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How to Make 4 Excellent Iced Matcha Drinks (Including One With Froot Loops!)

Matcha Box in Los Angeles is making some of the best matcha drinks around. Learn the cafe's signature recipes.

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Matcha Box's off-menu Milky.
Matcha Box's off-menu Milky.
Wonho Frank Lee

Considering Los Angeles' closer proximity to Japan and the city's love for healthful cuisine, it's surprising that Manhattan kicked off this country's matcha bar boomand it wasn't until this past July that the City of Angels scored one of its own.

Alissa White, who operates online matcha shop Matcha Source (and has been doing so pre-matcha explosionsince 2006), decided to repurpose her retail tea shop on West Third Street into Matcha Box, a sleek, minimalist-designed nook that shakes a bevy of awesome, made-to-order matcha-based elixirs.

For those unaware, matcha is the antioxidant-rich powder made from select ground green tea leaves. The drink counts centuries of tradition, as it was (and still is) the customary brew prepared during Japanese tea ceremonies dating back to the 12th century. Yet, in the last year or so, Americans looking of a healthy coffee alternative have turned to matcha, whether it's prepared in the classic form (whisked with hot water) or shaken into a milky latte. Or even spiked with booze.

Noting imbibers' growing interest in matcha, though believing that many consumers still don't really know how to prepare the drink at home, White decided to open a user-friendly cafe to introduce Angelenos to contemporary and whimsical plays on the drink, in the form of matcha almond milk lattes, matcha-mint tea and even an off-menu special that incorporates ... Froot Loops.

Preparing matcha, be it hot or cold, seems straightforward enough. Simply mix (or whisk) the powder with water. But Matcha Box embraces a few small tricks which have a big impact on the final drinks. For one, White shakes together all her cold drinks with ice in a traditional cocktail shakeran easy, yet smart way to blend ingredients at home. For drinks like her almond milk latte, she uses a high quality almond milk, in this case Mylk. from local LA juice bar Renew Juicery, and she froths that milk with a Nespresso machine (and yes, it froths!).

Below, White shares recipes for her hit matcha drinks.

Basic Matcha Box Iced Tea

Frank

This makes an excellent cold-brewed iced matcha tea and serves as the basis for all Matcha Box iced drinks.

2 teaspoons Gotcha Matcha Cafe Grade Matcha Tea
8 ounces filtered water
ice

Combine powder, water and ice in a martini shaker. Shake well. Pour over fresh ice into a tall glass. Emjoy immediately

OPTIONAL: "Express" the tea flavor in hot water by whisking matcha powder in a tea bowl with about 2 ounces of hot water. Blend well. Then transfer tea to martini shaker, add 6 more ounces of water and shake well to cool the drink. Adjust proportions to taste.

All photos by Wonho Frank Lee

Iced MATCHA With Lemon and Mint

10 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Gotcha Matcha Cafe Grade Matcha Tea
8 ounces filtered water
ice

Muddle mint leaves, lemon juice and matcha in cocktail shaker. Add water and ice. Shake and serve. Adjust proportions to taste.

Matcha Almond Milk Latte

Frank

2 tsp Gotcha Matcha Cafe Grade Matcha Tea
8 ounces filtered water
ice
3 ounces almond milk

Combine powder, water and ice in a martini shaker. Shake well. Pour over fresh ice into a tall glass. Top drink with frothed almond milk. Sweeten to taste.

The Milky

1/2 cup Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles or Cocoa Puffs, divided
1/2 cup almond milk or whole organic milk plus two ounces milk of choice, frothed
2 teaspoons Gotcha Matcha Cafe Grade Matcha Tea

Crush about 1/4 cup Fruit Loops or Fruity Pebbles or Cocoa Puffs in a cocktail shaker. Add 1/2 cup milk of choice and shake to blend. Set aside.

Prepare a matcha shot with 2 ounces hot water and 2 teaspoons matcha powder. Whisk the tea and water together with a bamboo whisk until all the powder is smooth and well blended.

Froth remaining 2 ounces of milk.

In a tall glass, add remaining 1/4 cup cereal and ice. Pour the cereal milk first, then add matcha shot. Top with frothed milk. Garnish with a few extra pieces of cereal.

Matcha Box

8036 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (310) 845-9392

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