If you love matcha or green tea, you might have already tried the new Starbucks Pineapple Matcha Drink. Since I’m keeping my caffeine intake lighter these days (baby on the way), I’ve been really into tea and tea-based drinks.
Instead of my usual decaf afternoon pick-me-up, last week I decided to give Starbucks’ new drink a shot. It was love at first sip!
Matcha is excellent paired with pineapple ginger syrup, and the coconut milk softens the drink and tones down the sweetness of the pineapple and the mild bitterness of the tea.
Naturally, I immediately started thinking about making a cocktail or mocktail based on the drink, so here’s both!
You may also enjoy my:
- Guava Passionfruit Drink (Starbucks Copycat)
- Kiwi Starfruit Refresher (Starbucks Copycat)
- Peach Green Tea Lemonade
- Pineapple Chamomile Lemonade
What’s in the Pineapple Matcha Drink?
It’s made with a really simple mix of coconut milk, matcha tea powder, and a pineapple ginger syrup. Just three ingredients!
The Starbucks syrup ingredients lists ‘natural flavors’, whatever that means, so I’d say my version is slightly more fabulous since it’s made with real pineapple juice and ginger juice or root.
I also chose all organic ingredients for this, but you don’t have to. Use what you have on hand or what you can easily find at the store.
Matcha is expensive, so you’ll want to make sure it lasts a good long time. Which brings me to my next thought:
Sidenote: store your matcha in the fridge
Use any matcha tea you like, but make sure it’s fresh. Prior to diving into this recipe, I didn’t know that matcha should be refrigerated.
I was using an old tin and I noticed that it was no longer bright green. A quick trip to Google let me know that was past its prime and time to toss it. I picked up a new tin and what a difference in flavor and color!
More about matcha
So what is matcha anyway? Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder. It differs from other green teas because there’s a special process for growing and processing it.
The month before harvesting, it’s grown in the shade, which leads to a more caffeinated leaf. The leaves are also de-veined when processed, for a finer end product.
It’s well known that there are some health benefits to drinking green tea, and some say even more so with matcha, since it’s a more concentrated version.
Fun fact: the theanine found in matcha was shown to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety in a Japanese study.
Pineapple ginger syrup tips
Update 2021: Get my 5 minute pineapple ginger syrup recipe! This syrup recipe is quick and delicious. If you can only find ginger root, use the detailed syrup instructions below.
When inspiration to create this drink first struck, I didn’t have a fresh pineapple on hand, so I used canned pineapple juice (unsweetened, 100% pineapple juice) that I always keep in the pantry.
I’d say that generally speaking, all drinks and syrups are improved by using the freshest, ripest fruit possible, but perhaps because this syrup is cooked on the stove, I have to say I didn’t notice a big difference in the end product. So use what you have, and you’ll still get a delicious syrup.
If you decide to use fresh pineapple, press the fruit to measure the juice, or you can use the lazy method and just use chopped chunks of pineapple.
If using pineapple chunks, increase the measure to 3/4 cups of fruit instead of 1/2 cup juice. The total quantity of syrup with using fresh fruit will vary. If using juice, you’ll be left with about 1 cup of syrup, which is enough to make 8 drinks.
If you can get ginger juice (I used The Ginger People brand from Whole Foods), you can make my quick and easy pineapple ginger syrup. If you have only find ginger root, use the instructions in the Notes section of the recipe card below.
Pineapple Matcha Drink
- 1 oz pineapple ginger syrup (2 tbsp)
- 4-6 oz coconut milk (I think 4 1/2 oz is perfect, but some like it more or less sweet)
- 1/2 tsp matcha powder
- Add the syrup, matcha, and coconut milk to a cocktail shaker and fill 3/4 with ice.
- Shake hard until very cold, about 12 seconds. Strain the drink into a tall glass filled with ice.
- TIP: If you have a spare Hawthorne strainer, remove the coil from the strainer and place it in the shaker before adding ice. This extra agitation will help to fully incorporate the matcha powder and will also give the drink a lovely creamy foam on top!
½ cup white sugar
½ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 oz vodka (optional, to help it stay fresh longer) Instructions:
- Peel and chop the ginger into small pieces.
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium, stirring frequently, until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Add ginger and pineapple juice and bring the syrup to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes before straining.
- Strain out the ginger and store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. This recipe should make about 1 cup of syrup. If you add an ounce of vodka or grain alcohol, the syrup will last at least 3 weeks.
- 1.5 oz white rum (or vodka or gin)
- 1 oz pineapple ginger syrup
- 4 oz coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp matcha
- I used an unsweetened coconut milk beverage packaged in a carton for ease of use. You can use any coconut milk you like, including canned.
- If you like a stronger, sweeter drink, use just 4 ounces of coconut milk. If you like it more creamy and mild-tasting, use up to 6 ounces coconut milk. 4 1/2 ounces tastes just like what I get at Starbucks.
- If you like a more sweet and sour type of drink, add 1/2 ounce of lime juice, it’s delicious!