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Retail
Published: 2 Oct 2014

Matcha To Go: Tea in Transit

MatchaBar is a new café in Brooklyn, New York that turns the traditional, time-honoured Japanese rituals regarding preparing and serving matcha tea on its head. Instead, matcha-infused beverages are served to busy customers in a modern coffee shop environment, including takeaway cups.

Devised by American brothers Max and Graham Fortgang, the café's design concept – featuring vintage wallpaper and heavy stone arches – is inspired by the traditional teahouses in the Lower East Side of the city, where intricate tea ceremonies are often performed in which the green matcha leaves are ground into a fine powder that is then whisked into a frothy tea.

However, adding a layer of modernity and convenience to the ancient ritual, MatchaBar uses electric mixers to blend matcha powder into drinks such as iced matcha tea, while the more traditional aspects of the interior have been countered with metal stools where customers can wait for their drinks.

For those who want to sit down and eat, the café also provides wi-fi and a large table at the back with power sockets – a smart nod to the value of appealing to a growing mobile workforce. See Commuter Stores in our Roaming Retail Industry Trend.

Also appealing to the growing consumer demand for quality food on the go (as explored in Fast-Moving Premium Consumption in our Future of Food Industry Trend report), the café sells gourmet sandwiches, salads and metal tins of ground matcha powder sourced from an independent farm in Nishio, Japan.

For more on the rise of tea-dedicated store concepts, see Tea Stores Come of Age and Time for Tea: The Rise of the New Tea Shops.

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