No longer limited to tea drinking, matcha has become a Vancouver obsession. The finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea continues to show up as a common ingredient in cafés, bakeries, and on dessert menus in and around the city.
When it comes to where to find the best matcha-infused treats in Vancouver, we turned to local foodie Steph Wan, the woman behind the Vancouver-based food blog Candy Complex (and the drool-worthy Instagram account by the same name) to curate her list of her picks for where to find the most delicious renditions of this green tea derivative.
With an Instagram account dotted with images of delicious matcha-infused treats we asked Wan how her love for all things matcha began. Wan explains:
My first taste of matcha was in candy form, an easy introduction to the unique vegetal profile that I’ve grown extremely fond of. I favour green tea and matcha is like green tea on steroids. I find nothing energizes me as quickly as a comforting cup of matcha tea. So I regularly drink a cup of matcha for its health promoting benefits, but love indulging in bold matcha-infused desserts just as much.
We also asked Wan what makes for a great matcha-infused dessert and/or specialty drink. She tells us:
I love a matcha-infused treat that has the green tea powder incorporated into the confection to highlight its distinctive, grassy, and refreshing flavours. I also enjoy the vibrant green hue that is often created and retained to reflect the bold bittersweet favours that pleasantly linger in my mouth.
Selected by Steph Wan of Candy Complex.
“O5 Tea bar caters towards matcha purists who enjoy matcha in its simplest form. Watch tea masters work their magic with only matcha powder, hot water, and a whisk, then experience the smoothest and creamiest cup of matcha tea.”
Address: 2208 West 4th Avenue, Kitsilano
“The matcha latte from Small Victory is comfort in a cup. It’s my favourite pick-me-up when I’m in Yaletown. Try this instead of your usual cup of coffee the next time you visit.”
Address: 1088 Homer Street, Yaletown
“My favourite spot for matcha soft serve is still Bon Crepe inside Konbiniya on Robson. Expect intense matcha flavours and a mild bittersweet aftertaste. This treat calls for all matcha enthusiasts.”
Address: 1238 Robson Street, Downtown
“With a strong emphasis on premium and all-natural ingredients, Doolami offers homemade Matcha Ice Cream with a rich green tea flavour.”
Address: 8030 Granville Street, Marpole
“It’s always a treat visiting Cafe de L’Orangerie in Marpole. Their assortment of Japanese desserts are regularly rotated and all freshly made in-house. No matter if matcha is presented in cake or pudding form, the green tea flavour is always captured and well-balanced. Make sure you try their Matcha White Chocolate Latte as well.”
Address: 1320 West 73rd Avenue, Marpole
“The Green Tea Bingsoo (a mountain of light and fluffy, shaved iced milk with matcha powder, condensed milk, red bean, and mochi pieces) from Snowy Village has my name on it. This treat leans towards the sweet side, but the green tea stays prominent. This Korean dessert can be best described as a matcha latte in shaved ice form.”
Address: 8571 Alexandra Road, Richmond
“Bakery Sate makes a mean Matcha Canelé–a thick caramelized crust with a soft and tender centre is what I’m talking about. Additional temptations include matcha butter cookies and matcha croissants.”
Address: 2879 Commercial Drive
“Gotta love Bubble Queen for their freshly made-to-order Hong Kong-style Matcha Bubble Waffle and Mochi. If you’re up for something sweeter add Oreo pieces to your Matcha Bubble Waffle instead.”
Address: 1180-8888 Odlin Crescent, Richmond
“Choco Coo Cafe is my new found love, a love which goes beyond their masterly latte art. The Matcha Mousse and Matcha Chiffon Cake are both strong in flavour, perfect for matcha enthusiasts like myself.”
Address: 501 North Road, Coquitlam
“I ordered a full size Green Tea Opera from Miku for my birthday last year because that’s how amazing it is. Alternating layers of green tea genoise, matcha butter cream, dark chocolate ganache, azuki bean cream, and hazelnut wafer makes the perfect harmony of flavours. Try the Warm Matcha Chocolate Fondant from sister restaurant, Minami, as well.”
Address: (Miku) 200 Granville Street, Downtown
Address: (Minami) 1118 Mainland Street, Yaletown
“Crackle Creme stirs up pretty wicked Matcha Creme Brûlées but their green-coloured Matcha Liege Waffles are out of this world! Just think aromatic and rich matcha buttery goodness with sweet pockets of white chocolate chunks. Take it to the next level by adding a scoop of homemade Hojicha (roasted green tea) ice cream.”
Address: 245 Union Street, Chinatown
“Last but not least, Basho is the ultimate home of all things matcha. This East Hastings shopfront recreates a whole range of baked goods with a matcha twist. Order a warming matcha latte and try some of my favourites treats, which include Basho’s White Chocolate Matcha Brownie, Mochi Matcha Cupcake, Matcha White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie, and Espresso Matcha Cookie.”
Address: 2007 East Hastings Street, Grandview