Matcha with Lots of Possibilities at MatchaBar (Brooklyn, NY)
MatchaBar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a hip matcha tea bar and brand founded by brothers Max and Graham Fortgang. Matcha tea was “discovered” by the Fortgangs out the necessity of a caffeine alternative that was healthier for them since they led stressful lives when they were college students.
Their Williamsburg storefront offers drinks made with the fine-ground tea, including hot and iced matcha teas, iced specialty drinks, and Matchaccino, a matcha “cappuccino” made with almond milk and vanilla powder. Besides peddling the typical matcha lattes (they are almost everywhere in Manhattan), they want to introduce and educate the masses of matcha, and push the limits of how matcha can be used.
Their matcha tea powder is supplied by the fifth-generation family farm in Nishio, Japan where the Fortgangs learned how to prepare matcha, and the two maintain a close personal relationship with the farm’s management and employees.
It was a pretty warm day when we visited and the drinks that appealed the most were the unusually unique iced matcha teas with fresh juices.
The watermelon juice with matcha is slightly sweet and absolutely refreshing tea drink. The watermelon’s sweetness wasn’t overwhelming and the matcha wasn’t bitter. It all balanced very nicely. When it comes to the iced Fuji apple, ginger and matcha drink, it’s my favorite of the two just because of the touch of spicy zing from the ginger juice adds a different flavor element besides the wonderful sweetness of the Fuji apple.
Their matcha pastries are made by Watty & Meg. All of the matcha pastries (matcha almond biscotti, matcha coconut macaroons, and doughnut holes with matcha glaze) had a rich matcha flavor that aren’t too sweet and its textures were pretty spot on.
The one particular sweet I was excited to try was the new MatchaBar x Oddfellows Ice Cream matcha ice cream. Oddfellows is one of my favorite ice cream shops in NYC primarily they know how to make the wonderfully weird and funky flavors correctly (like miso cherry) with the textures of ice cream spot on. While matcha ice cream isn’t really a ground breaking ice cream flavor, this matcha ice cream was fantastic. Dense, creamy with the gentle matcha flavor and served with a couple of crispy, flaky coconut cigarette-shaped cookies on the side for some crunch.
There are a few exciting projects in the pipeline for the Fortgangs with matcha – most notable one is the upcoming opening of their second location in Chelsea, Manhattan. A few other ideas were beverages like making a beer with matcha and a bottled version of cold matcha tea.
To view photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE for the full photo set or view the gallery below: