Green tea—an excellent detox agent, bitter but richly flavorful, has now taken the world by storm. From the dieting and fitness realms to the quirky, hipster cafes that serve matcha flavored desserts, you can find this new fad picking up in various locations and cultures.
The Japanese call it matcha, the Chinese call it mocha and the Koreans call it malcha, but the two syllables literally translate to “powdered tea”. All essentially describe the fine powdery tea with every essence of tea left intact within its dust. In many Eastern Asian cultures, the concept of tea not only involves the physical, but the spiritual. A tea ceremony is held to the highest standards and regards, often reserved only to honor significant individuals, mentors, family members and friends. The difference between the quality of matcha is striking as well. Whereas lower grade matcha is used in desserts and culinary concoctions, the finest grade matcha is reserved for tea ceremonies. Regardless of whether you love it, hate it or simply can’t be bothered by it, you will see more of its influence in the Western part of the globe.
Here are some of the atypical flavored matcha items you might see and try. Which of these strange matcha flavored items you’ve tried?
- Kit Kat: the strong aroma of matcha makes this Kit Kat even better to have on a break. The unique flavor makes your Kit Kat experience more satisfying than the classic milk chocolate wafers.
- ice cream: green tea ice cream can be found on almost every sushi restaurant’s menu. For those who have less of a sweet tooth, this gelato flavor can be more satisfying.
- doughnut: when I first heard of the endeavor, I was taken aback and even mildly disgusted. However, after trying these pastries at the local Seven Eleven in Taipei, Taiwan, I fell in love with the mild aroma of matcha glaze that seem to give the dough a complex, exotic taste.
- Swiss roll: swiss rolls are a fluffy sponge cake roll encasing jam and whipped cream. The matcha edition of this dessert is mildly bitter, however complemented with almond flake toppings, whipped cream and green tea icing, the cake brings a balanced flavor to the tastebuds without the sugar overload.
- latte: after trying a local green tea cafe that opened in town (yes, every item in the cafe was dusted, lathered or brewed with matcha). For green tea lovers, matcha latte is a smooth concoction that pleases the tongue. For those without an acquired love for the bitter aftertaste, adding some whipped cream or syrup to the mix can enhance the experience.
- waffles: didn’t think waffles could have “matcha” more than eggs and flour? Think again! Waffles I found at a local bubble tea cafe features iridescent hues. They are as delicious to try as they are pleasing to the eye.