Green tea lovers, here are 4 places to get great matcha desserts around Seattle
If you’ve ever seen a bright green drink on the counter at your local cafe, you’ve probably seen matcha – the current star of the tea world, praised for its health benefits and ability to provide caffeine without the jitters.
Finely ground green tea leaves date back centuries to countries like Japan and China and are traditionally combined with hot water to create matcha. In recent years, tea has seen a peak in popularity on this side of the Pacific – and now you can find matcha-flavored products (ice cream, donuts, cakes, lattes, and even cocktails!) Coffee.
Some might find the grassy flavor of matcha a bit too earthy on its own – but turned into a dessert, with common base flavors of vanilla and cream, it becomes an interesting bicultural descent between European desserts and Asian flavor profiles. .
Here are some of my favorite places to get matcha desserts around Seattle, listed in order of lightest to strongest green tea flavor.
11 am-5pm Monday to Friday, 11 am-6pm Saturday-Sunday; 600 Fifth Ave. S., Seattle; inside Uwajimaya; dochicompany.com. (There is also a location in Tukwila at 17348 Southcenter Parkway – inside Lam Seafood Market.)
If you’ve ever seen the fun bubble-shaped donuts floating around the Instagram profile of a Seattle food influencer, then you’ve probably seen Dochi’s donuts. Dochi means “mochi donut” and it is a Japanese version of the traditionally fried American donut. The bubble ring shape of these treats allows for easy sharing with friends (or yourself, no judgment here).
I recently tried the s’mores dochi matcha ($ 2.75), which had a pleasantly sweet flavor profile that reminded me of a classic vanilla glazed donut. The dochi carries a hint of marshmallow and graham cracker from the embellishments affixed to the bubble ring with the light green matcha frosting. With a soft and chewy interior (thanks to the rice flour used), this dochi matcha is the perfect introduction to matcha desserts.
Noon-4 p.m. Tuesday, noon-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 2224 N. 56th St., Seattle; instagram.com/hirokidesserts
Hiroki is a particularly quaint bakery in Wallingford. Jazz music drifts down the street from the blue brick walls of the small cafe, and tables with wicker chairs line the entrance in true Parisian style. With overflowing flower baskets and an alfresco chalk menu, Hiroki draws guests inside before they even glimpse the glass display full of various cakes, cheesecakes, and pastries.
Of course, I tried the Green Tea Tiramisu ($ 6.75), their signature matcha dessert. With its delicate creaminess, this tiramisu carries a hint of cream cheese flavor with the earthy side of green tea. Its light and melting sweetness makes it the perfect matcha dessert for those who want a less assertive green tea flavor.
7 am-2pm every day; 1112 Fourth Avenue, Seattle; tracemarketseattle.com
Matcha is typically blended with nutty flavors, a technique that highlights its earthy profile. The Matcha Coconut Scone ($ 4) from TRACE Market is well balanced. The sugar and frosting soften the natural bitterness of the matcha, and the coconut flakes add a unique textural element. This scone could easily be enjoyed with an almond or coconut milk matcha latte to complement its base flavors.
Nana’s green tea
11 am-8pm every day; 1007 Stewart St., # 103, Seattle; nanasgreenteaseattle.com
Consider Nana’s Green Tea as the ultimate mecca for matcha lovers. With just about any type of matcha in drink form (I’m talking hot, iced, mixed or even combined with soda or ice cream) to various matcha concoctions, Nana has it all.
Jessmin Lau, owner of Nana’s Green Tea in Seattle, introduced the Japanese franchise to the United States in 2018. Lau says the brand is so popular in Japan that it’s similar to what Starbucks is in America. Today, Seattle’s location is unique in more than one way – it’s the only Nana’s in the United States, and it’s the only Nana’s in the world where you can find a cream puff in the United States. matcha.
And find a matcha cream puff that I made. On a recent visit to Nana’s, I tried two desserts – the matcha cream puff and the matcha cake (both $ 5.75). The matcha cream puff is an explosion of matcha flavor. The top of the puff pastry is dusted with green tea powder, highlighting the nooks and crannies of the crackle cookie crumble crust. Inside the cream puff, the flaky layers of dough create a delicate and airy pocket, perfect for filling with bright green matcha cream. The matcha cream carries the traditional bitterness of green tea, along with a hint of its familiar grassy profile and nutty undertones. A bite of matcha cream and puff pastry is balanced and satisfying. If you are a serious matcha lover, then Matcha Cream Puff is for you – of all the desserts I have tried, it had the strongest green tea flavor.
Matcha cake is satisfying to look at and even more satisfying to eat. Although it looks dense, the matcha cake turns out to be light and chewy. The sweet cream swirl has a slight taste of cream cheese and has a dollop of super concentrated matcha cream in the middle.
Lau’s decision to bring Nana’s to Seattle stems from his visit to a Nana’s in Japan. She says she didn’t even like matcha before trying Nana’s – after all, she’s a heavy coffee drinker. She knew that if matcha-centric coffee could convert someone like her, then it would be a success.
In a city infamous for its coffee, I think Lau had the good idea to introduce a new wave of emerald.