A&E Coffee and Tea Whips Up a One-Of-A-Kind Matcha Latte

Coffee ought to be one of the most consistent purchases for caffeine connoisseurs in the U.S., but for the weirdos who wince after just one sip of java (me, I’m one of those weirdos), there’s countless other ways to acquire caffeine, one of the most popular being matcha.

Originating in China, but widely produced and beloved in Japan, Matcha has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years. Those more likely to reach for teapot than a coffee pot understand why; the bold, earthy flavor of Matcha is unparalleled in the world of tea.

Matcha powder is derived from powdered, shade-grown green tea leaves. The shaded environment prevents overproduction of chllorophyl. This growing environment is responsible for Matcha’s characteristically bright green color.

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The picked leaves are dried and then ground, traditionally with a mortar and pestle, but now more often with special machinery.

The process for preparing a cup of tea is deeply ritualistic, from the materials used to the whisking technique when combining the powder with water (it clumps very easily). there’s even a special type of whisk, called a Chasen, that’s used for mixing matcha with water.

Respecting tradition is always a virtuous strategy, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a few liberties, especially when you consider the versatility of the this bright green powder. It’s not uncommon to find bright green baked goods, ice cream and smoothies infused with matcha, contributing not only color, but also a bright freshness.

Despite the ingenuity, most matcha products deny the idea of adding other strong flavors to the mix. It’s a risky game given the simultaneously delicate and complex flavor of a high-quality powder.

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It’s a challenge, but A&E Coffee & Tea, a NH-based roastery with cafes in Manchester and Amherst, was up for the challenge. On their menu of January beverge specials, you’ll find what they’re refering to as a “Mocha Matcha,” a matcha latte laced with, you guessed it, chocolate.

It’s a challenge, but A&E Coffee & Tea, a NH-based roastery with cafes in Manchester and Amherst, was up for the challenge. On their menu of January beverge specials, you’ll find what they’re refering to as a “Mocha Matcha,” a matcha latte laced with, you guessed it, chocolate.

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The end result has the mouthfeel of a traditional hot chocolate. The flavor, however, leans bittersweet with an added earthiness from the tea. Calling it Swiss-Japanese fusion may be a stretch, but that’s exactly what it feels like going down.

Drinks with few components rely on balance. Too much cocoa, and this drink would be overly sweet, the matcha flavor lost; not enough, and it would register as little more than a regular matcha latte. The folks at A&E mastered the ratio.

The drink is only available during the month of January so be sure to get pne while it lasts. Find them at 1000 Elm Street in Manchester.

 

References:

Matcha 101 – What It Is and How to Use It

The Growing Popularity of Matcha Green Tea

https://www.pureleaf.com/us/matcha-101-preparation/

 

 

 

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