In "Healthier Happy Hours" food editor Lauren Durden writes about healthy alternatives to your regular Friday happy hour haunts.
I'm sure you've heard everyone raving about how matcha green tea is the "it" ingredient. With matcha now readily found throughout cafes and restaurants, New York City is experiencing a sort of matchassance. Matcha madness, if you will.
While you'll most commonly find matcha in the form of a latte or just as tea - whipped into hot water with a chasen, or bamboo whisk, in a bamboo bowl called a chawan - I'm happy to report that you can also find it stuffed into eclairs, layered between crepes (see above), and mixed into your mochi.
Below is a list of cafes, bakeries and shops that are currently topping the matcha charts in New York City. Check one out this weekend and fill your belly with antioxidant-rich, detoxing, energizer matcha tea for a healthier happy hour. Even if it happens to be in the form of a slice of cake. 'Cause if you put healthy stuff in a cake it's basically like taking your vitamins, right?
Ippodo Tea NYC - Even though this shop is in the dreaded area that is Midtown Manhattan, it's high on our list because of how beautifully traditional the tea preparation and service is. So legit that their website isn't even in English, this little shop keeps all the traditional accouterments on hand (chasens and chawans abound) and will make your matcha tea right in front of you with the kind of care you've seen bestowed upon newborn children.
- Chailait - One of the newer cafes on this list, this tiny shop in the West Village has some of the most matcha-y green tea in the neighborhood. Vividly green and swirled with milk in their lattes, the cups serve up some art with your matcha. Not to be missed is their matcha cortado, which is made much like an espresso shot, cut with the tiniest bit of milk.
- Matcha Cafe Wabi - Matcha. Rice. Krispies. They have them. You need them. Go here to eat them. And for all your latte cravings as well, topped with the cutest sakura flower design.
- Cha-An Teahouse - You'll find not only matcha tea at this adorable tea house tucked into the East Village's small but impressive Japantown, you'll also find teacakes, mochi and honey toast that feature the trendy ingredient.
- Lady M - This French-pastry influenced cafe and bakery is well known for their crepe cakes which feature layer upon layer of delicate crepes, topped with custards, fruit and creams. Go all out with their green tea version, pictured above, for a slightly sweet green tea treat.