These days, just about every cafe and boba shop serves matcha, the Japanese powdered green tea that’s a favorite for boasting higher caffeine and antioxidants than other teas but without the jittery jolt of coffee. It can be served hot or cold, sweetened or not, with milk or sans, and has a rich aroma and a full-bodied mellow flavor profile known as umami.
It grows high on the green tea fields covering the hills above Kyoto, Japan, where bright green gyokuro tea shoots are shade-covered starting in early April to protect them from direct sunlight. This triggers increases in chlorophyll, producing plants with better flavor and texture. The leaves are then hand-picked, steamed, dried, aged in cold storage, and finally stone-ground into a fine powder. To make a cup, matcha (which means powder) is hand-whisked into water with a bamboo brush, creating a thick, invigorating brew used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies — and beyond.
Given the newfound ubiquity of matcha in the region, we adjusted the official San Francisco and East Bay matcha map to reflect places that not only serve matcha, but places that serve matcha in multiple preparations, bake matcha into treats, or simply take the craft of brewing matcha very seriously.
Did we miss your go-to matcha spot? Let us know in the comments.Read More