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Everything’s coming up green at Chelsea newcomer café MatchaBar, the second matcha outpost from brothers Max and Graham Fortgang. A crisp café embellished with salvaged wood tables and vintage hand-painted wallpaper, MatchaBar delivers the ancient Japanese tea matcha—a finely ground powder made from green tea leaves—in a modern format that’s palatable to the masses.
Boasting 70mg of caffeine per serving (in comparison, a shot of espresso has about 100mg of caffeine), matcha delivers a state of “alert calm” that combines the vitalizing energy of coffee without the pesky jitters, an appealing dichotomy that taps into the larger alternative-food movement. The menu is appropriately simple, offering a minimalist selection of matcha specialties like the Flat Green ($4.50), Matcha Cocoa ($5.25) and Coconut Matcha Chai ($5.25). Newbies will enjoy the Cinnamon Maple Matcha Latte ($5.25) for its subtly sweet flavor that eases one into the tea’s acquired taste, while vets will best appreciate the Matcha Latte ($4.85), made of matcha, almond milk—and nothing else.
A selection of snacks and sandwiches are also on hand, among them a dainty Matcha Coconut Cacao Bar ($3.50) that’s vaguely reminiscent of German chocolate cake and a deceptively green Matcha Coconut Macaroon ($2.20) that, while pleasant, lacks a notable matcha flavor. Matcha powder tins ($22–$30) can be purchased for at-home consumption, and bottled matcha juices ($2.49) are also available for on-the-go. But the real draw of MatchaBar isn’t just the tea but the culture it’s brewing. An attractive outlet to the ever expanding health set, MatchaBar’s coffee-free appeal whistles with energy-sustaining potential.
BY: TIME OUT COMMUNITY REVIEWER CHRISTINE FISCHER HEWIT
256 West 15th St
|Cross street:||between 7th and 8th Aves|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, E, L to 14th St|
|Price:||$15 and under|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri 8am–7pm; Sat, Sun 10am–7pm|
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