Already a key feature in specialty cafes and gluten-free confectioneries, whether in cakes or superfood latte, matcha is the main focus at Matcha Tsuki, a new Japanese-style tearoom and café on downtown Kálvin tér.
In Western Europe and the Far East, matcha has a real cult following. Originally
from China, this green tea is said to be the most antioxidant plant in Japan.
Matcha is the only type of tea where the whole leaf is consumed – the powder
made from it is what goes into the drink.
Matcha culture, significant in Japan for centuries, has received a new impetus in recent decades, thanks to its extremely significant positive physiological effects.
Tea and cakes made with matcha are more and more common in Budapest as well, but so far they have only featured in specialty cafes and gluten-free confectioneries. Now there’s a place dedicated to match alone.
Gyula Almásy, owner and founder of Matcha Tsuki, just opened on Kálvin tér, has been planning his matcha mecca for two years. That’s how it took to develop the concept, invent and sample the desserts and drinks now on offer.
He knew from the first minute that, like all trendy products, there were plenty of qualitative differences in matcha, but he only wanted premium quality in his business. Gyula and his business associates spent two weeks in Japan sourcing the right matcha – they even worked on a tea plantation to learn everything about this green gold.
Quality above all
“Matcha is a sought-after product. Walk into any shop or pharmacy selling health-conscious products, you will immediately come across matcha biscuits, shower gels and drinks. So there is a demand for it, but the quality still leaves much to be desired in many places. We work with three different premium matcha powders – the most expensive is tea, but still the matcha used in the cakes and other drinks is still high-quality.”
And there is really no shortage of cakes and drinks on offer, scanning
the counter and the drinks list gives you the feeling that whatever can be derived
from the green powder can be found here.
The main products include hot and cold drinks,, whole cakes, and traditional and sugar-free little matcha cakes. In summer you can choose from several types of ice cream.
Hot drinks are not limited to matcha latte, obviously included, but espressos, cappuccinos, macchiatos, flat whites and matcha hot chocolates, as well as traditional matcha premium tea or ceremonial tea. Prices range from 590 to 990 forints.
If someone comes for a cake and does not want to overdo the matcha intoxication, they can also order traditional coffee, sourced from the Mizaru Manufactory.
There are also two main types for cakes: traditional and sugar-free. Traditional doesn’t mean classic Hungarian – they basically follow the new wave and French confectionery trends, but you can also find cakes cooked with sugar, gluten and dairy products.
Although the recipes have been experimented with by Gyula and his business partners, they work with a supplier. Cakes come from Espressoul.
They also devised the cakes free of sugar, gluten and dairy products but the person who put their ingredients into action is a true authority on the subject – the name of Kitti Sőtér from Plantmilkyway is a guarantee that you can taste healthy, delicious desserts here.
We sampled a couple – you can really feel that good-quality matcha is integral to these products, not a diluted imitation. If you're a beginner, feel free to ask at the counter which dessert is made with less matcha.
For example, the white-chocolate mango mousse (1,090 HUF) is a lighter piece, with no added sugar, while the matcha mousse cake (990 HUF) has a stronger flavour.
Although it’s well into autumn, if you want something really special, choose from the cold matcha refreshments, matcha tonic (890 HUF) and sweeter, exciting matcha ginger beer (990 HUF).
By the way, the name Matcha Tsuki wasn’t hit upon because it sounded
vaguely Japanese and was close to the Hungarian word for ‘cute’. In the Land of
the Rising Sun, Tsuki is vaguely linked to the word for ‘luck’.
If luck does come their way in these trying times, then the owners hope that there may be more outlets like them around town and in the provinces. For the time being, it’s great to have so many quality matcha products on our doorstep.
District V. Kálvin tér 2
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-7.30pm, Sun 9am-7pm