Matcha has taken the world by storm, but have you ever stopped and wondered what exactly is matcha? It’s essentially a stronger version of regular green tea that is stone ground into a fine powder and packed with many health benefits, earning its spot on today’s list of top superfoods.
Traditionally, matcha is prepared, served and drank as hot tea with Japanese sweets at tea ceremonies in Japan, however, recently matcha has been showing up in pastries, ice cream, and even your morning latte. Are you ready to get your green on? Here are my favorite varieties of matcha found in several fine establishments across Asia.
1. Drink Up! Matcha Tea at Tsujiri
There’s nothing quite like the taste of a matcha tea. The aroma is a combination of vegetal sweet, bitter, and malty flavors. The antioxidant-filled tea is often served as a nice complement to traditional Japanese sweets (Wagashi). One glass of matcha tea is equivalent to ten glasses of green tea when it comes to nutritional worth. So, before you go charging off on your quest for other matcha-flavored treats, you should definitely start by drinking matcha in its simplest form – just the tea powder with hot water – to really get the full flavor.
2. Get it While it’s Hot! Matcha Latte!
Looking for a healthy alternative to coffee? Try a matcha latte, a classic matcha powder drink that is
lightly sweetened and served with a splash of steamed milk. It’s not only a great way to get your caffeine fix, it’s a wonderful way to enjoy matcha for those who find drinking straight matcha too bitter or strong. Beneath the frothy smooth surface, you can still taste a hint of the earthy flavor along with the sweetness of the milk. One sip of this creamy cup of matcha goodness will really warm up your whole body on a cold day.
3. A Matcha Made in Heaven! Matcha Ice Cream
If you’re a fan of ice cream, matcha ice cream will be your new favorite flavor. There are also many variations to your typical matcha ice cream; from matcha sundae to matcha affogato, or even ice cream bread sandwich. Because of the bitterness of matcha, the icecream is generally not cloyingly sweet compared to other flavors and its captivating, vibrant green color is a real treat to both your taste buds and your eyes.
4. I Love You Very Matcha! Matcha Cakes
Matcha is so good to drink just on its own, but when you start adding sugar and butter to the mix, it’s a whole new level!
It is no secret that pretty food often sacrifices its flavor for aesthetics. However, in the world of matcha, beauty and flavor go hand in hand. Strawberry is a perfect complement to matcha and the beautiful cake pictured here is made with a light matcha mousse filling, topped with lightly glazed fresh strawberries and matcha whipped cream; definitely the ultimate guilty pleasure.
The iconic old-school french pastry mille feuille, literally translates to a “thousand layers,” is constructed of three layers of puff pastry. It is airy, crispy, and exquisite in all the right places. It tastes even better when you give it a little twist by replacing some of the cream custard with matcha custard! The slight bitterness of matcha balanced out the creamy custard paste; it is flaky, delicate and the color combination of this dessert is absolutely stunning. Another beautiful East meets West creation!
Who says you can’t eat dessert for breakfast? We’ve all eaten pancakes, but have you ever tried matcha-flavor ones? Switch up your everyday pancake with matcha dressing instead of maple syrup – the matcha dressing adds a refreshingly earthy, leafy flavor to the pancakes.
5. Some Extra Matcha For You! Matcha on the Go!
Even with all the matcha goodies that just mentioned, there are still so many other matcha dishes out there to satisfy your green cravings. Some small bites you can easily eat on the go include matcha puff, matcha donut, or matcha wheel cake. The matcha wheel cake is something you can’t miss; add it to your eating bucket list pronto. It’s made of matcha batter filled with red bean paste and matcha custard and you can see the matcha custard oozing out of its soft bun as you bite into it. The consistency of the custard is thick and gooey, and it tastes best when it’s hot off the pan!
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- Goodies Cuisine, No. 6, Lane 270, Section 1, Dunhua S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
- CHANTEZ Pâtisserie, No. 31, Section 3, Jinan Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
- White Cosy, No. 7, Alley 32, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhongxiao E Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
- Tsujiri, Various locations, check on tsujiri-global.com for the nearest store to your location
- Melonpan-Ice, No. 22, Songshou Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 110
- In Between, No.98, Yanchang Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei 11072, Taiwan
- Harrits Donut, No. 33, Lane 81, Fuxing N Rd, Songshan District, Taipei City, & 105 1-34-2 Uehara, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0064
- 108 Matcha Saro, Various locations, check on 108matcha-saro.com for the nearest store to your location
Written and photographed by Leslie of Taipei Foodie. Leslie grew up between Northern California and Taiwan and is currently based in Taipei. You can find her hopping from one place to the next finding good eats and standing on chairs to document it all. Thanks Leslie, the embarrassment is worth it for these amazing shots! See more of her photo journalling at Taipei Foodie and on Instagram @TaipeiFoodie.