Matcha Village is the latest Chinese chain to make its way stateside, with its Sawtelle location opening tomorrow. Japanese-style matcha desserts and drinks have been popular in Los Angeles for some time now, and the folks behind Matcha Village want to introduce Chinese-style matcha to the masses.
“When people say matcha, they automatically associate it with Japan. Japan has really put matcha on the map, but matcha dates back to the Tang Dynasty so we really want to bring it back to its roots and showcase what we can do with Chinese matcha. Our matcha is certified organic,” says store manager Lieon Wang.
Matcha Village, which opened its first outlet in Beijing in 2016, chose Sawtelle as its first U.S. location. It has plans to open 100 stores in the U.S. in the next five years, as well as more locations in China and Dubai.
Matcha refers to the finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. There are seven grades of matcha, which are determined by the quality of its appearance, ingredients, and processing. Matcha Village claims to use the best Chinese matcha available in its desserts, drinks, and more. The company bought several acres of land in China to grow the matcha for its stores and has established medical-grade facilities to process the matcha before it is imported.
“We think of matcha as a health food. None of our items are too sweet. We want matcha lovers to really taste and experience the matcha. Our name in Chinese loosely translates to a gathering place for matcha, so we want matcha lovers to come, learn, and experience matcha with us,” explains Wang.
The most popular item is the matcha mille crepes, which has 69 layers and takes 48 hours to make. The crepe cake has charcoal powder in between the layers of whipped green matcha cream cheese and toasted matcha.
The menu on Sawtelle is nearly identical to Matcha Village’s other locations, and includes the signature Peking duck crepe, matcha soft-serve, matcha tiramisu, matcha soufflé, and matcha tiramisu. Unique to this location are a handful of vegan options and a matcha avocado smoothie to “respect the local LA taste,” says Wang.
Also on the menu is a Southeast Asian delicacy called kopi luwak matcha, a coffee-based drink made from coffee beans that have been consumed and excreted by a civet, a cross between a cat and a raccoon.
Match Village opens on December 7 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and will be open seven days a week. The opening menu is below.
Matcha Village. 2202 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064
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