Are you matcha-obsessed?
Raise your plastic cups. You know, the ones dripping wet in condensation? The same ones that are cold to the touch? Clear plastic cups filled to the brim with ice cubes? Creamy caffeinated concoctions, bursting with flavor? Matcha. I’m talking matcha. So here, let’s cheers to that!
As of late, New Yorkers have been riding a green tea latte wave. It’s super rad and super cool because your girl happens to be one of those New Yorkers. Not gonna lie, I used to think of matcha as the green, poorly stirred-powder at the bottom of my Starbucks drink. I wasn’t wrong, but I was basic.
After doing a little more research, however, I’ve learned that matcha is processed green tea grounded into powder form. Rich in antioxidants and plenty of other health benefits, the powder also contains extended release caffeine and natural calming agents.
Did you know that one cup of matcha tea is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea?
Crazy, right? One cup of matcha contains 70 milligrams of caffeine as compared to the average 35 milligrams you get in a regular cup of green tea.
Well, ANYWHOO, I discovered two must-visit matcha spots and you’re coming along for the adventure.
MatchaBar Chelsea 256 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011
MatchaBar Chelsea is a cute little shop with an intimate ambiance. They serve a wide selection of drinks that range from Classic Matcha to Summer Matcha. Surprisingly the lack of seating space does not deter people from getting their caffeine fix! In fact, customers are usually in and out of here with a drink, if not two, in hand. Did I mention they give out free stickers?
Behold, the Watermelon Basil in all of its shining glory. If you look closely, you can see the watermelon juice at the bottom. This was a particularly interesting drink. The combination wasn’t what I expected, but it definitely worked!
I like my drinks on the sweeter side so I added a dash of simple syrup. Note: Most matcha drinks come unsweetened, but you can adjust them based on your taste buds. Not bad, not bad. I would definitely come back to try their Mint Lemonade before the summer ends.
Cha Cha Matcha373 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Cha Cha Matcha is all things Cali in the heart of Chinatown. Their pink-and-green themed store goes hand-in-hand with their staff’s bubbly personalities. Customers usually come here for matcha drinks and soft serve.
Don’t let my picture fool you! There’s actually more seating at the back of the café. Best of all, it’s totally insta-worthy. They’ve got a ton of natural lighting.
I decided to try something completely different from my usual matcha latte so I went with their Matcha Lemonade. Best decision ever. It honestly was so good that I trekked back, a Queens girl and all, two days in a row, for their summer elixir. Made with the perfect amount of citrus and garnished with a lime and mint leaves, this virgin matcha mojito is truly godsend.
Let me know if you’d like me to try creating a matcha drink of my own or if you ever visit one of these sweet spots!