I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of matcha powder substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured I’ve got you covered.
The best substitutes for matcha powder are powdered mulberry tea and gyokuro tea. Yerba mate is a great option for a stronger, more bitter drink. And if you want to take a lighter, sweeter route, try Hojicha powder. Green tea may not be the perfect substitute, but it’s easily accessible.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I brewed different matcha powder substitutes for a simple taste test.
Matcha comes from ground-up green tea leaves grown under the shade, giving it a bright green color. It has an bitter, grassy flavor with hints of sweetness and umami.
This tea powder is so unique I had difficulty finding an exact flavor match. But I did find a few substitutes that will bring a similar vibe.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Powdered Mulberry Tea||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Gyokuro Tea||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Moringa Tea||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Yerba Mate||Replace with half the amount||9/10|
|Hojicha Powder||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Green Tea||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Wheatgrass Powder||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||7/10|
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to tea, so my guidance is to first replace the matcha in 1:1 ratio, taste your creation, and then adjust for next time.
Common uses of matcha powder and the best substitutes
Making tea is the most basic use of matcha powder, but here are some other uses and the best substitutes for those situations:
- As a base for flavored drinks: Try using powdered mulberry tea or Hojicha powder. Gyokuro and yerba are great options too, but you’ll have to steep them in water first.
- As a baking and dessert ingredient: Try using powdered mulberry tea, Hojicha powder, or wheat grass powder. Loose tea leaves from gyokuro, yerba, and green tea work too, but you’ll need to steep it with your milk or other ingredients.
- For dry rubs: Try using green tea or powdered mulberry tea.
Powdered mulberry tea
I don’t see powdered mulberry brought up often when it comes to matcha alternatives, but you have to try it!
It matches matcha’s vibrant green color and is caffeine-free.
It’s got a similar creamy aroma, but it boasts a sweeter flavor than matcha and is slightly less potent.
You prepare it the same way as matcha, although it won’t froth up (sad times).
But I didn’t mind it too much because the flavor was so similar!
How to substitute: Replace matcha in a 1:1 ratio with powdered mulberry tea.
Next on my list is Gyokuro tea, a delightful substitute hailing from the same family as matcha.
It’s grown in the shade like matcha, which gives it the same rich green color.
But upon tasting, you’ll notice more floral notes and less bitterness, which might be a pleasant surprise if you find matcha’s punchiness too much.
Some adventurous tea enthusiasts suggest removing the stems and grinding Gyokuro into a powder form like matcha.
But I personally find the grinding process tedious and prefer to steep the leaves as they are.
It’s an elegant, simpler alternative.
How to substitute: Replace matcha in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with Gyokuro tea.
Moringa tea is another decent substitute for matcha powder.
It doesn’t taste exactly like matcha but has a similar earthy undertones. The flavor is much gentler and less bitter, so it’s ideal for those just dipping their toes into green teas!
But the biggest plus for moringa tea is it’s chock-full of nutrients like Vitamins A, C, B6, and amino acids.
How to substitute: Replace matcha in a 1:1 ratio with Moringa tea powder.
Think matcha isn’t enough to wake you up on a Monday morning? Try drinking yerba mate instead!
This South American tea has a more potent vegetal flavor than matcha and it’s very bitter, so it’s definitely an acquired taste.
But once you’ve got used to it, it becomes kind of addictive.
It’s got slightly more caffeine than matcha, but will only give you a short term energy boost because it lacks L-theanine.
Psst… I added a bit of sweetener while brewing my yerba mate which helped take the edge of the bitterness.
How to substitute: Replace matcha with half the amount of loose Yerba Mate.
Next up, we have Hojicha powder.
This is made from green tea like matcha. But it’s roasted which means it’s not green anymore.
Instead, the roasting process gives the tea a toasted brown color and a unique flavor profile – it’s slightly sweet tasting with interesting notes of smokiness and cocoa.
This is a complete departure from matcha powder’s bitter, grassy flavor. But both are delicious!
Psst… hojicha tea smells so nice that tea shop owners often brew it in the hopes of attracting more people into the store.
How to substitute: Replace matcha in a 1:1 ratio with Hojicha powder.
Good ol’ green tea might not be the perfect substitute for matcha, but it works in a pinch.
It’s like matcha’s less intense cousin. The flavor profile is lighter and has less caffeine, making it a great option if you’re trying to cut back on caffeine without giving up the green tea flavor you love.
And here’s a pro-tip: you can still use green tea for baked goods and desserts. Simply steep the leaves with milk or other liquid ingredients to add a subtle green tea flavor in your sweet treats.
How to substitute: Replace matcha in your recipe in a 1:2 ratio with loose green tea.
Another caffeine-free alternative to matcha powder is wheatgrass powder.
Like matcha, wheatgrass has an earthy flavor, but it’s milder and lacks that distinctive umami notes that matcha is known for.
Some might find this a refreshing change, especially if you find matcha’s flavor overwhelming.
Plus, it’s great for baking too! I tried adding it to muffins and cookies, and it added a subtle but pleasant grassiness.
Pssst… If you prefer a sweeter option, try barley grass powder.
How to substitute: Replace matcha in a 1:1 ratio with wheatgrass powder.
Other substitutes to consider
The list above are my top picks for matcha substitutes, but here are other options you can try.
They’re veering away from matcha powder but still work if you need a pick-me-up or a healthy drink:
- Spirulina powder – this isn’t a tea or coffee, but it’s a great caffeine-free option for smoothies that’s packed with vitamins and minerals. Simply blend it with milk or fruits to mask the seaweed taste!
- Stone rolled teas – these aren’t the most accessible substitute because you can only get them from London, but they’re a great option if you can splurge. The brand Postcard Teas make ground versions of oolong, black and green tea, resulting in a fine powder you can treat just like matcha.
- Coffee – if you’re after a caffeine hit, coffee is that easiest replacement for matcha you can find.
- Chamomile tea – this is another more accessible than matcha. It’s caffeine-free and perfect for drinking just before bed. Its flavor is quite fruity and mellow.
Ceremonial vs. Culinary-grade matcha
There’s no official grading for matcha (yet!), but the most common categories you’ll see are ceremonial and culinary grade.
Ceremonial matcha is the more premium option and the one you should use if you’re planning to make tea because it has a more rounded, less bitter flavor.
Culinary-grade matcha is the recommended option for baking and making lattes because the strong flavor won’t get lost amongst the other ingredients.
Nowadays it’s also pretty easy to find pre-packaged matcha latte mixes.
12 BEST Matcha Powder substitutes
- 1 tsp powdered mulberry tea
- 2 tsp gyokuro tea
- 1 tsp moringa tea
- 2 tsp yerba mate
- 1 tsp hojicha powder
- 2 tsp green tea
- 1 tsp wheatgrass powder
- Cook your meal according to the recipe.
- Add your chosen matcha powder substitute at the appropriate cooking time.
- Mix until thoroughly combined and continue with the recipe.