I used to be an avid cappuccino drinker until I met my match-a.
My first encounter with matcha was a few years ago when I was working down in the West Village. The cutest little cafe, Chalait, had just opened up on West 4th and I had to give it a try. I fell in love. So, I started to learn more about matcha. Matcha is a powdered form of green tea. When you drink matcha (as opposed to drinking a regular cup of green tea) you are actually drinking the tea leaves instead of infusing it in the hot water. And there are so many benefits. It is an immune booster and a stress reducer. It is rich in antioxidants, detoxifies the body, boosts the metabolism, improves concentration, lowers cholesterol, and gives you more energy than that usual cup of coffee. In fact, matcha has more caffeine and nutrients than coffee, without giving you the side effects that often comes from coffee.
I’ve since drank matcha lattes all around New York City and thought it wouldn’t be fair not to share my three favorites. Here we go!
NoMad & Chelsea
Yes, my first matcha is still one of my favorites. The location down in the West Village has since closed, but they have opened up two new spots: one in NoMad and one in Chelsea Market. The NoMad Chalait is a bit smaller and has a smaller food menu, but it is equally as cute, and perfect if you want to be in and out.
They use their everyday ceremonial grade matcha for their matcha lattes, which they describe as “the perfect go to for those new to matcha and looking to start exploring its great taste and numerous benefits. It is smooth and mellow with the taste of bittersweet chocolate and slight sweetness.” There is no added sugar, and it is absolutely delicious.
(Pro tip: if you are hungry get the avocado toast!)
Matcha Cafe Wabi
233 East 4th Street
If you are always on the go like me, this is the best place to grab a quick to-go matcha latte. But don’t walk too fast or else you might miss it! Matcha Cafe Wabi also feels the most authentic to me. The music is calming, the Japanese staff is welcoming and kind, and they make their own delicious matcha pastries including matcha cookies, matcha muffins, and gluten-free matcha bars.
Their standard matcha latte is lightly sweetened and made with a little bit of heavy cream. If you opt to skip out on the heavy cream in favor of a lighter option, I suggest ordering the vegan matcha latte with almond milk. Ask for it with no sugar.
(Pro tip: this place is very small, and busy on the weekends. They are quieter on the weekdays, which might be your best bet to drop by.)
135 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg
Sweethaus is one of my favorite cafes in Brooklyn. It is actually a cupcake cafe, and they don’t advertise their matcha at all, so getting a matcha latte here is kind of like a hidden gem.
The atmosphere can’t be beat. They have the cutest marble tables, great music, and a chill espresso bar. It is a great place to sit and get work done or meet someone for a tea/coffee. Their matcha comes from Harney & Sons teas, and they make their matcha lattes with almond milk. It is sooo good. Come for the tea, stay for the vibes.
Enjoy, and let me know if you have some must-try matcha faves!