Drinks Business Food

The Best Ways to Enjoy Matcha Green Tea from Seafood to Ice Cream

Main image by Ilya Yakubovich

Green tea in leaf or in powder form (matcha), it doesn’t matter like a coke/crackhead knows because they are both from the same plant camellia sinensis

If you aren’t the type to want to take the time to steep some hot tea, so that you can leisurely sip on it as your cat lounges on your lap, I have some other options for you. If that sounds interesting to you, read on… and that’s alright if your cat is on your chest kneading you like pizza dough as you read this.

Pictured are rows of green fields of green tea being grown with blue skies and a row of trees in the background
The cartels are missing out on a delicious cash crop (pictured is the Ito En fields).

Here Are a Few Ways to Try and Use Matcha Powder

There are many ways to use matcha powder, and if you are in the Los Angeles area, I provided several businesses that you can try many of these products out, just in case you don’t have a green thumb in the kitchen.

1. Matcha and Hojicha Soft Serve Ice Cream

Soft serve is not your plain Jane scoop of green tea ice cream served to you for your birthday at your local sushi restaurant. Soft serve ice cream has less milk fat and more air than harder ice cream, so if you like it soft and love to lick, this is for you. Also, if you love matcha, be sure to try hochija which is roasted green tea.

Picture of a waffle cone of soft serve in Japan with a black spoon, soft serve, matcha sprinkled over it, and a little chip with the producers name for branding.
Lick away, no teeth required, just gum it. Image by Leng Cheng

There is ice cream, and then there’s soft serve.

Picture of a cup of matcha soft serve on a table with 3 spoons in it.
When my friends visit from out of state, Tea Master is where you will end up (it’s part of my tour package).

2. Matcha Latte

This is one of those things that Asians get right from the Koreans to the Japanese although if you want to go full Asian, I suggest adding red bean (azuki) to your matcha latte because that is the magic blend of beans and leaves.

Pictured is of a table shot from above of matcha tea, matcha ice cream, and a matcha latte.
Matcha lattes are for sophisticated adults unlike a sugar laden frappuccino (as I type this, I was sipping on my frappuccino). Image by Tribp
  • Cafe Dulce
    134 Japanese Village Plaza Mall , Los Angeles 90012
  • Shuhari Cafe
    1522 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

3. Matcha Crème Brûlée

This is one of those dishes that a few of my ex’s loved, and I avoided till I had the matcha version at Shin Sen Gumi (a yakitori-ya/restaurant). After I had it there, I now order it and seek it out because it’s that delicious, plus it fills that empty void in my stomach and heart.

Pictured is a ramekin with matcha creme brulee, a mint leaf sticking out from it, and 3 sliced strawberries in a clover formation.
Who knew this is what had been missing in my life.

4. Matcha Cheesecake

As you can probably tell from this list so far, matcha is loved in the Asian community and it is in just about everything you can think of. Except cheesecake is its one true calling because the creamy savoriness of the cheese blends so well with the matcha (Japanese love savory over sweet).

Pictured is a slice of cheesecake in the shape of a 2x2 with sprinkled matcha on it (lots of bokeh in the shot).
There’s plain cheesecake and then there’s matcha cheesecake. Image by Hunter Nield
  • Seriously, aside from Cheesecake Factory, Whole Foods and some grocery store cheesecake, I typically have to resort to making my own.

5. Matcha Donuts

I have had matcha or other breaded goods with a matcha filling, but I really can’t remember if I had the ones specifically at Cafe Dulce although I have to have it on the list. Unlike a cream puff, it has the same custard fillings, but the reason why it’s on the list is because of the denser texture of the donut itself lends well to contrasting to the filling.

Pictured is a box of pastries. The brown box, has a flip open lid, and on the inside of the lid, there's a illustration of people,. animal characters, cruising along a street.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel as much of a fatty when I eat a matcha donut. Image by Cafe Dulce
  • Cafe Dulce, 134 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, CA 90012

6. Matcha Cream Puffs

This is a Japanese chain from Japan with over 250 stores in Japan and 436 stores worldwide (33 in the U.S.), so you know they have a substantial following although I have only been a to few locations (Hollywood & Highlands which closed and the one in Little Tokyo).

Photo Description: the product image is by Beard Papa's, the Japanese pastry chain which specializes in cream puffs. one of which is green tea.
Who’s your papa? Image courtesy of Beard Papa’s.
  • Beard Papa’s: touting themselves as “the world’s best cream puffs.”

7. Bottled Green Tea

Japan has one of the highest life expectancies and is considered one of the most fit countries in the world. The U.S. doesn’t even come close regardless of how many people wear yoga pants because every restaurant and vending machine in Japan is not filled with sugar laden sugar water.

Photo Description: this image of a bottle of Ito en green tea with the text "Japan's No. 1 Green Tea Brand."
This is the opposite of the sweet tea that they guzzle down by the gallon in the South.

8. Matcha Ice Cream Sandwiches to Taiyaki

I like the typical ice cream sandwich even though I have no clue what that brown stuff is made of, but I still like them. Just like this sandwich with it’s protective honeycomb structure that is more like a packaging material, but I still like it. The green tea ice cream is really good and it’s priced right.

Photo Description: a waffle like outer shell with green tea and chocolate inside. The wrapper is peeled back with a few bites taken out of it.
  • Imuraya Monaka (the producer): Matcha Ice Cream Sandwich (this product isn’t listed on their US website)
  • You can find this product at most Japanese markets in the freezer section (I get mine at Seiwa).

9. Matcha Mochi Ice Cream

The inventor of mochi ice cream is not only American, but Frances Hashimoto was also the CEO of her family’s company Mikawaya. Her product was so successful, it is currently sold in Whole Foods, Albertsons, Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, and Safeway.

Photo Description: a plate with a number of mochi ice cream cut in half. One of them appears to be green tea, with a peach colored and a white one appear in the image.
Yea, having to chew your ice cream. Image courtesy of Mikawaya

10. Cha Soba (Noodles)

Cha soba” when translated just means green tea (o’cha) and buckwheat noodles (soba). Something I thought was just a novelty, but it’s a product you can find in an Asian grocery aisle to ordering it off the menu at Aburiya Raku in Las Vegas or Los Angeles.

Photo Description: soba green tea noodles that i got from Aburiya Raku in Las Vegas. It's topped with nori, yamakake, and bonito is a soy and bonito dashi.
Bukkake cha soba at Aburiya Raku (cold green Tea soba with poached egg).

For some of you, “bukkake” has a totally different meaning (get your head out of the gutter).

Photo Description: another pic soba green tea (green colored) and the typical wheat somen noodles (white colored).
I had to include this image by Insatiablemuchies

Two brands that offer cha soba.

  • Hakubaku Organic Green Tea Soba Noodles
  • Hime Japanese Cha Soba Green Tea Noodles

11. Matcha Candy from KitKats to Pocky

This list isn’t in any specific order, but further down my own mental list of my favorites is matcha KitKats and Pocky. I say that because these are products (candy) where I feel the matcha flavor just isn’t savory enough.

Picture of KitKats in Japan. Several boxes and bags of KitKats displayed at a store with their pricing from 95 yen to 216 yen.
KitKat has it all from sakura (cherry blossom), sake (rice wine), azuki (red bean), to matcha. Image by Marco Carag

12. Matcha and Salt (Shio) Condiment

If you have matcha and salt (shio), you have yourself a great condiment for tempura and sashimi. One that is used by Japanese because they like to taste their food versus bathing everything in soy sauce (shoyu). If you have the same appreciation for subtle flavors, try it out on a white fish that is commonly used in tempura called kisu (鱚/Japanese whiting or sillago japonica for you latin speaking folk) to squid and scallops. 

Photo Description: a plate of sashimi from Shunka in Costa Mesa, there's a number of fish on the the plate although the white fish has a sprinkle of matcha powder sprinkled atop it.
Put down that soy sauce bottle foo.

13. Barrel-Aged Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea)

How could I not include this one (even if it is SOLD OUT at the time of this posting)!? ITOEN has done a limited edition hojicha infused with the rich flavors & aromas found in Kings County peated bourbon whiskey barrels (earthy, slightly toasted toffee, roasted caramel, whiskey).

Photo Description: a teapot, a glass with a lemon in it meant to most likely depict hojicha (roasted green tea).
How does a barrel-aged hot toddy out of Brooklyn, NY sound? Image courtesy of Itoen.

There are a ton more dishes that incorporate matcha into it from waffles, roll cakes, to croissants, but I’m only including the ones that are easily accessible or stand out like a strung out crackhead.

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