Matcha Madness

Thanks for checking out our pilot on the gua bao and for your feedback! Feast Meets West launches this week with our first OFFICIAL episode. It’s in Starbucks lattes, it’s in Kit Kats ... we’re talking about matcha, the trendy Japanese powdered green tea.

We kick off the episode with a much-needed introduction of who we are, what we do, and how Lynda dissed Iris in the 5th grade. Rude.

Lynda talks to Graham Fortgang, CEO and Co-owner of MatchaBar in Williamsburg.

“It’s just so hard to educate this early on, and so one of my biggest fears for the category is that someone across the country will go to somewhere like a Starbucks and have a bad first experience. And so part of our mission and why we’re working on more locations is because we’re trying to raise the bar.” - Graham Fortgang on representing matcha in the States.

She also checks out Matcha Cafe Wabi in the East Village and interviews owner Hide Minamida, with Chie Dambara, the social media manager of the cafe, translating for him.

Iris hits up a crazy popular matcha ice cream store in Hong Kong called Via Tokyo and talks to owner Kosei Kamatani. She also tells you what she thinks the next tea trend is going to be. But for now, we’re still riding the matcha madness wave.

“When you have Japanese food in general being popular in a country for decades, then you do, as collateral, get Japanese desserts as well. People, including myself, have expanded on that concept. They see that what was once an afterthought after a meal...they can tailor their concept around it and make it a concept in itself: a matcha-dedicated store.” - Kosei Kamatani on why matcha got so popular worldwide, especially matcha desserts.

We go through the history of matcha (Monks! Shoguns!), how it’s produced, how it’s consumed and what makes it so special. We also talk about how it made its way to the rest of the world. Spoiler alert: it involves health fads, Starbucks and ice cream.

We also go through some of the more interesting matcha products out there. Matcha Kahlua“Luxurious Matcha potato chips”, anyone?

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