Ancient matcha is having a modern moment, you could say. Developed during China’s Song Dynasty (960-1279) and picked up by traveling Japanese monks during the 8th century, the ground powder of green tea leaves has long been credited with improving mental focus while providing a caffeinated boost without the crash of its coffee counterpart. Doubly appealing are matcha’s antioxidant properties. Vibrant green with an earthy, umami taste, a cup of matcha tastes as healthy as it does delicious. Here’s where to get it in New York City.
This tiny Chelsea gem was one of the first to bring Matcha 2.0 to the city. Get your greens for the day and pair MatchaBar’s Matcha Latte with the milk of your choice (they’ve even got hemp here) with a matcha granola bar. As the weather heats up, try the refreshing Iced Mint Matcha.
256 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011
Chalait has expanded over the years, and now has locations in Hudson Square, Chelsea Market, and the Upper West Side, not too far away from 6 Columbus, a SIXTY Hotel. How convenient! Head here before swinging through Central Park, and get your matcha in no-nonsense short shot form, or try the Chalait Hot Chocolate, which adds chocolate sauce to a matcha latte. Talk about gilding the lily.
461 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Now here’s a spot located smack between SIXTY SoHo and SIXTY LES. Known for its easy take-away lunch and outrageously good baked goods, Maman knows how to get the buzz going. Maman steps away from their French countryside roots with the Matcha Almond Latte. Pair it with their knock-out chocolate chip cookies if you’re feeling indulgent.
239 Centre St, New York, NY 10013
Cha Cha Matcha
This place is buzzing. Literally and figuratively. Cha Cha Matcha‘s original Nolita location is a riot of pink and green walls, blaring music, and plenty of people taking Instagram photos. This place is peak Millennial Matcha. If you don’t care for the scene, simply get yours to go. The New Museum is nearby. Come here for a pick-me-up before you go.
373 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Little One is an extremely adorable and, well, extremely little spot dedicated to Japanese desserts, located in the Two Bridges neighborhood. The star of the show here is their shaved ice and monaka sandwiches, but the matcha isn’t anything to be messed around with either.
150 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
Obviously we’ve touched upon the new wave of matcha. Today it comes in donuts, in ice cream, served with all sorts of alternative milks. It’s come a long way from its roots. For the traditionalist, however, Cha-An Japanese Tea House in the East Village offers classic ceremonial matcha in its purest form, where it is whisked into a shallow bowl filled with water heated to 175 degrees—just below boiling.
230 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003
Photo courtesy of Monika Grabkowska