You've likely heard about the health benefits of green tea, but how about those of its cooler cousin, matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea that is grown in Japan, and has exploded in popularity here in the United States. Unlike ordinary tea, matcha is not steeped. Instead, its leaves are ground into a fine powder and it is dissolved into liquid. Because you are consuming the tea leaf itself, it has over 100x the antioxidant power of regular green tea.
While lattes are probably the most popular way to enjoy matcha, bars and restaurants across the country have begun serving up matcha in all kinds of creative ways. Read on to find out the top spots to try matcha cocktails, crepes, ice cream, and more in the U.S.
Asha Tea House (San Francisco, CA)
A great matcha latte begins with high-quality, 100% pure Japanese matcha green tea, and that is precisely what they’re serving up at Asha Tea House. Their signature drink is the iced matcha latte, and after one sip, you can immediately tell the difference between it and its chain store imitators. The slightly bitter matcha flavor is prominent, and isn’t watered down with too much milk. If you’d like to try your hand at making this latte at home, Asha also sells freshly ground matcha tea.
Tea Do Contemporary Tea House (Boston, MA)
If you like the idea of matcha but aren’t so big on its naturally bitter flavor, head to Tea Do Contemporary Tea House in Boston’s Chinatown. The Japanese Green Milk Tea is creamy and sweet, while still offering a nice matcha flavor. If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of matcha, Tea Do Contemporary Tea House is a good place to start.
Protein Bar (Denver, CO)
Need a morning wake-up call but can’t handle the java? Head to Protein Bar in Denver, and try their Avo-Matcha Smoothie instead. Not only does this creamy smoothie make for a tasty breakfast, but it also gives you a nice kick of caffeine without the jitters, thanks to a compound in matcha that helps to neutralize the shaky effects of caffeine. You’ll feel calmer, yet still ready to take on the world!
Takahachi Bakery (New York, NY)
When you’ve had your fill of matcha lattes, you might want to try it in the form of a sweet treat instead. Takahachi Bakery is an excellent place to start, offering a great selection of matcha-infused desserts. As long as green pancakes don’t freak you out, you have to try their matcha crepe. It’s filled with cream and sweet red bean paste, which balances the matcha flavor perfectly. If crepes aren’t your thing, Takahachi also serves up matcha macarons, cake, and lattes as well.
Angel’s Share (New York, NY)
Tucked away in New York’s East Village, Angel’s Share is a hidden speakeasy with a beautiful interior and a menu of creative, Japanese-inspired cocktails. Regulars agree that one of the highlights of this menu is the Speak Low, made with rum, sherry, and matcha. The sweetness of the sherry complements the earthiness of the matcha to create a lovely, well-balanced cocktail. The cozy, sexy vibe of Angel’s Share will only enhance your drinking experience.
Honey&Green by Beeline (Los Angeles, CA)
If you find yourself in LA on a sweltering day, head to Honey&Green by Beeline, which serves the creamiest, most heavenly matcha soft serve around. Striking the perfect chord between earthy and sweet, this ice cream is a must try. They also serve a range of matcha beverages, including the Green Tea Au Lait, made with freshly ground matcha, almond milk, and organic honey.
Täkō (Pittsburgh, PA)
You might come to Täkō for its delicious Mexican food (don’t miss the street corn), but you’ll definitely stick around to enjoy a cocktail or two. While all of these creative concoctions are worth trying, Ramon’s Gin Fizz might be the best one of all. Matcha-infused Tanqueray gin is combined with lemon, lime, rose water, and avocado—yes, avocado!—for an amazing flavor fusion that you won’t find anywhere else. The fact that it’s served in a fun tiki glass is just the umbrella in the drink.
Alliance Patisserie (Chicago, IL)
If you think you have to travel all the way to Ladurée in Paris to try some truly incredible macarons, think again. Instead, head to Alliance Patisserie on Chicago’s Near North Side. Their macarons come in some pretty creative flavors, including rose, balsamic fig, and of course, matcha green tea. These macarons are airy and light, and it’s clear that the matcha they use is of the highest quality. Next time you’re in Chicago, do not miss this amazing pastry shop.
Sa-Ten (Austin, TX)
What better place to try a matcha latte than in a Japanese-style coffeehouse? Sa-Ten serves a delicious Matcha Chai Latte, with the earthiness of the matcha complementing the warming chai spices beautifully. You can also enjoy a regular matcha latte, too. Order your drink, pull up a chair, and get ready to savor this experience—Sa-Ten is a cozy spot where you’ll want to hang out awhile.
Matcha Box (Los Angeles, CA)
Describing themselves as “LA’s first ever matcha-teria,” Matcha Box is the spot to hit for all matcha everything. Their small yet impressive menu features everything from “The Ceremony” (traditional, ceremony-grade matcha tea) to the “Ring of Fire” (an iced matcha latte infused with jalapeno simple syrup). They also sell high-grade matcha and utensils used to prepare the tea. Whether you’re a matcha newbie who wants to learn more, or are simply looking for a new place to get your next fix, Matcha Box is a must try.
Now is the time to hop on the growing trend of matcha in the USA—with so many different eats and drinks around, there’s a matcha for everyone!