Matcha, matcha, matcha madness around the world. Everywhere you turn in major cities in the world, you see matcha (抹茶) this and matcha that at cafes, restaurants and shops today. Pop into global players such as Starbucks and Haagen-Dazs as well as local shops, you are bound to find matcha-inspired drinks and desserts on offer.
One food editor goes as far as to say “[T]he universe is mad for matcha”, claiming it as one of the trendiest ingredients of 2015.
It’s not only the food industry that are matcha crazy. Cosmetic companies also believe in the power of the magic powder, and products such as matcha shampoo, soap, body lotion and lipsticks have become regular items at stores around the world.
Not familiar with matcha? Basically matcha is finely ground powder of processed green tea, containing caffeine and traditionally used as part of meditation in Japan.
Well, we could go on lecturing the fine details of matcha, its history, health benefits, etc, etc, but interested readers can read up about it here, here and here. Online shops have a range of matcha products on offer, too.
Gone there and well informed now? Okay. Now let’s cut to the chase and go to Nanaha, one of the most popular cafes that offer matcha desserts in Shinjuku!
Nanaha in Shinjuku offers a wide range of Japanese drinks and desserts, but their matcha parfait is a work of art. Priced at 1,100yen, it’s slightly pricey, but worth every yen!
And it’s huge. The glass is about 20cm tall and whipped cream is about 4cms over the glass (but the bottom of the glass is around 4cms).
From the top you’ll be delighted to indulge yourself in:
- Lovely whipped cream covered with matcha source
- Rich green tea ice cream and red bean paste (anko)
- Three shiratama dumplings (sweet rice flour dumplings)
- Corn flakes
- Vanilla ice cream with matcha source
- Large-sized matcha jelly and clear agar (kanten)
They also serve other types of matcha desserts and drinks, as well as light food like udon and ochazuke.
Nanaha we visited is located on the fifth floor at Odakyu Department Store in Shinjuku. It’s a small, tastefully decorated shop with 14 two seater tables. Nanaha also runs a number of more casual shops, Nana’s Green Tea – we’ll report on them in the near future.
Although you would probably have to wait for a table (as we did, for five minutes or so), you can browse around the entrance where a variety of green tea leaves are on display.
You aren’t visiting Japan anytime soon or can’t find matcha in stores near you? Takaski Online Shop has a wide range of matcha products for you. Let us know what kinds of matcha items you’d like to purchase and we’ll try to have them available at our online shop!