MANILA, Philippines – To all my matcha bes-teas out there – here’s the tea on the matcha-waited arrival of Japanese brand The Matcha Tokyo in Metro Manila!
Whether mahilig ka sa damo or just enjoy the earthy yet milky taste of a matcha latte, all members of the matcha gang are welcome here. The Matcha Tokyo serves 100% organic, ceremonial-grade matcha carefully hand-picked from Japan that’s as premium and clean as they come.
And as a non-matcha drinker, I honestly just might be on my way to matcha girl status after tasting what The Matcha Tokyo had to offer its Philippine customers!
So little time, so matcha to learn
The Matcha Tokyo’s first Metro Manila branch opened on Friday, November 18, care of the Mistukoshi Group, Tasteless Food Group (The Grid, Scout’s Honor, Poison Doughnuts, Hanamaruken Ramen), and The Matcha Tokyo’s team from Japan.
Located on the ground floor of Bonifacio Global City’s new Mitsukoshi Mall, the modest open space features an open bar, minimalist-industrial interiors, wooden benches, and exclusive merchandise on display. The open bar grants you a first-hand look at the tea-dious yet mesmerizing process of how matcha tea is traditionally made.
Pro tip: when whisking your bowl of matcha powder using the traditional bamboo chasen, make sure to rapidly whisk in an up-and-down motion instead of side-to-side; this makes for the creamiest foam.
The Matcha Tokyo, which was founded in 2018 in Tokyo, prides itself in its “highest quality” matcha. The Japanese brand’s farm uses clean water, fertile and pesticide-free soil, and carefully-selected tea leaves. These are harvested by experienced Japanese farmers in a mindful and sustainable manner, as they are only picked once a year.
The delicate tea leaves are then steamed, dried, and ground with a stone mill into a fine powder, resulting in the world-famous, ancient Japanese superfood known for its strong flavor, bright-green color, health benefits, and versatile usage in drinks, Japanese delicacies, and desserts.
A matcha made in heaven
My first matcha drink in years was The Matcha Tokyo’s best-selling and beginner-friendly Iced Matcha Latte, made with ice, oat milk, raw sugar syrup, and Japan Premium Matcha, the team’s recommended type of matcha with a strong umami taste.
The great thing about The Matcha Tokyo drinking experience is that it differs per person, depending on your personal preferences. You can customize your sweetness level depending on how sweet or bitter you want your matcha, and your choice of milk – dairy, soy, almond, or oat (my favorite) – makes a slight difference in creaminess and taste, too.
I loved my Iced Matcha Oat Latte with 50% sugar – it was a smooth, clean, balanced, and flavorful drink; the matcha’s grassy bitterness is toned down but the earthy taste still shines alongside the subtle sweetness and creaminess of oat milk. Especially with ice, it made for a refreshing beverage I wouldn’t mind having instead of my afternoon cup of coffee.
The Iced Matcha Latte is available hot (P220) or iced (P250), and as a Matcha Soy Latte (P260, P290), Matcha Almond Latte (P220, P250), and Matcha Oat Latte (P260, P290).
The Matcha Tokyo’s BGC branch also serves a new Philippines-exclusive Ube Matcha Latte (P210), (which will be on Japan’s seasonal menu soon). The Tasteless Group team said that the collaborative idea was a “Filipino pairing that just made sense,” and it does! The Iced Matcha Latte is topped with a silky-creamy, sweet-savory ube cream that adds the famous purple yam’s distinct nuttiness and sweetness to the drink, without overpowering it.
There are also matcha treats to go along with the drinks, like Chef Sonny Mariano’s vegan Black Sesame Matcha Cookie (P175) and plant-based, gluten-free, and sugar-free Brain or Beauty Matcha Energy Bars made with chocolate, nuts, and/or acai berries.
Menu, prices: All things brewteaful
The Matcha Tokyo lets you choose among the three matcha types for your hot or iced drinks. There’s the recommended “best blend” Japan Premium with low bitterness, the “refreshing” Kyoto Uji, and the GOKO, a rare handpicked leaf with a “super strong umami taste.” They cost P190, P200, and P250 respectively for both hot and iced formats.
Other iced beverages on the menu are Matcha Espresso Latte (P205), Matcha Frozen Latte (P220), Matcha Chai Latte (P235), the roasted green tea Hojicha Latte (P210 for hot or iced), and the Matcha Latte Float (P290) with matcha soft serve ice-cream on top, which is something I need to go back for and try!
There’s also iced Matcha Spanish Latte, Matcha Salted Cream Latte, Tropical Matcha Fruit Soda, and Matcha Lemonade for P210 each, and a Matcha Frozen Lemonade (P205). For something heavier, there’s Matcha Banana Smoothie (P210), Matcha Protein with Milk (P350), Matcha Protein with Banana Smoothie (P350), Hojicha Protein with Milk (P350), and Hojicha Protein with Banana Smoothie (P350).
Don’t worry, coffee junkies are welcome here, too! The Matcha Tokyo offers Americano (P140), Cafe Latte (P190), Cappuccino (P190), Cafe Mocha (P200), Spanish Latte (P195), Salted Cream Latte (P195), Espresso Soda (P220), and Coffee Frozen Latte (P210).
As for the rest of the sweets, there’s Matcha Soft Ice Cream, Strawberry Matcha Choux, Matcha Marble Cake, Matcha Milk Jam Croffle, Matcha French Flan, and Dorayaki (P150).
The Matcha Tokyo is located on the ground floor of Mitusokshi Mall on 8th Ave. corner 36th St., Grand Central Park, North BGC, Taguig City. The mall, which also houses Mendokoro Ramenba’s newest branch and Fully Booked’s Kinokuniya Bookstore, is open from 11 am to 10 pm. – Rappler.com