. 🙁 I’m trying very hard to avoid actual sugar in my diet, and nearly always prefer Equal or artificial sweetener to sugar or anything like, even in my green tea latte. To find out that the “matcha” mixture is over 50% sugar is very, very discouraging.

While I understand the employees’ viewpoints posted here, including managers, I think it’s terribly shady on the behalf of Sbux corporate. OTOH, I realize that regular employees and managers have very little to no control over this situation.

This also explains why I’ve felt very, very shaky and trembly, with heavy heart palpitations, after every grande green tea latte I’ve had with skim milk & Equal. All this time I thought it was the caffeine. It never occurred to me before that the powder itself would be so full of plain sugar. 🙁

Shame on you, Starbucks. Shame shame shame.


Carla Golden August 24, 2015 at 10:20 am

It is nice to know what is actually in the food and food stuffs we eat and drink! I agree Liz!


Rajanae August 28, 2015 at 3:40 am

I’m veryy sorry to hear this. However, our matcha powder comes from Teavana and does contain sugar. We do not not advertise any drinks as healthy, but we do offer “skinny” drinks (nonfat, sugar-free, 1/3 the calories) for many drinks, but not the green tea lattes. Although the sugar is high, the matcha itself is ceremonial grade. I Believe Teavana makes this blend specially for Starbucks. However, there is a plain 100% imperial grade matcha that can be found at all Teavana locations


Carla Golden August 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Thank you Rajanae!


Chris September 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm

I think there may be some misunderstanding, or perhaps your SB branch does things differently?

Recently, I’ve been going to SB and I order “a venti cup of water, four scoops of matcha, and 2 pumps of vanilla syrup”. Had I gotten the matcha with the water alone, it would not be sweet.

Normally, for a venti sized drink, SB baristas put in four pumps of syrup but because four is too sweet for my asian taste buds, I normally go for either one or two pumps.


Carla Golden September 6, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Hi Chris, unless your SBux uses a different matcha than my SBux, the matcha is presweetened. Ask your barista to let you taste just a bit of matcha with hot water and see for yourself if it is presweetened.


Florina September 22, 2015 at 4:21 pm

This very thing happened to me!!!! I am so angry with them right now! At first I ordered it with honey and no syrup! When I saw it was too sweet I asked for just matcha with hot water and a little coconut milk. It was again, sweet! Then I asked if their coconut milk is sweetened and they said no!!! Finally it dawned on me that the powder may actually have sugar. I searched Google and lo and behold I found this article!!! I did not ask for the barista to show me the bag but I am positive that the matcha powder is sweetened!! You do not charge your customers $5 for a tall matcha latte filled with SUGAR!!! Very dissaponted!


Carla Golden September 24, 2015 at 10:00 am

Yes, very disappointing Florina!


Snow October 5, 2015 at 11:00 am

I don’t know what happen here but in Asia we use different matcha powder in Starbucks. Unfortunately, it still content sugar already though.


jennifer l rodriquez October 7, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Am never consuming products fm starbucks again…


KatyR October 13, 2015 at 9:14 am

I occasionally order a green tea frappuccino, as a treat. I always order it with out the added sweetener. As with most drinks from starbucks if it’s a venti it’s 6 pumps (which is absurd!), of whatever sweetener that goes along with the drink. When I first ordered the green tea frapp- not because it was “healthier” but because I wanted to try it out, I had to have a new one made with out the sweetener. It dawned on me this morning to look up what the ingredients were to see how much sugar was actually in it and you hit the nail on the head. “Here’s some green sugar in your drink”. Lol.. I laugh at it only because, in this day and age, people should know better than to just believe what a mega corporation is telling them. Advertising and marketing is a huge money maker. Didn’t anyone watch Mad Men?

Unless you make it at home, from raw ingredients, you do not know exactly what’s in it. I just heard a commercial the other day, “McDonalds Egg muffin, where the eggs are cracked right in our McDonald’s kitchen…” Tell me- how many people believe that eggs are cracked and prepared, as if it were a diner, in each and every McDonald’s? It’s likely that there “McDonald’s Kitchen” Is the name of their factory where prep billions of eggs.


Joseph November 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Sadly most of the “matcha” you buy online as well is not Matcha, it’s more likely sencha. False advertisement like this infuriates me because I sell matcha but my prices are a lot higher than other brands out there but my profit margins are razor thin! Most of the time you are not even buying matcha, and all these website spout how great and how healthy matcha is but they don’t actually sell matcha.

Harvesting and processing the tencha leaf (this is the leaf when crushed into powder you get matcha) is very hard and labor intensive especially when the farm is organic. Like the author said, if the deal is too good to be true, then it probably is. If you want great matcha come to


Carla Golden November 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Thank you for the details Joseph!


Margesella Garza January 4, 2016 at 3:43 am

I appreciate this post so much! I used this info for my blog and your link. Thank you for the photo proof and the insight! I can’t believe I had 40 grams of sugar in a drink that I asked for ‘no sugar added’ please.


Carla Golden January 4, 2016 at 9:57 am

Thank you for reading, commenting, and spreading the word Margesella!


Steph January 6, 2016 at 6:43 pm

I am appalled! What is Starbucks thinking! They must have merged with the pharmaceutical companies that produce and sell insulin needed by our ever increasing diabetic population in the United States. 15 tsp of sugar in the Grande Green Tea Frappuccino and 16 grams of fat! I have just heard on the news Starbucks will soon be selling liquor for the specialty coffee drinks out here in Scottsdale, Arizona. I will never walk into another Starbucks again.
Thank you Carla for educating us!


Carla Golden January 10, 2016 at 8:42 am

Starbucks does seem to be becoming the McDonald’s of coffee & tea. Junk!


Ris January 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm

So does the sugar content in Starbucks matcha powder cancel out the benefits of the matcha? I also read that adding milk to matcha cancels out the matcha’s benefits, it should be with water or soy…
On Myfitnesspal: a Tall (12oz) Soy Green Tea Latte No Syrup is 130cal, 36g carbs & 6g sugar. Optimistically, it also has 2g dietary fiber & 9g protein… A little give & take for a treat.


Carla Golden January 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

Thanks Ris. Does your Myfitnesspal give this nutritional data specifically for a Starbucks brand Soy Green Latte?

In general, for those who are looking to reverse or prevent inflammation and disease, I’d avoid pre-sweetened matcha and drink the tea plain or add a bit of raw dark agave or stevia and a splash of unsweetened plant-based milk. Almost seems easier to learn how to enjoy the flavor with nothing added. This way you get all the benefits of matcha with no compromise.


Annette January 22, 2016 at 9:27 am

Well, now I think it has even more sugar added. I used to order the green tea lattes with no classic added. (They used to add the syrup, unless requested not to.) Today, it was super sweet, even without the classic added. I was told they no longer add classic to the green tea lattes, so I am guessing that is because they have sweetened the powder even more than before. It tastes pretty terrible. 🙁 Oh well, I need to stop spending money there anyway.


Carla Golden January 22, 2016 at 9:48 am

Thanks for the update Annette!


Katherine January 23, 2016 at 10:22 pm


I just read your post. I am new into the benefits of all different types of tea’s, and wanted your recommendation on the best place to buy authentic teas without the crape of added sugar or not great quality leaves.

Thank you for the post!


Carla Golden January 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Katherine, are you in the market for matcha specifically or all kinds of different teas?


Beth Arp February 23, 2016 at 12:54 pm

I have been getting the Grande Green Tea Latte with skim milk and no classic syrup. Now I know why it tastes so sweet…………….it was too easy!


Carla Golden February 23, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Knowledge is power! I’m glad you now know. Thanks for reading & commenting!


Anastasia February 24, 2016 at 1:32 am

Ahhh, this is why I stopped giving my money to Starbucks and remain loyal to our local coffee shops who serve up good ol’ earthy matcha that they keep in the cabinet. Matcha, steamed hemp milk, and a dash of cinnamon. No more, no less to make a tasty morning pick-me-up! Added sugar aint welcome 😉
Very nice article! I had to go in to work last week for a 6/2 shift and all my favorite local spots open typically at 7. Starbucks it was because boy, I needed a cup of caffine or an IV of espresso. I ordered a small (forgot the size names) Matcha latte, no added sweeteners… I forgot how much sweeter Starbucks is. Me-ow!


PC February 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm

I think that the basic issue here is that you, Carla, are the uneducated one.

I have never seen any of the Starbucks green tea drinks marketed or listed as being a “matcha” drink. Why would you assume they were? and, in all honesty, why would you go to Starbucks for a true matcha in the first place?

Starbucks isn’t trying to pull one over on anyone. They never said their drinks were health drinks…you just assumed they were. That isn’t their fault…it’s yours. Did it ever occur to you to ask about the matcha before you ordered it…especially since you profess to be an “avid and daily matcha green tea drinker”?

Sorry your drink wasn’t served in some great tea ceremony…It’s Starbucks…use your brain and stop being so self righteous.


Carla Golden March 1, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Dear PC with no photo, when I had this experience I ordered “matcha powder in hot water.” Somehow the barista knew what I meant so obviously SBux was offering matcha at the time.


Janella February 29, 2016 at 4:19 pm

I’ve been on a matcha kick for over a year and a little tea shop where I live educated me a lot about it. I also go to Starbucks quite often and EVERYTIME I ask “is this the same matcha that is sold at Teavana, since you haven’t carried Taxo for several yrs now?” Every location I’ve been to I am told “yes it is! You can go to an Teavana and get the same powder we use”. That being said I have been to 4 different Teavana locations to ask, Bc at Starbucks it does taste sweeter. EVERY Teavana employee I asked confirmed that yes it is indeed the exact same same. I brought up to each one that it’s always so sweet there and they said it’s exactly the same as what they sell. Nothing different. Every location! I asked them why they don’t use a bamboo whisk at Starbucks when I get my soy lattes. They said it doesnt have to be whisked when made in any kind of latte. It just has to be mixed into the steamed choice of milk. So….. I’m confused now Bc the beginning it says “Tazo” was used. However Tazo has not been in corrolation woth Starbucks for several years. Quite a few years actually. Everything has Teavan all over it. Even the drive thru Windows. So why would Starbucks say it’s the same as Teavana and vice versa. Also they make the drink where you can see it. So I’ve watched them take it samd measure it straight from the tin at Starbucks. Something soesnt seem right, unless maybe someone went to a “target Starbucks” which aren’t the same as regular stand alone Starbucks and even disclose it when you go there. There are times they will call a “target barista” to go ring at a register when busy. So what’s the deal? Are Starbucks different around the country? Bc here they all seem to be honest and Teavana guarantees it as well. Hmmmmm…


Carla Golden March 1, 2016 at 7:01 pm

When I had the experience I wrote about here, Starbucks was using Tazo matcha blend (added sugar). I have not ordered one since so I don’t know what SBux uses now.


Janella February 29, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Right but Starbucks hasn’t used Tazo in years…


Carla Golden March 1, 2016 at 6:58 pm

It was Tazo when I had this experience. I’m not sure what brand they use now for their matcha.


Heri March 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm

You people ARE nutbags! There is NO SUCH thing as a “fake” matcha, unless it’s been cut with brown rice powder and other additives. Because it is “sweetened” makes it unauthentic or “fake”? This post is a WASTE of time and eyesight. Starbucks DOES sell REAL matcha, if it’s too sweet for you health-conscious psychos/neurotics, don’t buy it!! This Golden woman is a fraud. Because you wear a white jacket, a 5-watt grin, and name-tag doesn’t mean you’re intelligent and well-informed.


Carla Golden March 7, 2016 at 2:09 pm

It is a shame that those with contrary opinions can’t state such without hurling insults. It completely defeats your mission.

Per Wikipeida: Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea.

Nothing about it being sweetened. Read up!


Rachid March 27, 2016 at 6:51 pm


Is matcha tea pharmaceutical grade a premium quality?



Carla Golden March 28, 2016 at 10:12 am

I’ve not seen pharmaceutical grade matcha. Can you provide a link Rachid?


Rachid March 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

I found a website selling matcha tea and have excellent reviews on eBay, but when I check the grade I found this “pure pharmaceutical grade dietary supplement.”


Rachid March 28, 2016 at 6:24 pm

I’ve contacted the website; they said its ceremonial grade, pharmaceutical grade just states how pure it is.


Carla Golden March 29, 2016 at 8:57 am

I’ve heard of ceremonial grade. I’m not sure if there is any regulation for pharmaceutical grade. I make a point of purchasing organic matcha, whether it is ceremonial grade or not.

siena April 1, 2016 at 12:55 am

im a bit late to the party, but this is good to know. id been getting the green tea fraps with coconut milk and no classic syrup. the coconut milk they use is sweetened, and now i know the matcha they use is too. its kinda sad that i cant find the sugar content for it.


Carla Golden April 2, 2016 at 11:49 am

The more you know, the wiser you can choose.


Andrea April 2, 2016 at 9:53 am

I think it’s kind of ridiculous to fear monger that it’s not real matcha because there’s sugar. No one, seriously no one, is going to starbucks for medicinal matcha. They’re like oh I’ve heard of this trendy food, sure I’ll try that. Besides the fact that I don’t think many ppl go to starbucks looking for sugar free. The only item on the menu with matcha are Frappuccinos. They’re loaded with sugar anyway. Who cares if the sugar is mixed in with the matcha before or after.


Carla Golden April 2, 2016 at 11:49 am

It’s not fear mongering. It’s information for consumer awareness. I believe consumers deserve to know what they are consuming. When I ordered matcha at SBux it was probably 6 years ago (sometime when our daughter still needed a babysitter) and there were many more drink options that included “matcha powder.”


Tiffany April 13, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Arrived at this site after ordering my first green tea latte about 15 minutes ago. Asked the barista specifically what was in the drink as to stay away from as much sugar as possible, I guess my barista was uninformed because he said the matcha drink was plain powder. I asked for skim milk – because I realized the soy I used to ask for was flavored vanilla soy with sugar! After leaving with my drink I realized it was way too sweet for it to be “plain”. I actually assumed I would need to add stevia to it. So, I searched the website and was astounded to see my drink has 31 grams of sugar – for its grande , non fat milk size. I immediately called starbucks and said I would like to return my drink for something else. They were fine with that.


Carla Golden April 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Glad this post was able to help you understand what you were getting when ordering a matcha drink from SBux Tiffany!


Judi April 19, 2016 at 7:42 pm

I tried a Starbucks green tea soy latte and havd a terrible reaction of severe stomach pain, bloating and gas. Unknowingly had one the next day with the same reaction. After reading what was in it could it be the careegean?


Carla Golden April 20, 2016 at 8:55 am

If there is carrageenan in the soy milk, it is quite possible that this is the source of your discomfort. You will have to ask the barista if their soy milk contains carrageenan as all brands are different.


Stephanie April 20, 2016 at 12:07 am


I was disappointed to hear about the matcha being sweetened, I order just about everything unsweetened from SB and the baristas usually mention if there is sugar in somethings (unsweetened peach green tea…they will say the peach has sugar already in it to see if that’s is ok). My recent go to drink has been a Trenta sized,unsweetened green tea, 5 scoops of matcha powder LT ice

So I called customer service and asked, after about 15 min of searching for the nutritional content of the matcha the rep finally was able to locate it. 30 calories (not sure what amount that is) 0 grams sugar. So where are the calories from?

I called a freestanding location in Santa Monica and asked them to look on the packaging (sugar, ground green tea powder from Japan). I call a licensed store at universal in Florida (same), and a corporate store near Orlando…..the barista said it is sweetened and made by TAZO. Hmmm maybe there are different formulas or brand is being phased out.

Now I’m just curious….I will contact corporate again tomorrow and clarify


Carla Golden April 20, 2016 at 8:54 am

Thank you so much for researching and sharing your research Stephanie! This is very helpful and interesting. Plain matcha powder has very few, maybe 3 calories per gram.


D e J a n a April 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm

I came across your site because of an experience I had today. It left me wondering if I was crazy being up against this sugar-addicted society and the dealers who keep it going. Relieved to find your opinion and those that correlate with it.

Today was the day that I decided to try something different, I had heard all about green tea & matcha having much healthier benefits than coffee. Today, instead of ordering coffee at Starbucks, I thought I’d consult with the staff. I started out by saying that I wanted to “switch to something healthier than coffee”. First, they suggested green tea latte with soy milk or the list of the other ‘milk substitute’, but I said I didn’t want it creamy at all. They said, we could just do ‘Match Water?’. That sounded pretty healthy, so I said sure! I almost spit it out when I first tried it. I was so overpowered by the sugar that it was a huge shock. I asked to see the packaging and couldn’t believe what I saw, (as you stated) SUGAR was the FIRST ingredient. Unbelievable. They have a supplies bar where you can add as much sugar as your heart is content. Why do they insist that I have to drink it with all that sugar in it? I can’t even get through it. Oh well lesson learned. That was the last Starbucks bubble burst on me. Recently, I had decided to switch to non-dairy substitute for my coffee. A barrista poured what she called ‘Coconut Milk’ into my coffee. I really didn’t mind it at all, so the next time I went for coffee, I asked for Coconut Milk, and they handed me the carton. My eyes almost popped out. Coconut DRINK it was called, then I asked to see the other milk substitute cartons, and they all read ‘Drink’ and not ‘Milk’. The staff verbally say Soy Milk, and Coconut Milk, but they pour this ‘Drink’ which means they’ve added sugar to it. No one seems to understand the difference. Am I insane for not wanting all this sugar automatically added to things I consume? LOL


Carla Golden April 27, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Thank you Dejana for verifying that this is still currently happening in SBux! I’m sorry for your experience and I don’t understand the need to push sugar either other than it addicts people and keeps them coming back for more which is great for business. Sugar is America’s #1 drug and all American’s first addiction. Thanks for the report about the “drink” issue too – wow!


Lisa Love May 1, 2016 at 10:23 am

I go to Tokyo to get my matcha powder every year. Cheap and high quality as it helps regulate my blood sugar. This year I wasn’t able to go but a friend went. He came back with a bag of this sweet sugar green powder (like fine sugar crystals) bag. (They sell in bulk). I’m so disappointed. In Japan it’s not required to label the amount of sugar and so they categorized them under carbs. My 100% matcha bags from my previous trips works out to be about 5 carbs / 14 grams. My friends bag has 14 carbs/ 16 grams. Which means 10 grams is pure refined sugar or 2/3 of the 14 gram serving. Not good as I’m diabetic.
It is however a very popular drink in Japan. This sugary matcha is served a lot in breakfast. But it just taste sickening sweet to me.


Carla Golden May 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

Wow! What a disastrous difference Lisa!


Sarah Penman May 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Forgive me if this is old news but Starbucks describes a green tea latte as being “lightly sweetened.” However it has 32 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 8 TEASPOONS! Need I say more?


Carla Golden May 3, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Thank you for this Sarah! It sums everything up quite well!


c May 31, 2016 at 1:14 pm

it’s not criminal, it’s just the way Starbucks makes their matcha powder. they don’t market it to be healthy. duh. you can order plain green tea from them, it will just not be in powder form. you and some of your readers were just uninformed, or new to Starbucks matcha (you tried it for the first time)…that doesn’t make it bad, some people love it with all of the sugar, just like many of their other beverages. no one says it’s good for you haha. all it means is you didn’t care for it!! wasn’t your ‘cup of tea’ -pun intended 🙂 Next time, your article should just be documenting to your readers that “just so you know, there is actually THIS much sugar in Starbucks matcha powder!” instead of shaming and blaming…if you really wanted to inform those who may have thought they are drinking something healthy. btw, Starbucks actually put matcha on the map in America…unless you’re a household who was ahead of your time in the health and wellness industry. they introduced their green tea frappucinos in 2005, and ever since then, this matcha craze has been slowly gaining… it’s kind of funny that I’m defending Starbucks so much here, I actually have a problem with some fundamentals about the company. but I’m just calling it like I see it. you just kinda tried to make a problem out of nothing. annoying because we need less of that in this world. seemed to me like you wanted to “fire people up” about this terrible!! atrocity!!!!


Carla Golden June 1, 2016 at 11:53 am

Thank you for your opinion. Matcha by definition is green tea powder, no sugar. Matcha is not a drink name.


Amber June 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm

These comments are so funny. I just had one of these today, and the matcha was alot different then the coffee stand I worked at. Let me say it tasted like fish and it was not of my liking. Lol!! Which matcha is the best??


Carla Golden June 5, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Plain matcha is an acquired taste and can taste a little fishy at first. My favorite brand is HERE. You can see now why some people feel compelled to drown matcha in sugar to sweeten the taste!


Kandice pass June 8, 2016 at 8:29 am

So will I not get the benefits because its sweetened?


Carla Golden June 9, 2016 at 11:37 am

It would be a neutral effect at best. Refined sugar is disastrous for the body & health.


Barista June 30, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Being a barista for 8 yrs, people like you are reasons why I wanted to quit. If you are so picky about your drinks then you should look up the nutrition facts about each drink. No where does is say the matcha is unsweetened. Buy your own maycha then, and make your own if it’s so terrible.


Carla Golden June 30, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Thank you. I have not attempted to order matcha at Starbucks other than this one time. I’m a quick learner. Matcha by definition is green tea. Period.


Rahul July 11, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Came here for something else but after browsing the lengthy discussion on sugar in matcha, i have only one thing to say. We are going to die of something folks, so just be happy. if you take more sugar one day, eat a little less the next. There’s no escaping the grave and there’s an infinite ways we could leave this world so if we cant do anything about that then why worry? Be happy and go out with a bang 🙂


Carla Golden July 12, 2016 at 11:06 am

I like what the president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Kim Williams who is whole food, plant-based vegan, has said: “I don’t mind dying. I just don’t want it to be my fault.”


Chris Flapp July 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm

All cafes serving Matcha Latte are premixed/loaded with sugar, unhealthy ingredients which taste great but are definitely not healthy–like drinking soda.


Carla Golden July 19, 2016 at 7:31 am

I don’t drink nor recommend drinking soda either.


Ang July 19, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Hi there. Could you suggest where can i get real un-sweetened matcha powder?


Carla Golden July 19, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Of course! This is the kind I use: matcha


Chris Meyers July 31, 2016 at 12:00 am

I’m sorry, I’m pretty much an organic non gmo 100% eater, but you are a bunch of morons, and this is some grade school level hystrionic garbage. First of all, because a powder of a thing is pre-sugared for that use case doesn’t mean the thing is any less what it is. It IS Matcha they just mixed it with sugar because thats how most people order it and thats the item on the menu. Just because youre stupid enough to think you can walk in an order something not on the menu just makes you a fool. There is no MATCHA WATER on the menu, and if there were, it would be the same as the the other green tea drink offered, which is SWEETENED. I dont know what to laugh at more, the fact that there are people out there ordering green teas who couldnt taste the sugar and thought it was unsweetened, or the emotional melodrama from the people claiming its not tea. NEWSFLASH it is. Its just pre sweetened.


Carla Golden July 31, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Wow Chris, do you win over many people with your special charm? How about this: if I requested hot water with matcha (by definition is TEA not SWEETENED TEA) at SBux and they didn’t want to sell it to me, they could have said it’s not a menu item. Period. But they did, hence my post.


Emily August 14, 2016 at 1:17 pm

I’m shocked Carla! What kind of Matcha powder should I be buying?


Carla Golden August 15, 2016 at 10:37 am
Patty August 16, 2016 at 7:34 am

The barista should have known, at least, that the match powder was sweetened… I have had it @ Starbucks but WAS informed. Peet’s Coffee for those world travelers has unsweetened matcha powder.


Carla Golden August 16, 2016 at 8:12 am

Good to know about Peet’s! Thanks Patty!


Keith Walters August 29, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Really appreciated this write up! All good to know. Why they can’t have a matcha powder not already mixed with sugar is just plain sad. It’s like having coffee beans infused with syrup. Oh well, it’s not a main product in their lineup, just a marketing ploy to get more people in.


Carla Golden August 30, 2016 at 10:50 am

Thank you for taking the time to read & comment Keith!


Raquel September 7, 2016 at 9:05 pm

I really wish that i would have read this 1st. As a treat I have a green tea Frappuccino with sugar free syrup and heavy cream as I am on a ketogenic way of eating. Soon after I drank it felt a little odd and sleepy. I thought oh no! Did I just drink a giant cup of sugar?! I thought no way. Surely they’d allow you to control your sugar as they do with coffee. Im so glad I shared it with my kids. At least I know now. Thank you so much for posting.


Carla Golden September 8, 2016 at 11:38 am

Sorry for your experience. Knowledge is power.


phyllis September 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

I just walked over to my neighborhood Starbucks and asked about Matcha, ordered and just drank the drink prior to reading this. I asked about seeing their Matcha powder and was told the powder was sold at Teavana but .I could have a drink made out of the powder; I requested no sugar or milk since they did not have almond milk in stock. Two of the personnel said they normally put syrup into their matcha drinks but would leave mine without any additives. I got the drink and thought it was very sweet. I asked again and was told the green tea was sweet itself and there were no additives. I am now very disappointed to read this.


Carla Golden September 11, 2016 at 3:27 pm

No, green tea is not naturally sweet. Baristas not knowing that their matcha powder is pre-sweetened probably think it is not since they are not physically adding anything. Sorry about your experience!


ana arrubla September 26, 2016 at 1:22 am

Carla can you please recomend a delicious matcha green tea?


Carla Golden September 26, 2016 at 9:01 am
Cara October 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm

I think a lot of the people on here are missing your point. Matcha is a specific thing. Even if it is used in deserts, it does not change the meaning of the word matcha. I think a lot of people don’t know what matcha is.
I went to Starbucks today to order a plain, hot green tea. All of their bagged green teas were fruit flavored. I told the barista that what I wanted was plain green tea with no flavors and no sugar. She suggested the matcha powder. I was surprised and excited they had it! She said, “Yeah, we use it to make our matcha lattes, but it’s just unsweetened matcha powder.” After the first sip, I knew she was wrong. I exchanged it for a green tea with a “hint of citrus”. :/ Oh well. I should start carrying my own tea bags with me. 😉


Carla Golden October 11, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Thank you Cara. Yes, I think most people don’t understand that matcha is a specific thing in itself not an ingredient of something labeled “matcha.” I think I said elsewhere the word “matcha” isn’t Japanese for “green.” LOL!


Leslie October 26, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Hey Carla! Great read here. I *used* to be obsessed with the iced green tea frapp from Starbucks, but not because I thought I was getting a healthy drink. I just LOVED the way it tasted. I’m not surprised that it’s probably more than half sugar. I used to say it tasted like Fruity Pebbles. That can’t be very healthy, right?

I’m older and wiser now and buy pure matcha powder. I find it so difficult to drink alone with hot water. I love the way it smells, but the taste is just awful. Do you ever add anything to your tea? Do you have any other recommendations?


Carla Golden October 26, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I don’t add anything to mine….just hot water and matcha powder. I suppose I’ve acquired the taste for it. The Flavor Project makes fruit infused matcha powder that you might like better than plain. I’ve sampled it and it’s tasty, however I love plain so much that I haven’t made the switch. I reviewed the product here: Fruit Flavored Matcha Hope that helps!


Carla Golden February 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

Yes, thank you, I am aware of the popularity of using matcha in Japanese desserts. Trust me though, SBux matcha powder is much sweeter than anything you would find from authentic Japanese dessert makers. The barista simply scooped the Tazo matcha from the bag and added hot water. She added no additional sweetener. Low and behold the matcha was pre-sweetened with sugar which comprised more than half of the matcha-sugar blend.


vls July 4, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Oh! Just started on Matcha at home too — love. Then a road trip had me charging my new Tesla at a super charger in Ann Arbor MI. Starbucks was but a few steps away. I asked the order taker “Do you have Matcha?” She said yes, that there were two ways to prepare it. I said I didn’t want sugar so she suggested the Latte, which had no sugar (!) At first sip I knew it had sugar — a lot of it! I saw the barista take 2 big scoops of something and guessed it was my drink she was making. Oh, well — it was tasty but not for repeat. Guess I’ll just have an Americana if I want something at Starbucks or bring my own quart of iced green tea. Thanks of the post, Carla — exactly what’s going on, explained.


Carla Golden July 5, 2016 at 9:25 am

Sorry to learn the sugar matcha still being used at SBux! Thanks for reporting in VLS!


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