Matcha is everywhere right now. A staple of Japanese tea ceremonies, matcha is pure, unadulterated green tea powder made by grinding the entire shade-grown tea leaf, which helps explain its status as a trendy health food high in antioxidants and amino acids.
It's also become popular among people who find that standard coffee makes them jittery; while matcha has more caffeine than a typical cup of green tea, it's got a bit less caffeine than a cup of black coffee and has a reputation for delivering a more relaxed buzz.
Matcha is versatile, an ingredient that's great for drinking straight as a tea or adding to everything from baked goods to smoothies and ice cream. But it's also expensive. It comes in several grades; culinary-grade matcha is best for cooking and baking, but the more expensive ceremonial-grade matcha is what you need to make tea. Legitimate ceremonial-grade matcha — free of adulterants — sells on Amazon for around $25 an ounce, and to make the tea it at home, you'll need special tools like a traditional bamboo whisk (or chasen) that helps mix and aerate the fine powder.
Since it's not as easy (or affordable) to make matcha at home, it's become a popular menu item at cafes and restaurants around Dallas. Whether you're looking to add a new superfood to your repertoire or sip an alternative to coffee, or you just love its earthy, savory flavor, here are a few places in Dallas where you can get the good green stuff.
Local Press + Brew
1605 N Beckley Ave. (Oak Cliff)
Matcha lattes are one of the biggest-selling drinks at Local Press + Brew, the Oak Cliff juice and coffee bar known for its health-conscious drinks like turmeric shots and cold-pressed juice. Local Press sources its matcha from local tea company Zakti and sells it iced or hot, made with either standard milk or dairy-free alternatives like housemade nut milk. On a hot summer day, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better pick-me-up than Local's iced matcha latte that uses housemade almond milk.
Pok the Raw Bar
3699 McKinney Ave. (West Village)
This West Village poke restaurant has a full-blown matcha bar serving ceremonial-grade matcha sourced from a family farm in Uji, Japan. You can get it iced or hot, made with everything from macadamia nut milk to fresh watermelon juice and yuzu lemonade. In classic West Village style, Pok partnered with the nearby SoulCycle studio and sometimes hosts specials like Matcha Monday, when diners get a free SoulCycle class with the purchase of a matcha drink. (The current SoulCycle special is on Sundays, when diners get a free SoulCycle class with the purchase of any poke bowl.)
Old Denton Road and the President Bush Turnpike, Carrollton
We all know Korea Town is the perfect place if you're looking for Korean barbecue, shaved ice or adorable Asian desserts, but it's also a magical wonderland for anyone who loves matcha. From bubble tea to shaved ice to verdant cookies and cakes, you'll find matcha everywhere in this corner of Carrollton. Sip an ombre matcha latte from 85C Bakery while you shop for ceremonial-grade matcha powder (and all the matcha-making accessories) at H Mart, or share a bowl of matcha ice cream after eating your fill of sushi delivered by conveyor belt at Kula Revolving Sushi.
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Magnolias Sous Le Pont
2727 N. Harwood St. (Harwood)
At this handsome cafe and gallery in the Harwood District, nibble croissants while you sip a matcha latte that's exceedingly popular with crowds who live to Instagram their matcha latte art.
5629 SMU Blvd. (SMU)
Rather than waiting in the comically long line winding outside Chills 360, the overhyped Thai rolled ice cream shop in Deep Ellum, get your 1 a.m. matcha ice cream fix at Sumo Shack, the popular new late-night drunk food spot at SMU. Sumo Shack serves its refreshing matcha ice cream in deep-fried bao buns.