It seems that matcha is all the rage these days, with the drink remaining center stage, with trendy products and baked goods popping up around it such as matcha flavored cakes, muffins, power bars, crepes, lattes, and so on. That distinctively grassy, earthy flavor has undoubtedly won people over, not just because it can be truly delicious, but its health benefits have been touted over and over again by many in both the homeopathic and traditional medical worlds.
Such is its popularity that it seems as though every major metropolis offers its own spin on matcha foods and drinks, and some produce truly unique products. If you’re planning to travel and try different iterations of this superfood, then the following list of six cities to be on the lookout for should help.
1. UJI, JAPAN
Known as the matcha capital, Uji is undoubtedly one of the biggest exporters of high end, finely milled matcha powder. Since matcha has historically been used in traditional aristocratic tea ceremonies in nearby Kyoto, Uji cultivated this specific green tea powder in a way to answer that demand. Thus, its reputation for excellence began and it has stuck ever since.
Uji has become a major destination for tourists on the lookout to try the world’s finest grade-A matcha powder. The matcha produced here is renowned for its slighter sweeter taste that packs a punch. It is also incredibly smooth and creamy, so the best way people imbibe it while on vacation is as a simple cup of hot tea, as part of an elaborate ceremony.
2. LOS ANGELES, USA
This city has embraced the matcha trend with full aplomb, and there are numerous restaurants, coffee houses, and dessert places that make incredibly unique and delicious foods using the tea. Given its immense popularity in California, purchasing matcha wholesale has become rather easy, and Californians can’t have enough of it. Numerous sushi places now offer both ceremonial teas to accompany dinners, as well as savory matcha flavored dishes.
3. NEW YORK CITY, USA
Another coastal city in America that has also jumped on the matcha bandwagon, you will find plenty of bakeries here that make sweets using the green tea powder as a base. Savory dishes aren’t the name of the game here, but rather lattes, rich beignets dusted with powdered sugar, gigantic matcha crepe cakes layered with matcha buttercream, donuts, and napoleons are all the rage.
4. PARIS, FRANCE
Speaking of French desserts: yes, they take their history of patisserie very seriously, and most traditional bakeries in the country eschew incorporating newer flavors into their cuisine. However, Paris tends to be on-trend, and the proliferation of both Korean style French-influenced chain bakeries in the city – as in New York – and the increasingly multicultural vibe encountered there accounts for the clever use of matcha in all kinds of desserts. Perhaps the most beloved matcha flavored dessert you’ll find in Paris are delicate pannacotta and matcha fondants filled with raspberry jelly. Nary a matcha loving person can travel to Paris now without trying one of these deceptively simple yet elegant concoctions.
The aforementioned Korean-French bakeries are of course a game-changer. But Korean beauty products have flooded the market in recent years, as well as the much-lauded ten-step skincare routines. One of the newer innovations that have been bringing the benefits of matcha to the masses is through Korean skincare products.
Toners, moisturizers, and energizing eye creams all boast high percentages of matcha, and consumers are gravitating towards them. Luckily, if you can’t go all the way to Korea, there are some specialized K-beauty stores located in various places throughout the world now, so you can probably find something new to try a bit more easily.
6. NISHIO AICHI, JAPAN
Rounding out this article is another Japanese city. Which makes sense given that the country overall is one of the biggest producers of high-quality powder worldwide. Nishio Aichi is actually the country’s biggest manufacturer of matcha, and if you simply want to experience the green powder with the context of a simple yet mindfully curated tea ceremony, then this destination is right for you.
At first, matcha seems to be more of an acquired taste. However, this healthy tea, when consumed using it in its highest quality, produces a creamy concoction that is smooth and surprisingly tasty. Now, there are plenty of culinary endeavors worldwide that seek to explore matcha in different and surprising ways. If you travel to any of the destinations listed above, then be sure to give them a try – you will not be disappointed.