Matcha is a powder made from finely-ground tea leaves, so the drinker ingests all the nutrients instead of discarding them with the tea leaves. As a result, a single serving of matcha contains the same amount of nutrients as 10 cups of brewed green tea.
Loaded with antioxidants called polyphenols, which are believed to prevent cancer and counteract free radicals, green tea has also been found to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, boost metabolism, and reduce stress.
In recent years, matcha cafes have been popping up all over the world, including around the EVEN Hotel Times Square South. Here are five match spots to check out:
Straight from Japan
It doesn’t get more authentic than Ippodo Tea Company. The NYC location is an offshoot of the Kyoto, Japan-based company that has been offering matcha and other tea varieties for almost three centuries and opened in response to realizing most online tea orders were New York-based. Many visitors say walking into this spot is like being transported to Japan.
Keep it simple with a straight matcha or matcha latte, although the matcha slushy gets props for creativity. The matcha can be hand-whisked by baristas or you can receive instructions on how to combine the matcha yourself. Buy some of the high-quality matcha while you’re there to recreate the experience at home.
Matcha Latte, Anyone?
The three main offerings at Grace Street Cafe include honey matcha latte, jasmine matcha latte and matcha chai latte. Pair with their swoon-worthy dessert selections like matcha waffles, Korean donuts, beignets, and Hong Kong French toast made from brioche. If you’re in the mood for something different, try the rose petal milk tea. Although crowded and high on noise volume during peak hours, it’s worth a visit as one of the few places to score an iced matcha cocoa.
Homey Matcha Spot
One of the cuter spots on this list with a green and pink decor and vintage feel, Cha Cha Matcha on Broadway is less mobbed than its downtown spot. The menu varies with seasonal offerings, like a matcha-enhanced ginger turmeric drink and a “pink drink” of bee pollen plus matcha. Consume your matcha in dessert form, too, with the popular matcha soft serve ice cream and matcha banana bread.
Both a purveyor of high-quality matcha green tea and a cafe with a signature beverage line, Chalait’s selections include more than most—like matcha hot chocolate, Chalait Arnold Palmer, matcha cappuccino, and a top grade shot. It’s a cozy spot, best for on-the-go sipping during busy times. The matcha latte, iced or hot, is a popular item and if desired, opt for the house-made almond milk sweetened with dates.
Ready for Instagram
Close by Grace Street is Cup & Cup, where the baristas are known to take Instagram-worthy artwork requests like a teddy bear or flower. Selections include a matcha bomb (matcha plus espresso), dirty matcha and green tea latte. Off the matcha path, the red velvet lattes are a hot bet, as well. Large with an abundance of available seating but slightly dark ambiance, cafe is cash-only and transforms into a restaurant at 4 p.m.
For more healthy drinks and eats, stop by EVEN Hotels’ Cork & Kale Market and Bar, which features a wide variety of menu items that are both freshly prepared and customizable according to dietary needs.