By Kathleen Mest
Photos by Monique Kuhlman
Matcha is a green tea, but instead of being steeped like most teas, the leaves are dried and ground into a fine powder. With lower caffeine levels than coffee, matcha is a great substitution when you want to stay alert without the caffeine jitters. And bonus, matcha is high in antioxidants and may provide a myriad of other health benefits.
However, not all matcha is created equal. For beverages, look for ceremonial grade/premium matcha powder. It’s vibrant green and will provide rich, nutty and earthy flavors.
2944 Clark Ave, 90815
COPA’s (Coffee Parlor’s nickname) seasonal matcha offerings include their B.A. Matcha: organic ceremonial grade matcha and housemade blueberry syrup with hints of almond and lemon. With layers of flavor, partner this drink with a bite from their scratch kitchen menu.
Matcha Rose Latte
356 E. 4th St, 90802
This Matcha Rose Latte easily wins for the prettiest drink. Made with ceremonial grade matcha, housemade rose syrup, and topped with edible dried rose petals, it is a floral delight. Enjoy this matcha with a fresh baked treat in the airy, sunlit shop founded by the Bonilla family.
Pistachio Vanilla Matcha
Wood Coffee Co
2728 E. 10th St, 90804
The Pistachio Vanilla Matcha is made with Spirit Tea Matcha, vanilla syrup and pistachio milk. It’s a smooth blend of nutty and earthy flavors. Sip and relax in this plant-based coffee shop with calm vibes of woods, flora, and warm tones created by owner, Nolan Wood.
Matcha & Honey Latté
Wide Eyes Open Palms
416 Cherry Ave, 90802 | @wideeyesopenpalms
WEOP’s Matcha & Honey Latté is a light and refreshing creation with organic premium grade matcha, sweetened with local honey, and I recommend adding the housemade almond-cashew milk made by owner/barista Angie. Then grab a seat on the parklet and enjoy it with an irresistible biscuit sandwich with locally sourced eggs or an airy frittata made by owner/chef Kat.
4145 Norse Way, 90808
Sparkling and perfect on a warm day, the Matcha Tonic is ceremonial grade matcha poured over Fever-Tree tonic, a touch of brown sugar, and garnished with a dehydrated lime wheel. Chill inside where brothers Bryer (owner) and Jay (manager and roaster) provide a cool vibe in the backroom showcasing art and merchandise from local artists and vendors.