Looking for a coffee alternative? Fat-blocking, immunity-boosting matcha may be just the ticket.
Why should you replace your morning coffee with a cup of matcha? Read on... (photo: Kathy YL Chan)
Said to be an immunity booster, stress reducer, and weight loss aid (Dr. Oz calls it a "fat blocker"), matcha gives a gradual, even release of caffeine into the body, making it an excellent alternative to coffee. Recently we've seen the powder-based tea (fine milled from shaded green tea leaves) pop up in cafés and tea shops all over New York. Whether you prefer to prepare it yourself, or have someone else whip it up for you, here's where you can get a taste of the earthy, vegetal Japanese tea in Manhattan.
Bold Matcha Lattes at Patisserie Tomoko
Former Cha-An pastry chef Tomoko Kato recently opened Patisserie Tomoko in Williamsburg. At this Japanese bakery and dessert parlor, three-course dessert tastings can be paired with Tomoko's signature matcha latte. With grassy matcha flavors coming through bold and bright, this matcha is not for the faint of heart. 568 Union Ave., Brooklyn, 718-388-7121
The bold, grassy matcha latte at Patisserie Tomoko. (photo: Kathy YL Chan)
A Bourbon-Charged Matcha Cocktail at The Modern
At The Modern, Erin Jameson offers a boozy take on matcha with The Morning Interview, a warm winter cocktail. Jameson starts the drink by making a tea syrup using vanilla-oolong, which is then mixed with matcha, soy milk, and bourbon for a spectacularly heady creation. 9 W. 53rd St., 212-333-1220
Matcha for Beginners by PANAT?A
PANAT?A is the newest matcha company in town. We love their Matcha Set ($54) for beginners looking to make matcha at home. The set includes a glass matcha bowl, chasen whisk, measuring scoop, and 30 grams of matcha powder.
A Nutty Matcha Latte at Bosie Tea Parlor
Frothy matcha lattes are whisked with soy milk and served sans sugar at Bosie Tea Parlor in the West Village. The taste goes down easy, with a velvety texture and a smooth, nutty finish. 10 Morton St., 212-352-9900
If you're a serious matcha fan, look up Brooklyn-based Tea Wing Co., which supplies local restaurants such as Bouley and Hirohisa. Also carried at the Steven Alan Home Shop (158 Franklin St.), Tea Wing offers three grades of matcha, ranging from $40 to $58 for 20 grams.
Manhattan's Biggest Matcha Selection at Ippodo
Straight from Kyoto, Japan is Ippodo Tea Co., whose only stateside location holds court downstairs from Midtown's Kajitsu restaurant. In addition to the largest selection of matcha in Manhattan, Ippodo also offers an impressive selection of matcha bowls and chasen whisks. 125 E. 39th St., 212-370-0609