Hey Matcha Lover!
I'm so glad you found this post because no one wants to drink a clumpy matcha!
I had my first matcha latte (that I can remember) at Peet's Coffee back in 2012. I didn't really know what it was, but I liked it and would occasionally get it before work. Fast forward to 2016 or so when matcha started showing up a bit more, and I became more interested. Come 2017, I started making matcha lattes almost daily. I was addicted! I AM addicted! There are so many incredible health benefits and it's a great substitute if you're trying to drink less coffee. I even hosted a matcha demo in 2018 because I love the stuff so much. I still make them almost daily, but I also love to treat myself to one at a coffee shop here and there which means I am always on the hunt for the best ones be it here in LA or while traveling.
In March 2018 I started creating this beautiful and elaborate matcha guide to LA. A bunch of stuff happened, time passed, details on the guide became outdated and I eventually gave up on it. It's something I still think about often as I sip my daily matcha, so I'm bringing it back! Just, in the form of this blog, not a fancy guide - for now. However, this will be easier to update with the most relevant information going forward - a win for all of us!
Given that I have tried many (the good and the bad!) I now present you with:
My Guide to Matcha in LA!
Here are some of my favorites:
Matcha: Their own sourced from a family farm in Japan
If you're on Instagram, you've probably seen Alfred. They have GREAT marketing. They also have great drinks. They have coffee shops (which serve matcha) as well as a super cute tea room with even more matcha options. They also have one of the more reasonably priced matcha lattes in the city, although some drinks can get pricey there! (I'm referring to the chagaccino specifically, which is so worth it!). And if you're visiting LA, your chances of spotting a celeb at one of their locations is very high.
Matcha: Their own
I'm so glad Cha Cha Matcha has made its way west from New York! It's super Instagrammable and kind of a scene, but don't let that stop you! They have a crazy variety of delicious matcha drinks and foods. I love their lightly sweetened matcha nitro - so creamy. They have plenty of milk alternatives, matcha soft-serve, donuts, waffles, toasts, etc. Definitely worth checking out!
Matcha: Their own sourced directly from farmers they work with in Japan
This place is a newer discovery for me and I'm in love! Like Cha Cha, It's also instagrammable and their matcha is tasty! They offer other unique lattes that I highly recommend as well. They also have lots of vegan goodies in a cold case. It's small inside, but there are some seats and a nice-sized patio out front!
This is one of my favorite matcha lattes in the city! I get it hot with oat milk and it's so creamy and earthy. A bit pricey, especially with the $1 charge to use non-dairy milk. They also have vegan + gluten-free baked goods. They offer a good amount of seating and free wi-fi - I've had meetings and done work here before!
Formally Neon Coffee - I think this place is underrated! I love Mizuba matcha, and they prepare it well. They have many amazing drinks, offer a seasonal/themed menu, and carry vegan baked goods! The only downside is they only have one person working every time I go in which can cause a wait sometimes. They have some seating, but it's not the type of place I would stay to do work. As of June 2019, they now have a small location in West Hollywood!
Matcha: Ippodo Tea
Ippodo Tea is a great, high-quality matcha, making their drinks super legit! They have tables and wi-fi to do work and also plants for sale. If you're a coffee drinker, they always have the best selection of Heart coffee for sale (my fave!). Bonus points because it's next to a vegan deli and market!
Matcha: Kilogram Tea
Intelligentsia was the first place that ever used Oatly, and I think oat milk is the best for lattes! They also serve oat milk as an option by the milk carafes which is amazing! I almost didn't add them to the list (they whisk in the cup with a tiny metal whisk that leaves lots of matcha clumps), but it is a place that has grown on me and I really do enjoy the occasional matcha from there because it is tasty despite the clumps. Their Hollywood location also has matcha on nitro. Plus, most of their locations have plenty of seating to get some work done!
Matcha: Art of Tea
They premake a matcha syrup that is already sweetened. While it's good, I wish there was an unsweetened option. They have vegan baked goods and offer vegan options for their breakfast menu! Some gluten-free stuff too. The woman who owns it is also super sweet and there's such a good vibe here. And the best part? No charge for milk alternatives!
Matcha: Ippodo Tea (UPDATE: I believe they now source their own from Uji, Kyoto)
This is another newer coffee shop that I have fallen in love with. They have a small, minimalist, and inviting space. They have a standard matcha latte that isn't my favorite, however, they have a ceremonial matcha menu that is amazing! They offer vegan baked goods on certain days, tea tastings, and a wall with the coolest packaged items for sale. They also have a vegan hong kong mylk tea which is amazing!
Matcha: Kilogram Tea
The matcha latte here is pretty pricey, especially with the non-dairy milk charge, however, I love posting up here with my computer! There is always table space (sitting and standing), plenty of outlets, and the matcha is decent. It's not the type of place I grab a matcha to-go, only drink it if I'm there working. FYI, no vegan food options.
If you're not paying close attention, you might miss this small coffee shop in the middle of buildings downtown. They have a good matcha latte as well as a cloud matcha with fluffy coconut cream and other vegan coffee drinks. They even carry vegan baked goods and snacks from Yvonne's Vegan Kitchen!
I used to go out of my way to go to the La Canada location because it's at the foothills of the mountains and so beautiful. Then they opened a Silverlake location close to me and I started going there more. They make a tasty matcha (certain baristas make it better than others) and they have a few vegan baked goods. Plus, the owner is super nice!
Matcha: Their own
Matchabar is another New York establishment that made its way west! It's a small cafe on Sunset in a great area of Silverlake. They have a variety of unique drinks incorporating coconut water, adaptogens and more. They also offer many non-dairy milk options with varying prices. They have a small selection of vegan food options.
Triniti (Echo Park) - CLOSED
Triniti was the first place to introduce me to the Matchaeologist brand which is delicious! They have a small space and a unique food menu with a couple of vegan options, just ask.
Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know below in the comments!
Other places I haven't been to, but may be worth checking out!
American Tea Room (Downtown)
Barista Society (Downtown)
Midori Matcha (Little Tokyo)
Nothing But Coffee (Koreatown)
And if you're someone who likes making matcha at home, here are my must-haves for that.
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