Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix

Trader Joe's Matcha Green Tea Latte

I regret every spoonful I already used.

Wow, guys – I could not have been more shocked when I saw Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix on the shelf the other day. There it was, just as I had envisioned it, the elegant solution I had lambasted TJ’s for overlooking the first time around.

If you missed it, Trader Joe’s first take on powdered green tea mix was the oh-so-close-but-oh-so-very-far Tropical Sweetened Matcha Green Tea Mix. It was a perfectly serviceable instant tea mix, ruined beyond the point of salvage by the addition of indefinably generic “tropical” flavors that were cloyingly sweet and rather revolting. This time around, it looked like Trader Joe’s decided to leave out the “tropical” and the “sweetened” and just give us a elegant, refined, affordable tin of instant matcha green tea.

Or did they?

The sad fact is, we have been duped again. At least TJ”s “tropical sweetened matcha” sounded unappealing. This new Matcha Green Tea Latte sounds and looks delightful, then it kicks you in the butt and pees in your mouth.

Where Joe went wrong the first time around was with the heaping spoonfuls of sugar they ladled into the otherwise refined and subtle green tea mix. For some reason, they decided to do the exact same thing again. Let’s check out the label: ingredient number one, cane sugar. In this case, that means a hefty 18 grams of sugar per three tablespoon serving.

“Oh, only eighteen?” I think I hear someone saying, “Well that’s not so bad, is it?” Oh, I don’t know, why don’t we compare that to an equal quantity of pure sugar.  Three tablespoons of 100% golden brown cane sugar weighs in at 28 grams of sugar. We can do a little bit of factoring and determine that our matcha mix is about 66% sugar, and 33% tea and other stuff. That other stuff, by the way, shouldn’t be overlooked either. Of our remaining 33%, “tea” places third behind two other ingredients – coconut oil (#2) and good old fashioned maltodextrin (#3).

As long as we’re hanging out back here in the nutrition facts, we might cast an eye to the calorie content. There are 105 calories in 3 tablespoons of pure sugar, and 160 calories in 3 tablespoons of TJ’s matcha mix. How’d they manage to be more caloric than pure sugar? Why, with all the added fat of course – 10% of your daily fat in take in each serving. “What’s fat doing in my powdered tea mix”” you might very reasonably be wondering. Why, ruining it of course!

When Trader Joe’s left the word “sweetened” out of the product name, I foolishly assumed that it wouldn’t be sweetened. My mistake. What I should have been focusing on instead was the word “latte” which slipped in there. A latte, as we all know, is a beverage that has been mixed with milk – usually frothy, steamed milk, but in this day and age it gets applied rather more liberally than that. For instance, Trader Joe’s is using it here to refer to powdered milk mixed with sodium caseinate, a milk protein derivative. Technically, infinite shelf life powdered milk substitute counts as real milk. In reality, however, your green tea latte will taste less like a real latte and much more like tea with a whole ton of non-dairy creamer dumped all over it.

Overall Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix is just a rather unappealing product. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there’s plenty of room out there for a simple powdered green tea mix, and deep down under all the nonsense at play here there’s a core of a nice matcha. Unfortunately it’s adulterated beyond the point of wasting your time or money on.

Trader Joe’s, I’m not sure who’s asking for this, but please stop listening to them.

The Breakdown

Would I Recommend It: No, please don’t encourage Trader Joe’s to do this again.

Would I Buy It Again: Maybe as a gift for someone I wish ill upon.

Final Synopsis: A perfectly good green tea mix – ruined by too much sugar and artificial creamer.


13 Comments on “Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix”

  1. BN says:

    completely agree. Way too sweet. Pleasant smell, but once you take a sip – the sugar overpowers everything.

  2. ASaiEn says:

    I did not find it too sweet (most matcha I have had are usually much sweeter). But I did find it had an odd flavor. It tasted more like basil than green tea. I like basil but not as a beverage. This will probably be my first returned Trader Joe’s item as I find it unpalatable.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I actually thought it was quite good! And was quite happy to have found it on the shelf.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I actually was quite pleased with the product and thought it tasted great. I even froze it into ice cubes and blended it into a smoothie.

  5. Chelsea says:

    I bought this yesterday, and actaully really like it! Your words are very harsh, and seem like you need to find a new hobby than to bash items from a store. It’s your opinion and that’s fine, maybe you should take up yoga? It’s great at finding inner peace 🙂

    • Denise says:

      This review isn’t too harsh. Thanks for keeping us updated with the ingredients. Companies need to stop marketing a product to be something when there are a lot of other bullshiz ingredients overpowering the original and desired product, its deceitful.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I really love this, but I used about half the amount of powder suggested. I ended up with a much milder latte with a clear matcha flavor and a good amount of sweetness. I can’t imagine making it as strong as the directions say!

  7. Beth says:

    I don’t know what latte mix you got but it can’t be the TJ’s mix. All of the ingredients and amounts you listed in your review are completely wrong. I just purchased this at my TJ’s yesterday and the the ingredients list and nutrition facts on the back of my tin are totally different. Either you are exaggerating the facts to bash a perfectly good TJ’s product for no apparent reason or you need to re-review this because obviously they have changed the product.

    • Thanks for the heads up. Trader Joe’s reformulates their products from time to time – I’ll have to check it out again. If they’ve changed it up, then they must have finally realized how gross it was.

  8. Johnnel says:

    I just purchased the TJ’s mix to wing me off coffee. I did the health benefit search of the Matcha Green Tea, and the results are “it’s amazing”. Especially if your starting a new healthy lifestyle change like myself. The sweetness was a pleasant surprise because of the color it looks like your going to get a month full of pea soup, but if you like chia tea you will like this delightful taste as well.

  9. Juliet says:

    I love this tea, and I was an avid coffee drinker who started getting 4 day headaches. My Doctor asked me to give up coffee for 6 weeks to see if that was the issue, and the headaches disappeared. I missed my morning cup of coffee, so decided to try the Trader Joe’s Matcha Latte. I have been drinking this now for a couple of months and no headaches! I have read that the caffeine effects of Matcha are much less abrupt than coffee and I am a believer. I have also mixed this with almond milk and I always add cloves (powder) to the tea. I got the idea from True Food restaurant and it’s delicious!

  10. pinbaddict says:

    I really like the T.J’s Matcha green Tea Latte mix but I have to agree with the author of this article It has 27% sat fat that equals to 5 grams in it. 50mg of sodium. Why are they adding sodium to tea?I do not care about the sugar amount. At least it does not taste like diet junk. . Coconut oil is good for you so he is wrong on that point. Why they added it to tea is what I do not understand? Barley malt or malted milk powder is very unhealthy for you. By the way I was adding it to my coffee a teaspoon at a time. Coffee is good for the liver

  11. TAZ says:

    One word: DELICIOUS. Super pleased. Better value than Starbucks 😆 I like a sugary tea or coffee once in awhile. Can’t be healthy ALL the time, otherwise grind up your own tea leaves

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