Green tea tea lovers unite! While green tea is a relatively new ingredient to many, others have found this bright-green powder in teas, food items and coffee. Even Starbucks has gotten into this trend with their green tea lattes and Frappuccinos.
But what is green tea?
Green tea has been on the scene for thousands of years. It first shows up in history in China. It has been used for a variety of ailments, ranging from depression to sleepiness. Most people use green tea as a stimulant, in place of coffee.
Lately restaurants have been popping up all over the world that feature green tea in more than just frothy beverages. Green tea is now being used in food recipes, baked goods and even cocktails.
In Chicago, Restaurant Beatrix offers some green tea delights. The menu is graced with many items that complement green tea, like the 10-grain oatmeal on the breakfast menu. For those looking for a little more green tea in their meals, can order the green tea cookie.
Nearby Ramen-San has also been catching onto the green tea craze. They offer tea at breakfast, lunch and dinner in a variety of forms—the most common being the green tea tea latte. Yet the owners of Ramen-San recommend trying the adult version of the drink, the Bees Knees. This drink features green tea-infused bourbon, lemon, honey and yuzu.
When it comes to a health craze, Los Angeles refuses to be outdone. In July of 2015, the first green tea bar opened on West Third Street. Matcha Box, a self-proclaimed matcha-teria, offers powdered green tea in the traditional drink for as well as in food. One of the neighborhood favorites is the hero—a green tea tea latte made with almond milk. Visitors can also enjoy plenty of matcha-inspired snacks, like green tea peanut butter toasts. The small LA outpost is a little pricey, but they offer plenty of ways to snag some green powdered tea on a budget, like “pay what you wish” evenings and green tea happy hours.
Though green tea bubble tea isn’t necessarily a new concept, we couldn’t leave London’s Boba Tea Jam off the list. These guys consistently offer some of the most delicious green tea bubble tea in the city. Fresh, milky tea is poured over ice and served with a variety of chewy tapioca pearls. Customers who just can’t get enough of green tea can even order theirs with a side of green tea ice cream. Boba’s ice cream is smooth and creamy. It’s served over tapioca and jellies (of course) and a sweet red bean reduction.
New York City would be green with envy if they were left out of the green tea craze, which is why the city that never sleeps was one of the first to add green tea to menus.
The trendy neighborhood of Greenwich Village would never be caught dead without an outpost of the “new cool thing”. Chalait on West 4th Street is offering residents all the benefits of green tea. The best part? They make their own green tea powder. They offer plenty of classic favorites, like lattes and ice teas—yet they bring green tea to a whole new level here. The café is set up like a traditional coffee shop. Only they don’t serve coffee here. Shots of green tea are served up to customers like shots of espresso. Green tea Americanos and cortados are popular with coffee lovers. Kids go crazy for the green tea hot chocolate, and adults love the iced green tea fizz with cordial.
The small corner shop that focuses on match the most in the Big Apple is MatchaBar. Opened by Graham and Max Fortgang, MatchaBar strives to educate the New York population about this delicate-tasting tea. Their first outpost was opened in Brooklyn. The second location in Chelsea soon followed. The bright green interior is cozy and warm and matches their star ingredient—green tea. The vanilla almond green tea latte is one of the most classic drinks on the menu and goes well with the green tea donut hole or green tea macaroon. Also included on the menu are green tea muffins, cookies, biscotti and specialty green tea drinks.
Even Paris is breaking tradition to jump on the green tea bandwagon. Combining traditional French baking techniques with the subtle taste of green tea, Aki Boulanger offers green tea in the form of soft, chewy bread. Visitors can sink their teeth into green tea muffins and green tea marbled breads. They even offer green tea sandwiches on their fresh-baked breads. Pastries include, green tea eclairs, cakes and parfaits. Visitors can take their sweets alone or with a cup of hot coffee or a green tea latte.
The only restaurant on the list to serve green tea products exclusively is Uncle Tetsu’s Matcha Café. This Toronto hotspot serves up both hot and cold treats to hungry customers. One of the favorite items on the menu is the green tea madeline cookies. These are offered two ways—one as just a simple green tea cookie and the other with a bean paste filling and topped with a plump bean. Customers love that the green tea baked goods aren’t overly sweet. Tetsu’s also offers plenty of cold treats to help customers stay cool in the summertime. The green tea soft serve is a great way for newcomers of green tea to become familiar with this Asian favorite. Tetsu’s also offers green tea shaved ice and slushies.
It’s no surprise that the green powdered tea craze is getting even crazier in Asia. Though green tea cocktails have made their way onto menus in North America and Europe, Japan takes this health-meets-alcohol one step further. 1899 Ochanomizu, a Tokyo beer garden, offers green tea beer. They offers six different brews, including a stout and a non-alcoholic beer. One of these cold, frothy drinks costs just under $6, but the beer hall also offers guests an unlimited option. Two hours’ worth of beer costs only around $30.