After years of obsessive-compulsive dessert hunting, I reached to a conclusion that nothing with a matcha flavor would go wrong. I'm definitely not the only one smitten by matcha. Food-forward Instagrammers are snapping pictures of matcha latte (try hashtag #matcha) on the little café tables placed at different corners of NYC, thanks to the booming matcha menu and even specialty matcha cafés.
Matcha, or finely ground powder made from green-tea leaves, is obviously not new; even in NYC, it's been available in select Japanese tea shops for quite some time. Traditionally, matcha requires a slow preparation process: The powder gets placed in a shallow bowl, combined with hot (but not boiling) water, and then whisked so that there are no clumps left behind. The result is a concentrated, electric green-tea that's super-healthy as well as highly caffeinated. The drinkers are sipping for loads of antioxidants and a sustainable energy boost, which means increased metabolism without the jittery after-effect of expresso.
Besides the beverages, Chalait offers amazing sweets and lunch sandwiches. We love its Matcha Coconut Jam Croissant and The East sandwich. It makes a refreshing lunch break to relax in the bright and clean ambience, with a mug of matcha latte in hand.
Beyond the made-to-order in cafés, Chalait is also trying to bring matcha culture to everyday life. Besides selling matcha powder and whisk & stand set for drinkers to DIY at home, it also organizes private event with tea specialists for people to learn more about matcha.
Matcha tastes great on its own, but even more lovely when mixed with steamed milk to make a latte. That explains all the hypes on Chalait, whose name is quite self-explanatory: Cha + Lait.
Chalait is conveniently located at west village, right out of the subway station. Its signature line of matcha green tea beverages follows an espresso-type menu, with drinks like the americano, cortado, and mocha. It's interesting that although the café offers both tea and coffee, the bar is separated into two distinct stations. It really shows Chalait's dedication to perfecting the matcha preparation, which is quite different from making expresso, as mentioned previously.
GRADED BY SYCOMORE