Matcha tea, matcha cake, matcha cream puffs - matcha EVERYTHING. This powdered green tea has been central to Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies since the 12th century—though New York cafés are acting like it's a new discovery.
As students at NYU, the thought of never having had matcha was a lot for some people to believe—after all, it's totally the new chai. So, we decided to lose our matcha virginity and find out if the latest trend is worth the hype, or just matcha-do about nothing.
Honestly, we had no idea what to expect. Some people swear matcha is the best thing they've ever tasted, and others claim it bears a slight resemblance (in more ways than one) to grass.
We were curious to see if this trend lives up to the hype. To put the matcha madness to the test, we headed to the land of all things green—Cha Cha Matcha.
Hipsters flock to this LA-esque cafe for overpriced cups of this questionable green drink. We felt the pretentious stares as soon as we walked in, and seemed to stand out as we were the only paying customers without cigarettes in hand, or fake grandpa glasses.
The menu itself looked promising, (they sell real coffee, so if anything, we have something to fall back on!) and the baked goods selection had some appealing options. After taking in the Hotline Bling-inspired decor, we decided to give it a shot.
After trying an iced almond milk matcha latte and a signature matcha "dough'ssant" (a doughnut-croissant combo), we decided that this green sensation is pretty much a glorified grass substitute. It was almost tasteless, and while we were warned of "earthy tones", we weren't expecting an aftertaste of dirt.
The sugary "dough'ssant" itself wasn't bad, but the pasty, wasabi-looking filling left us deconstructing the pastry in hopes of avoiding anything colored green.
Matcha just isn't for us. Walking around the downtown areas of NYC and seeing others drink this mystery tea, it seems impossible that anyone actually enjoys it, as people stare into their cup with sad, contemplative eyes, silently asking themselves "did I really pay for liquid grass?"
Cha Cha Matcha, on the other hand, is definitely a hipster-approved, aesthetically pleasing hangout spot that will 100% up your Instagram game. Unfortunately, we're giving this trend a solid 2/10 rating, and can confidently say this will be both of our first and last times experiencing matcha.