Haven’t heard of the hottest new tea trend, matcha, that’s hitting downtown? Well, Chalait is the new café you should head over to try your first cup!
Nestled on the busy street corner at 224 West 4th Street, Chalait (pronounced ‘Chalet’) in Greenwich Village is a matcha tea lover’s heaven. Coming all the way from Japan, matcha tea leaves are grown in the shade to increase chlorophyll content, which is where the vibrant, rich green color comes from. The tea leaves are then handpicked, steamed, dried and ground into a fine powder.
“Because of this proces,s you’re eating the whole tea weed so you’re getting the fiber, nutrients and it’s really good for you,” said Michelle Gardner, the owner of Chalait.
During her travels through Japan, Gardner was first introduced to matcha and immediately became hooked. She started tasting matcha from all different regions of the country, but her favorite came from Uji, the origin of matcha production. Ever since, Uji is where Gardner gets her matcha from for Chalait.
“Just the way California is our wine region, it’s the same as how the Japanese look at the Uji region for its matcha,” said Gardner. “The taste is phenomenal.”
Wishing to put a western spin on this Japanese tradition, Gardner and her fiancé took the word ‘cha’, which means tea in Japanese, and ‘lait’ meaning milk in French and combined the two, creating the name for their café, Chalait.
This ancient tea drink doesn’t just taste delicious, but it also has an array of health benefits. It’s a cancer-fighter, anti-ager, heart disease preventer, fat burner, stress reducer, energy booster and detoxifier. A single serving of matcha is in fact equivalent to at least 10 cups of brewed green tea.
Along with being matcha experts, Chalait is just as proud of their coffee drinks and simple, healthy and delicious foods.
“I think whats really unique about Chalait is the idea is to make everyone happy and that everyone can walk in and see something they like,” said Gardner. “If you look at our barista skill set we are very capable of producing amazing coffee too.”
Chalait also serves their matcha as a matcha latte, matcha americano, matcha cortado, matcha hot chocolate and more.
To learn more about Chalait, please visit: www.chalait.com.
By- Kelsey Maloney