These matcha cafes might change your mind about tea

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  • Aside from lattes, you can also enjoy matcha as ice cream, cake, and even mixed with your other favorite drinks
matcha cafe

Matcha is one of those drinks that you’d either love or hate. Despite being a global flavor trend for years now, with internet search interest increasing yearly, Japan’s traditional tea still proves to be polarizing.

Matcha lovers (myself included) will argue that if you think matcha tastes like grass or earth, maybe you just haven’t had good matcha yet. The easiest mark of good matcha is if it has a vibrant green hue. Dull, yellowish or brownish matcha are signs that the tea is already stale.

There are also different types of matcha, which may ultimately affect your drinking experience. Culinary grade matcha is often made for baked goods, or drinks like matcha lattes and smoothies. This type of matcha often has a bolder concentration of flavor, so that when mixed with other ingredients (as in pastries or lattes), the matcha flavor can still stand out. Meanwhile, ceremonial matcha is meant to be consumed on its own, mixed with just hot water. 

Cafes these days have become creative with how they offer their matcha drinks. Aside from classic matcha lattes, some also offer dirty matcha, which comes with a shot of espresso. Some also mix matcha with other fruity smoothies, juices, or sodas to create lighter, bubblier flavors.

Many cafes in Manila now offer a variety of matcha drinks and treats. Willing to give this polarizing flavor a try? Here are some new spots to check out.

Matcha Later

5385 General Luna St., Makati
8 a.m. to 11 a.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays to Wednesdays

Matcha Later offers three varieties of ceremonial grade matcha, as well as hojicha or roasted green tea from Kyoto. The cafe highlights the peace and slowness that comes with the matcha ceremony. Aside from vibrant green teas, it also offers “matchamisu” or matcha tiramisu, a tub full of smooth Mascarpone cheese infused with matcha.

Chotto Matcha

2227 Chino Roces Ave, Legazpi Village, Makati
5 p.m. to 12 a.m. daily

Located inside the Edoya Japanese Restaurant on the edge of Makati’s Little Tokyo, Chotto Matcha is a quaint little spot offering a sizable menu. Aside from their authentic matcha latte which uses tea from Mt. Fuji, other unique matcha-based concoctions they offer are the matcha mizu, which blends matcha with coconut water, and their marshmallow cloudy matcha, which is essentially a matcha latte topped with fluffy marshmallows. They also mix matcha with another trending flavor: ube. 

Chotto Matcha also serves hojicha as well as coffee, fruit soda, and shake options. Desserts such as shaved ice, matcha affogato, brownies, cheesecake, cookies, madeleines, macarons, and croffles are also available.

Aichi Cafe

247 Del Monte Ave., Brgy. Manresa, Quezon City
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Aside from matcha drinks like matcha lattes, strawberry matcha lattes, matcha frappes, matcha oreo frappes, and matcha floats, Aichi Cafe also has a selection of Japanese wagashi or sweets often served with tea, such as mochi or sweet glutinous rice cakes; daifuku, which are like mochi but filled with sweet red bean paste and sometimes fruits; and dango, or dumplings also made with rice flour. 

One of the special matcha treats you can order at Aichi Cafe is their matcha mochi ice cream, where matcha soft serve is wrapped in mochi, dusted with matcha, and then served on a crunchy sugar cone.

The Matcha Tokyo

Mitsukoshi BGC
GF Gateway Mall 2, Cubao, Quezon City

The Matcha Tokyo is one of the cafes on this list that is originally from Japan. It has branches in Shibuya and Shinjuku, and recently opened in Manila at Mitsukoshi in BGC. They also opened a new branch at the new Gateway Mall 2 in Quezon City. This minimalist cafe puts the spotlight on matcha, offering a dozen matcha-infused drinks and sweets. Aside from being able to sample authentic, organic matcha from Japan, customers can also witness how matcha is properly whisked and made (a glimpse into tea ceremony, if you will, sans the formalities of space).

Flora Tea Bar

F7 Rallos, Sct. Rallos St., Diliman, Quezon City
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays

If you’re looking to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of tea, Flora Tea Bar might be the place for you. More than just having a variety of teas to sample, Flora holds tea appreciation workshops and tea-tasting sessions every week. You can join the general tea appreciation sessions, or go for more specific ones on matcha, and even chai. Occasionally, they’ll also have tea-adjacent events like pottery making and tea and food pairings.

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