Though matcha has been around for centuries as part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, the finely ground green tea-leaf powder is taking cafes (and Instagram) by storm. Traditional green tea is made by steeping green tea leaves that are then discarded, but with matcha, whose name literally means “powdered tea,” you’re drinking the actual leaves. This whole-leaf consumption means a higher nutrition content and, more specifically, a higher concentration of antioxidants. But what about the buzz? One cup of matcha has 70 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. Coffee has 96 milligrams for the same portion, but matcha drinkers say that their energy is more consistent, with less of a dive after the caffeine effect wears off.
From local cafes to national chains and home matcha-making kits, it’s never been easier to drink this trendy beverage.
Matcha Bar, Brookyln
Opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2014 as the first specialty matcha cafe in New York City, this spot is dedicated to the green stuff. It serves its own brand of matcha, sourced directly from an independent family farm in Nishio, Japan, and offers two grades: MatchaBar Classic and MatchaBar Premium.
This national coffee chain serves a Teavana Green Tea Latte, which includes lightly sweetened matcha green tea with steamed milk. Watch out for additives here, though: A grande matcha latte has 55 grams of sugar even though the matcha itself is sugar-free.
David’s Tea, nationwide
Not only can you stop by this Canadian chain’s locations to get your matcha fix, but you can also order a matcha maker online to make at-home matcha steeping a breeze.
Jade Monk, Whole Foods stores
The first full line of organic, cold-brewed, high-pressure-processed matcha green teas recently launched at select Whole Foods markets. The four initial flavors — Unsweetened, Slightly Sweet, Mint + Honey and Matcha Cleanse — are certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified.
You can also use matcha as an ingredient in baking: