Hailing from China and Japan, matcha is a powdered green tea that has taken the world by storm. Traditionally consumed as a hot beverage, it has an earthy flavour that makes it a great base for creative drinks and desserts. Try matcha, in its many forms, at these spots.
Ippodo Tea, New York
Headquartered in Kyoto, this tea shop’s American outpost is where you’ll find a more traditional approach to all kinds of Japanese green tea. Shop for matcha to take home, or sample the drinks on offer, including both koicha (thick matcha) and usucha (thin matcha), the two classic consistencies.
Urth Caffé, Southern California
Head to one of this café’s six locations in or near Los Angeles to sample its matcha-based offerings, including a matcha tiramisù, matcha espresso or a matcha latte adorned with Hello Kitty latte art. Green tea is also a flavour option for Urth Caffé’s “bobas,” blended or shaken iced tea drinks featuring tapioca pearls.
Millie Creperie, Toronto
Though its original M.O. was simply Japanese crepes, this downtown café has since expanded to two locations and a broader menu, including plenty of matcha-flavoured sweets: gelato, tarts, chiffon cake and the pièce de résistance, the mille crepes cake—20 crepes layered with whipped pastry cream, available by the slice or (if you order ahead) as a takeaway affair to serve 12 to 14.
Sawada Coffee, Chicago
Named for business partner and latte artist Hiroshi Sawada, this spot’s claim to fame (besides expertly pulled espresso) is the military latte, containing both matcha and espresso, plus cocoa powder and vanilla syrup. Pair it with a “camouflage” donut with drizzles of coffee, caramel and matcha icing.
Ratio Coffee & Pastry, Vernon, B.C.
This Okanagan café serves up three grades of matcha (they spell it maccha) from Vancouver Island’s JagaSilk, which you can sample by ordering a tasting palette; small cups of all three so you can see what high-quality matcha gets you. Once you pick your favourite, buy a tin for home, along with a beautiful Japanese-made matcha-brewing kit.