13 October, 2019 | Samira Valiyeva
Where to drink the best matcha in Los Angeles?
Drinking coffee or tea turned out to be boring with the introduction of matcha powder to LA cafes. More and more shops started offering matcha beverages in various forms, including latte, smoothie, or milk tea. Most of them diverted from the original recipes. People now add too much sugar, which offsets the health benefits of the beverage. It is harder than ever to find a reliable shop that offers high-quality matcha in Los Angeles. I decided to assist you in making the right choice. Hence, I created a list of 7 places that provide delicious and original products. Besides, they all have friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful staff to guide you through the process.
What is Matcha?
In simple words, matcha is the powder version of green tea. In traditional tea, one adds hot water on green tea leaves and let it soak. Then they get the leaves out. However, matcha tea requires grinding leaves into powder. After, people add hot water on powder, whisk it with a bamboo brush and drink it. Hence, you drink the actual tea leaves in powder form.
When farmers grow matcha tea leaves, they put cover them with a cloth before harvesting. The reason is that shade enhances the flavor and texture of the tea.
Matcha in Los Angeles
Now that you know what matcha is, it is time to get familiar with famous matcha shops in Los Angeles.
Cha Cha Matcha
One of the shops that provide a wide diversity of matcha drinks is Cha Cha Matcha. Before their menu, the design of the shop, the color palette of packagings attract many clients. The theme of this matcha shop is California-inspired. The owners selected a green palm tree design and pastel color palette to reflect sunny LA days. Though people mostly visit the shop because of its decorations suitable for Instagram pictures, the shop offers delicious drinks, too. One of the most preferred ones is Matcha Colada, which includes pineapple, coconut shred, matcha, and milk. Other popular beverages include Matcha Chai, Matcha Latte, or different types of roasted coffee with matcha. One thing you should consider before visiting is the price. This place is a little expensive, but I think it is worth the aesthetics, ingredients, and taste.
Tea Master Matcha Cafe
If you want to drink matcha in Los Angeles for an affordable price, you can consider Tea Master Matcha Cafe. They offer a wide choice of matcha drinks, including Matcha green tea or Matcha latte. The additional benefit of this shop can be flexibility in the ordering. You can order sweetened or unsweetened versions if you do not like much sugar. Besides, the shop provides Matcha smoothie, which has exciting ingredients. Other than matcha powder and green tea, they add Amazake to the smoothie. For further information, Amazake is the low-alcohol drink created with the fermented rice. This ingredient adds extra enjoyment to the matcha beverage.
Matcha Bar in Los Angeles
This cafe is not only famous for Matcha drinks but also matcha-flavored desserts. Classic drinks like flat green or matcha shots are available here. No matter if you want to drink hot or iced matcha in Los Angeles, you can visit Matcha Bar. Nowadays, matcha beverages became much sweeter and overpriced. However, Matcha Bar is one of the places you can avoid extra sugar and high prices. They provide original matcha drinks like rose matcha latte or horchata matcha drink. You can also find matcha dipped croissants that taste like heaven. Besides, they offer many different types of milk-soy, almond, cashew, or cow- to customize your drinks.
Midori Matcha Cafe
When I did not have a place to drink matcha near me, I commuted to Little Tokyo. It was the time when I visited Midori Matcha Cafe for the first time. Since then, it is one of my favorite places with its extra delicious, addictive blueberry matcha latte. They use blueberries, matcha, and soy milk to make this heavenly beverage. Besides, you can find other flavors, including Mango, Lavender, etc. Also, if you want to have a soft swirl of matcha in Los Angeles, Midori is a must to go. Their sesame and Hojicha-flavored swirls are one of the most preferred ones. Many people reviewed that this place is a little pricy, but I think it is worth it.
Tiger matcha in Los Angeles prides themselves for the quality of their ingredients. They claim that they do not add ant fillers, spinach powder, or sugar to the matcha powder. It is 100% real Uji Matcha, which comes from a single origin. This shop uses the leaves of the first harvest. The staff members explained that they use the cream of baby tea leaves. Therefore, the drinks have a vibrant green color. Any experienced matcha drinker will feel the delicate mix of blends as soon as they sip the beverage. But if you are the one who does not have much information about matcha drinks, friendly staff members will guide you through ordering the best one.
This cute matcha shop offers unique flavors on its menu. One of the most refreshing drinks is aloe matcha with aloe bites. It has the right amount of sugar, and if you are not satisfied, the staff can change your drink. If you are looking for a beverage with subtle tastes, it is the best place for you. The staff uses light syrup; hence, they enhance the flavor without making the drink too sweet. They also offer basic matcha beverages like milk tea. The most significant benefit of Sip Matcha is a chance to substitute the milk type with no extra cost. This offering is not very common among matcha shops.
Another high-quality matcha drink provider is Bontea Cafe. The specialty of the cafe is that its owners grew up in Middle East culture, which values tea considerably. Therefore, this shop puts much attention to the uniqueness and quality of its products. They joined the Middle East tea culture with American culture to come up with more creative offerings. Among their unique products, Black Mojito, Lavender, and Rose Love tea are very popular. You can also find traditional options like Classic Milk tea. The shop makes their drinks from natural tea leaves and organic dairy. If you would like to taste this product, you can get more information from their menu.
Grades of Matcha
When you get more familiar with matcha drinks, you will feel the difference in texture or color in various shops. The reason for this difference is the various grades of matcha. Those grades determine the quality of the powder. The criteria for evaluating the matcha powder are the color, density, fineness, grounding style, or exposure to oxygen. Finding the highest quality can be difficult. Many matcha shops near me do not offer a wide variety of grades.
Based on those criteria, the highest grade or quality of matcha powder is Ceremonial grade. It has a vibrant green color, which makes it easy to recognize. The category has a delicate taste and excellent texture. People make Ceremonial grade matcha; they use baby leaves and get rid of stems and veins. If you want to drink Ceremonial matcha in Los Angeles, there are several options available. The grounding type of Ceremonial grade is with the stone, which results in thick-style tea. Another grade is Culinary Matcha. Users get this powder for cooking and baking. It is still suitable for drinking, but the flavor and texture can be a little different. There also exist many subtypes of Culinary grade like premium, cafe, ingredient, kitchen, or a classic one. You can get more information about them in various blog posts.