Matcha green tea ice cream

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Matcha ice cream recipe

I know the internet is hardly short of matcha green tea ice cream recipes, but this is one that I have wanted to make for the longest time and since I first tasted it at Kyoto Garden Sushi in Cape Town.

I had great success with my Rooibos and honey ice cream, so I’m all over tea and ice cream flavour combos. Matcha green tea is not something you can just pick up at your local supermarket here – and I doubt that too many people even know what it is. Only a few speciality tea merchants are stocking it now. We seem to catch on to things about 2 – 3 years after they are huge trends everywhere else in the world. Anyway, I bought a tub at Whole Foods when I was in Vegas with my friend Shanna from, and this is my first recipe.

matcha tea ice cream

I was hoping my ice cream or the matcha tea powder would deliver a bright and vibrant green, but the green colour came out quite subdued. I am rather disappointed with this as I had visions of styling and shooting it a particular way.

I’m sure they vary from brand to brand, but I bought one with no preservatives all natural etc., so perhaps that is why. As I had never tasted it either, I also wanted to make sure the flavour was spot on.

Green tea is definitely an acquired taste and one which I am now passionately in love with. However, even if you are not a fan of green tea, this matcha ice cream could still be enjoyed as its creamy and sweet with a subtle herbaceous tone. It has such a delicate flavour, no wonder it is the queen of teas and formed part of the Japanese tea ceremony for more than 900 years.

Green tea

What is matcha green tea:

In case you are unsure what matcha is here are a few pointers:

1. Processing – Unlike tea leaves which infuse in water to yield tea, matcha is the finely ground-up tea leaves themselves which become soluble, thus you are drinking the actual tea leaves. In other words, matcha is a suspension, not a brew.

2. Farming – The green tea plants for matcha are grown in the shade for a few weeks before harvest which boosts the plant’s chlorophyll levels giving it a darker green colour. Only the best buds are picked and dried out. The stems and veins are removed during the processing

3. History – Matcha is originally from China but most of it is produced in Japan. Its the staple on which Japanese tea ceremonies are centered. Only recently has it become popular outside of Japan.

4. Composition – Matcha is a super concentrated green tea which is ingested whole and packed with nutrients and polyphenols (antioxidants). It also contains caffeine – roughly three times more than regular tea, so it can give an energy boost. Unlike the caffeine buzz from coffee though, its more of an ‘alertness’ and a calming buzz (if you can imagine being buzzy and calm at the same time).

5. Preparation – As Part of the Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu) the zen-like preparation involves whisking the powder into a thick emulsion using a bamboo whisk. This tea is called ‘koicha’ and is the style (i.e. ‘thick tea’) that has been adopted by the West. So you will need a cup or tea bowl, a spoon (bamboo is traditional) and a whisk to work the clumps that form out.

The tea gurus would be able to pick out subtle nuances from the tea as to origin and preparation. As with Green tea infusions, the water to make matcha should be below boiling point and around 80C – 85C. Boiling water will scorch the tea and bring out less pleasant flavour tannins. Because of its unique flavour and ability to dissolve it is now used in a variety of food and drink preparations. It lends itself particularly well to dairy, sweets and desserts. I made a white chocolate and green tea fudge and had to grind up green tea leaves to get the powder but now I can’t wait to try this recipe again using matcha.

matcha ice cream

What pairs well with matcha green tea flavour:

As mentioned matcha goes well with desserts, confectionary and cakes. Its delicious in smoothies, lattes and ice cream. I can’t see why it won’t work in pancakes and in waffles either. I was just wondering what the best flavour pairings are.

These are some of my ideas:

  • white, milk and chocolate
  • mint
  • citrus fruits
  • banana
  • ginger

If you have any ideas about what flavours work with green tea or matcha, let me know down below.

The mild vegetative flavour would pair with seafood and rice, so perhaps a few savoury recipe ideas could be in the making.

Watch this space.

matcha green tea ice cream

A few desserts to serve this ice cream with:

Cherry galette with flaky crust

Marion Burro’s famous purple plum torte

Double chocolate skillet cookie

More matcha recipes:

Home made matcha marshmallows

Matcha ice cream

A creamy and delicious match (green tea) ice cream recipe.
Print Recipe
Matcha ice cream recipe
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:0 minutes
Total Time:4 hours


  • 2 eggs free range
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp matcha green tea powder
  • 2 cups cream heavy or whipping


  • Beat the eggs until fluffy for about 3 minutes. Slowly add the sugar bit by bit and carry on whisking for a further 3 – 4 minutes until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Mix the green tea powder into the milk and whisk until it has dissolved and is fully incorporated.
  • Add the cream to the egg and sugar mix and whisk for a minute or two until it is starts to increase in volume and thicken.
  • Add the milk and green tea and mix briefly.
  • Run the mix through an ice cream maker until ready according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Make in advance and store in the freezer until it firms up.
Remove for the freezer a few minutes before serviing to soften slightly.
Servings: 6



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  1. I am thoroughly enjoy green tea, and drink it on a daily basis. I have yet to try the actual Matcha Green Tea, but will do so soon. I drink green tea with a dash of fresh lemon. I also have enjoyed it with a little ginger for a different take on it with a bit of honey and lemon.
    Your ice cream sounds amazing and will be trying it as soon as I get my Matcha 🙂

  2. This ice cream looks amazing and I am probably one of the few people on earth that still haven’t tried matcha lol! I see so many recipes with it around internet but haven’t managed to buy it yet. I’m sure I would like it as I love green tea! Lovely photos as always! 🙂

  3. Hi Lynne – ooo yes ginger is another fabulous flavour , Im going add it in. Thanks

  4. Awesome; finally a matcha tea recipe that I am excited to try out.

  5. Ooooh yes, matcha ice cream is one of my favorites!! Your version looks so delicious — I love the elegant simplicity of it. The muted green is kind of reassuring too, isn’t it? All natural! 🙂

  6. I’ve been looking everywhere for matcha green tea, but I haven’t had any success. Let’s hope I find it soon – this ice cream will be the first thing I try out, it’s gorgeous. 🙂

  7. Hi Sam, I just discovered baking with matcha tea and I love it. I found the flavour of ground almonds and almond extract pairs incredibly well with matcha.

  8. Love this! Thank you for all the great matcha info! I love that you’re friends with Shanna, she seems like she would be a lot of fun to hang out with! She always cracks me up!

  9. Hi< yes she has a great sense of humour 🙂

  10. Thanks so much for mentioning, what a nice combo.

  11. Hi Sam, I’ve been dying to try out a matcha recipe but find matcha so expensive and hard to get hold of in South Africa. Do you have any suggestions of where to look?

  12. Hi Erin, if you are in Cape Town you could try Lady bonins Tea Parlour in the Woodstock Exchange – otherwise google it – I found a supplier of it online recently but can’t remember the name – or any other tea speciality shops.

  13. Hi. Just thought I’d let you know, our online shop at stocks Matcha tea here in South Africa and we are running some awesome opening specials. Please come and have a look. 🙂

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