Matcha to go

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Best description of matcha powder based drinks comes from Dr. Orpheus on Venture Brothers
“It tastes a little bit like play-doh, but its OK”


If you’re looking for a place that serves matcha drinks, go to Starbucks. I recently found out that they carry matcha and they serve green tea latte made with matcha. Matcha, milk, and classic syrup. In my case, I usually order a custom green tea with just matcha, water, and a little bit of syrup - no milk.

It’s not on the board, but it is listed on their app.

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Thanks! Now I can finally order something at Starbucks.
Hopefully they still have a drum of Pumpkin Spice in the back so they can top off my order properly.

I find white tea has a calming effect similar to that of green tea, but with a less bitter aftertaste.

I have a couple of Japanese grocery stores near my work. They sell Matcha tea in cans (better than it has any right to be) and I pick up the powder all the time.

Lately I have been drinking masala chai. A pack of 100 teabags usually costs about $5 at an Indian grocery. The stuff is strong as heck but works well with milk.

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You could just drop a little l-theanine along with your coffee to take the edge off. About a 2:1 theanine:caffeine ratio is supposed to be good.

Better living through chemistry.

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Masala chai is best drunk with the bags steeped in hot milk for a long time.


Sorry, coffee, along with beer, are the two essential fluids of physics. It is rather like having two pedals in your car: one to make your brain go, and one to make it stop going when you’re done with it.


It has three pedals, but none of them are for accelerating.


“I haven’t come across any places that serve it.”

Cafe Leila on San Pablo in Berkeley makes a dope-ass soy matcha latte.

I’m almost ashamed to admit that Jamba Juice makes a mean matcha well… milkshake really. They can call it whatever they like, but it’s essentially a matcha milkshake.

Other than that, as others have noted, hit up a Mitsuwa or Marukai or Nijiya or whatever place you’ve got in your area (those are the big 3 for Japanese grocery stores around here).

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Green tea is meant to be unsweetened. These syrup “matcha” drinks should be drowned in the Hell of Being Flayed Alive.

Also, milk in green tea is something barbarians would do, like the British.


Have you considered other ways to get your caffeine surge? Been making mate tea and can get ~6 cups before the infusion gets weak and it tastes like water only. Roughly the same caffeine hit as a black tea/coffee with more of the calming benefits.

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I’m interested in mate but haven’t found a well recommended source and preparation.

For the caffeine-sensitive out there: top-notch matcha is potent stuff. There is a reason why it’s shared during a traditional ceremony.

Fortunately for them, most of the matcha people buy is crap! I get mine from Japan!

Yes, but matcha is often drank with a side of sweet azuki Yokan to be eaten with it.

So, balance not sweet and a little bitter with crazy rot your teeth out sweet…

I can forgive people who sweeten their matcha.

There are worse things in life (like people who insist on putting ketchup on steak)…

  1. Go to the store, get a gift gourd/straw/mate starter kit
  2. Watch the Circle of Drink youtube videos to see how to make mate
  3. Drink, and drink, and drink
  4. Fiddle with different brands of mate untill you settle on one you love

There are a lot of brands out there, though in my experience they seem to fall into one of two general styles:

  1. Brazilian: finely cut, lots of dust (polvo)
  2. Argentinian: medium-coarse cut, moderate-low amount of dust

Some brands produce their blends in two variants: with stems (con palo) or without (sin palo). Stems soften and sweeten the infusion, so con palo blends tend to be a touch more mild. They’re still plenty potent in caffeine, though.

If you’re just discovering mate, I’d recommend picking up a 500g bag each of Selecta’s Regular and Premium blends, Pajarito, and (if you’re feeling bold) Canarias. For bombillas, Simonaggio stainless is the way to go.