Downtown L.A.’s new Midori Matcha Cafe might be your new one-stop shop for everything matcha. Two weeks ago, entrepreneur Dmitry Steinbuchel and business partner Catherine Liu opened the café in the Wellington Plaza of Little Tokyo as the first ever matcha bar in DTLA. The business has created a haven of organic sweets and beverages for visitors to devour into the late hours of the night. Whether you’re sipping on a classic matcha latte or plunging into a matcha-infused éclair, it’s easy to satisfy your sweet tooth here – and also get a taste of this quickly growing trend that’s loaded with health benefits. Midori Matcha DTLA Downtown LA
Matcha powder is made of green tea leaves that get stone ground into a fine powder, which then gets typically whisked with hot water for a heavier tea drink. Additionally, it’s also mixed into a variety of foods and beverages like pastries and cocktails.
Matcha’s ancient history traces back to 12th Century Japan. The ingredient was key to the country’s tea ceremonies, and has since been re-discovered by America for its incredible health benefits. It has 137 times more antioxidants than regular brewed green tea, boosts metabolism, calms the body, lowers cholesterol and more. It’s essentially green tea on crack.
With its insane health benefits, it’s no surprise that matcha has been gradually making its descent into L.A.’s dining scene. In 2015, Beverly Grove’s Matcha Box first kicked off the trend, opening as the first ever matcha tea bar in Los Angeles. Since then, Shuhari Matcha has added onto Abbot Kinney’s bright and colorful array of boutiques and upscale dining options — Now, Midori Matcha has added to the hype, creating a place for East LA to get a load of the green tea powder too.
Starting out as a nutritional health drink, Midori Matcha was originally a wholesale supplier of organic cold pressed matcha sourced from Japan. While these bottles are still available in health food grocery stores like Lassens and Erewhon grocers, you can pick them up at Midori too.
The menu is simple and honest. Every featured drink is the matcha powder paired with one other ingredient like coconut water or blueberry puree. You can, of course, go simple with the most popular beverage, the matcha latte: matcha concentrate with a steamed milk of your choice. A creamy treat, the drink is just the right amount of sweetness that doesn’t overwhelm you.
On the other hand, you can truly indulge with the second half of the menu, which is what matcha and dessert lovers enjoy the most – ice cream. Go for the organic matcha soft serve or a “granita” shake version of this rich dessert. Unlike a lot of soft serves, a matcha flavored one is even thicker after it gets mixed with the powder, making for a punch of sugar to eat.
One last feature that Midori Matcha has for its customers is matcha-inspired pastries that come fresh every day from the French Pitchoun Bakery in DTLA. While not all the pastries perfectly incorporate matcha (a matcha Danish with apple makes for more apple taste than the former flavor), the matcha éclair is probably the must try of the bunch, its whipped cream filling made so thick it tastes like matcha cupcake frosting.
While other shops serving matcha in the area may threaten Midori Matcha, Steinbuchel doesn’t feel the pressure. He hopes to continue thriving and creating the best matcha for himself and for the neighborhood. With a perfect location and several ways for guests to enjoy their matcha, Midori may end up being the go-to perfect introduction to matcha for DTLA.