December 8, 2016
A new trend in green drinks is taking New York City by storm. Today, we’re talking about matcha, a bitter-sweet tea powder that everyone is raving about. Originally used as a ceremonial beverage in Japan and China, often as part of a meditative, spiritual ritual by Zen Buddhists, matcha is seeing a popular resurgence worldwide. We don’t know how this craze came to the busy streets of New York, but we are so glad it did. We searched NYC for the best matcha spots in order to share them with you.
Let’s start with Cha Cha Matcha, located at 373 Broome Street in Nolita. Owners Mathew Morton and Conrad Sandelman traveled the world after college, stopping in Uji, Japan, an area of Kyoto renowned for their matcha. There, they were inspired to open their own matcha shop in Manhattan. Cha Cha Matcha combines New York culture with flavors and practices from East Asia. Their shop is lined with pink and green tables, and the cushions are printed with palm trees. It feels très chic, but without that pretentious feeling you get at some upscale coffee shops. We sat at a pink table, watching the regulars flow in, some with cute puppies in tow. The girl who was making our teas asked how our weekend was going, and we smiled at her and said, “Our weekend is lovely.” It’s not because we typically have great weekends; it is because the instant you walk into Cha Cha Matcha, you feel calm. Even though we knew we had to go to work in an hour, for that moment in time we felt entirely like ourselves. Their matcha cronut, lattes, and ice cream were top picks for us.
Next on the list is Lady M Confections, which has several boutiques located around New York City. For all of the busy commuters coming from Grand Central, the Bryant Park location (36 West 40th Street) is most convenient. Contrasted with the crazy Manhattan streets full of pushy, bustling crowds of people speeding off to nowhere, this location becomes even more enticing and attractive. To get there, you can cut through Bryant Park itself, where the shop’s patrons sit on blankets and at little tables enjoying their coffees and pastries. In Lady M’s sophisticated, all-white bake shop, the beautifully colored mille crepe cakes stand out starkly. The mille crepes are their specialty, so we just had to get the matcha flavored one. Layers and layers of delicate matcha pastry cream stacked with no less than twenty lace-thin crepes, eaten while sipping an espresso or latte, might just be the perfect way to start or end your day.
The last stop on our matcha journey is one of our favorite coffee shops, Cup & Cup, located at 15 East 31st Street. The rustic, cozy coffee shop makes you want to sit there all day, reading your favorite book, or just savor the few minutes you have to drink your coffee or tea. However, it was not just the décor that got us; it was the awesome latte art they’re pouring out. Their cute bear latte art (shown above) makes you want to hug your cup, instead of drinking it till its last drop. We don’t feel guilty though, as we hang on to the last swirl of our smiling bear. We hope you guys can take a day to explore and find your matcha fixes.