As midterm season is well underway, you've probably slammed down your fourth cup of coffee by now. If you're bored of the same old coffee taste and are looking to spice up your caffeine cravings, matcha is an excellent solution. What is matcha, exactly? It's basically just a stronger green tea, but in powdered form! The powder is whisked into hot water and can be combined with steamed milk to create the tastiest of lattes. I've come up with the ultimate list of the best matcha in the Bay that will leave you second guessing that last cup of Joe.

Boba Guys

Starting the list off strong for the best matcha spots, we have Boba Guys. Originally founded and offering locations in San Francisco, Boba Guys has a unique variety of milk teas that can be found in its menu, including horchata, espresso, Thai Thea, and, of course, matcha. The original matcha latte is made with premium grade matcha and (for our lactose intolerant community) Oatly oat milk, and is sweetened with honey. If you want to up your matcha game, the menu also includes the strawberry matcha latte, complementing its original matcha with the addition of sweet strawberry puree. If you don't want the boba, no worries! Just ask for the matcha latte without boba and you'll enjoy the finest taste of matcha brought to you by the city across the Bay.

Third Culture

Amy Zhang

I would be crazy to make a list of the best matcha spots and forget to include this one. If you've never been to Third Culture Bakery, then you are truly missing out! Located in West Berkeley, Third Culture is home to the Original Mochi Muffin, and the tastiest matcha drinks as well. Sourcing its matcha from the first and second harvest of sencha green tea leaves in Kyoto, Japan, founders Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu truly believe in serving quality matcha. The matcha here is hand-whisked to order and can be made either into a classic latte or a sparkling drink! The matcha latte menu includes the caramel matcha latte, the golden yogi matcha latte, the roasted matcha latte, and original matcha latte. The lychee matcha sparkler is a bright matcha drink with lychee puree, sparkling bubbly water, and matcha for an exciting and tasty new way to enjoy the flavor of green tea! 

#SpoonTip: Be sure to check back in the Summer of 2021 for the opening of Third Culture's East Bay Matcha Cafe that will offer full matcha beverages and specialty items, giving you the best matcha in the Bay!

1951 Coffee

Amy Zhang

While it's mostly known for its exquisite coffee and incredible mission of supporting the refugee community, 1951 Coffee is also a great spot for grabbing your next matcha latte. Order the latte iced for a cool pick-me-up or hot for a cozy taste of matcha decorated with a beautiful frothy design. While many coffee shops pay too close attention to their coffee menu and not enough to their matcha options, 1951 celebrates all its menu has to offer with an exquisite matcha taste in the lattes that will leave your taste buds satisfied. The matcha also comes slightly sweetened with natural flavors of honey to bring out the strong, yet delicious matcha flavor. While knocking down that exquisite flavor, 1951's matcha lattes also have the perfect texture that blends the whisked ingredients ever so smoothly with the steamed milk.

#SpoonTip: Don't want to make the full drive to Third Culture Bakery to enjoy the bakery's original mochi muffins? No problem! You can purchase the signature delight at 1951 Coffee to shorten the trip and satisfy your cravings.

Caffe Strada

Every Berkeley student knows Caffe Strada, whether they've crammed a whole week's worth of studying while seated at the outdoor patio, grabbed a quick drink and snack on their way to class, or simply glanced at it while waiting for the 51B to arrive. Many students, though, don't know about the many delicious matcha drinks that are found at this popular student hub with a menu that may surprise you. Strada offers the classic matcha latte, the mint matcha latte, matcha lemonade, and its very own matcha blended gelido, Strada's refreshing take on the traditional frappe. The matcha drinks bring the classic flavor of matcha while packing a caffeinated punch to keep you pushing through your next midterm. Short on time? No worries! With extremely fast service, Strada will have your matcha drink ready to go before you can say the words "matcha latte."

Whether it's the spot you've known about for some time or the spot you've been dying to try since you stepped foot on campus, the Berkeley area offers a lot of great opportunities to enjoy matcha in different ways and places in town. If you're looking to revel in the delicious flavors of matcha in a classic latte or partnered with a fruity kick, these spots are where you can find the best matcha in the Bay.