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How 2 Spoon Contributors Brought an NYC Matcha Tour to Life

A behind the scenes look at one of Spoon University's most viral articles.

*Record scratch* *Freeze frame* You’re probably wondering how we ended up in this green and sticky situation. How did two girls from opposite sides of the Hudson River become close enough to embark on #MatchaTour2018, the greatest food tour since any episode of “F***! That’s Delicious?”

In case your cafe lexicon is so 2014, we’re Beatrice and Remi, the authors of “The 15 Best Spots to Get Your Matcha Fix in NYC,” one of Spoon University’s most viral articles. In our love letter to NYC’s favorite beverage and most iconic millennial accessory, we ranked the best hole-in-the-walls and confectionaries dedicated to these green powerhouses. What appears to be something so simplistic and second-nature — a listicle dedicated to one of the most explosive food trends of the year — actually was anything but. Remi and I had to channel our inner Anna Wintours to make this happen. Planning #MatchaTour2018 took weeks of planning, scheduling, and bonding. Writing this article not only built a friendship spanning the length of the most underrated Ivy League rivalry, it also taught us the skills necessary to feel like and be real journalists.

Now, enough of this introduction. We’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at #MatchaTour2018: 2 girls. One day. 15 matcha vendors.

How It All Began

You’re probably expecting some magical story about how we met grinding matcha in the luscious fields of Uji, Japan or sipping Zenchai’s nitro matcha. In actuality, the way we met was so anticlimactic.

Bea posted an Instagram story live from the bustling scene of Panorama and I swiped up and asked her to do what every foodie would: explore Panorama's stacked list of vendors. Surprisingly, we didn’t sip one of Matchabar’s over-the-top drinks or even split a matcha cremella from Stax Ice cream (at least yet). We met over mozzarella sticks. Yes, the infamous creamy, greasy and delicious mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz that are taking over your Instagram feed.

Remi Wiseblatt

Conveniently, Big Mozz was right next to Matchabar (we love a balanced diet), and I casually brought up that I love matcha. Bea's jaw dropped and eyes widened. Little did I know, a tectonic shift just occurred in Earth’s crust. I just started a matcha revolution.

After discussing our love for all things matcha, Beatrice and I decided to write what no one had before: a roundup of all the best matcha treats in New York City. And from there, our matcha tour was born.

Reaching Out to Vendors

Remi and I had a vision, and no, I’m not talking about one a la That’s So Raven. We wanted to make #MatchaTour2018 a representation of everything we are as friends, writers, and members of Generation Z: quirky, diverse, inclusive, and fun. Thus, Remi and I generated a list of over 25 vendors who do more than just brew matcha. We intentionally picked restaurants that turn something as meaningless as grabbing a cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream into a gastronomic experience.

Remi Wiseblatt

However, this process wasn’t easy. We faced tons of rejection, perhaps the most I received since applying for college. Remi and I emailed 25 vendors for a reason. We wanted to maximize our matcha capacity, providing our readers with a list encompassing everything from the standard latte to the conceptually mind-blowing matcha lava cake at Spot. Getting rejected — or better yet, ghosted — by brands and businesses you love and patron is heartbreaking, and makes you consider if your pitch has merit. If there’s one of piece of advice you gleam from this article, it’s this: Don’t compartmentalize your rejection. Use it as fuel to keep growing, changing, and revising.

That being said, Remi and I forged relationships with 15 of the most hardworking, creative, and kind names in the hospitality industry. Scrolling through an inbox stacked with affirmation after affirmation gave us the confidence to take on #MatchaTour2018. We went from being two high school girls with an addiction to matcha and editing food photos and too many ideas to journalists with a plan.

Preparing for the Big Day: 

Although Spotify claims to have playlists for literally EVERYTHING, I was thoroughly disappointed to find out there was no pump up playlist for visiting fifteen matcha cafes in one day. Similarly, not even Google knew how to mentally and physically prepare my body for 15+ matcha desserts in 24 hours — Bea and I were really exploring new boundaries.

As one of the top ten least organized people on the Earth, logically I volunteered to be responsible for all the organizational details (Beatrice, WHY?!). To make sure we showed up to all of our matcha appointments in a timely and professional manner, I cultivated a Google Doc to serve as our “matcha roadmap” and keep us organized in an easy and efficient way.

Remi Wiseblatt

On the doc, we listed the vendor name, main contact/store manager, appointment time, matcha treat(s) we were trying and neighborhood each stop was in. Laying everything out visually helped us organize cafes within the same neighborhood together and scope out the most feasible route to take. From there, we typed all the vendor names into Google Map and created our own customized #MatchaTour2018 map which helped us generate the best possible route for us to take. HUUGE shout out to Google, we never would have been able to hit ten vendors in a day without our doc and map!


Admittedly, #MatchaTour2018 was a veritable rollercoaster of highs and lows, beginning with a quirky case of identity theft at Remi’s dim sum pregame. While Remi was panicking at the TD bank in Chinatown, I was busy clearing an entire storefront window at ROYCE’ Chocolates for photos we didn’t even end up using.

Initially, I could not imagine facing 15 matcha heavyweights without my partner-in-crime and photographer extraordinaire. This project was something we'd undertaken together, and had grown to become greater than the sum of our fantasies. But, our initial trauma taught us how to be adaptable, to shape-shift our plans so they could still take flight (only this time, they'd soar with a pair wings we'd never imagine constructing).

After Remi survived having her identity borrowed, we rallied. Remi and I indulged in 15 decadent matcha delicacies in a single day, and while that may sound like a matcha fiend's wet dream, it is not something I (or any doctor) recommend doing.

Remi Wiseblatt

If you ever plan on traversing a matcha mountain or developing a food guide of your own, pace yourself. Don't attempt to eat all of everything, and savor what you taste. Appetites are finite, like your bank account or the amount of times I can tolerate hearing “Mo Bamba” at a frat party, and the last item you taste deserves the same excitement and open-mindedness as the first. This mindset, which is baked in the notion of having it all, is what made #MatchaTour2018 so magical. Yes, I still haven’t been able to drink matcha since and the color green has no meaning anymore, but that day helped me rediscover why I started writing for Spoon in the first place.

I write to connect and to cultivate experiences that transcend social media to become tangible memories. Splitting a bowl of Bonsai Kakigori while the sun set and walking 1.2 miles all in the name of a rainbow matcha latte with my newest best friend are moments I will cherish forever, and I wouldn’t have been able to do so if I was bloated, cranky, and #overit.

Remi Wiseblatt

In short: if you want to devise your own food tour, having fun while you’re creating it is a top-tier priority. I know that sounds counter-intuitive and hopelessly unprofessional, but hear me out. When you go to write the article, the reader won’t sense the stress you felt when you ran behind schedule or the anger you suppressed when your flatlay didn’t match your artistic vision. Rather, they’ll hear the smile on your face that permeates every time you do something you love.

Writing the Article:

Since Bea and I share a similar questionable sense of humor and our personalities are more compatible than any two astrological signs, writing the article was natural, fun, and easy.

Well, except for writing on Secret Sauce. Two HUGE tips if you ever decide to collaborate on an article: 1) ALWAYS write your primary draft on a Google Doc to ensure your writing is safe and secure. At first, we made a rookie mistake of exclusively writing our article on Secret Sauce and were devastated to discover none of our writing saved and we had to start all over again after hours worth of work. This brings me directly to my second point: ALWAYS SAVE YOUR WORK! I could not stress this enough! Make the save button your best friend and when in doubt, save it out.

Lastly, always add pictures to spice up your article and make it more vibrant and engaging. No one wants to read a bland wall of text — show us the hot and gooey matcha lava cake you're talking about, show us the warm and cozy feel of that neighborhood coffee shop. Original photos are always the best to use so make sure to take lots of pictures, especially using different backgrounds and exposures. Before taking a picture, think about what the best quality of the food you're photographing is and what you're trying to convey to your readers. If it's a lava cake, it's more effective to slice it down the middle with a spoon and photograph the ooze pouring out of it, rather than just show the exterior of the cake.

Remi Wiseblatt

Be imaginative, whimsical and playful — try to coordinate the colors of your food with the background to ensure the image is well exposed and stands out. 

For example, we paired this beautiful Matcha n More rainbow latte with the bright and colorful streets of Little Italy.

Remi Wiseblatt

Lastly, we are huge fans of VSCO for photo editing! VSCO is free in the app store and offers an abundance of filters and tools to help you sharpen up your image!

What Happens Next: 

Our work didn’t end when #MatchaTour2018 hit the web and Spoon’s homepage. Remi and I envisioned our collaboration breaking the Internet — we imagined Facebook feeds overflowing with shades of green, Instagram discover pages inundated with people recreating our tour, and insurmountable syndication. The key to unlocking our wildest dreams? Promotion.

Remi and I utilized a grassroots approach to marketing. Both of us flooded our personal social media with self-promotion, hawking our article as though it was the latest breaking news. And to us and the people who care about us, it was. Never underestimate your circle of friends, family, and nosy neighbors. They want to see you thrive, to become the next food writer of the moment, and will not hesitate to share your article on Facebook more than once. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and the only way to do that is to put yourself in the middle of your inner circle.

Additionally, restaurateurs love politeness. Little is more powerful than a follow-up email thanking the staff for accommodating you are your wacky food blogger needs. This encourages the business to promote the article, which in turn, gives you even more reads and shares. 

After consuming more matcha than we ever expected to in our lifetime, Bea and I grew closer than ever before. Besides a life-long friendship, #MatchaTour2018 gave me the confidence and reassurance that I could do whatever I put my mind to no matter how crazy! With time, dedication, commitment, effort, and all heart, you can make any dream a reality.