Matcha lattes rank high among my drinks of choice. I love the taste: the way the bittersweet flavor of the tea with its nuances of almonds and honey is tempered by the natural sweetness of pure, fresh milk. I like how it both soothes the soul and excites the palate all at the same time. The one at Starbucks is nice
What I don’t like is the fact that sweetened matcha powder – let alone plain matcha powder – can rarely be found even at the most au courant supermarkets, so actually making these elegant sippers at home is nigh on impossible. The supermarket over at The Landmark sometimes has it in stock – but those times are few and far between. And, while matcha is almost always available over at Kozui in Quezon City, I hardly have the time or the energy to actually trek to and fro between Muntinlupa and that part of town.
Fortunately for an intrepid matcha junkie like me, I was able to find a rather spiffy product to help myself out over at my favorite Japanese grocery Choto Stop. Choto Stop actually carries the Nestle Home Cafe Line, a series of instant coffee and tea mixes specifically blended for the Japanese market under the supervision of the celebrated patissier Yasumasa Takagi, chef patron of the Le Patissier Takagi chain of bakeshops. The regular line consists of powdered mixes while the meister line involves bespoke coffee and tea syrups that one can simply pour into heated or chilled milk for one’s beverage of choice.
The Uji Matcha variant is a real treat for green tea fans: not too bitter, not too sweet, and, considering how small the tub is, there’s just enough to impart a pretty pastel green color to your milk and add quite a bit of flavor.
While this is nice enough on its own, the matcha syrup can also be used to add a second dimension, as it were, of green tea goodness when tossed into a blender with cold milk and a couple scoops of green tea ice cream (for strength, get the one from Arce Dairy, grab the one from Fruits in Ice Cream [FIC] if you want a more subtle hit, or go all posh and get Haagen-Dasz) for one fabulous milkshake guaranteed to make those around you green (haha!) with envy. 😉
Nestle Home Cafe Line Uji Matcha Syrup – P 80.00 per pack of four tubs from Choto Stop, Pasong Tamo, Makati.