In our last article, we learned about how new Japanese tea trends got started. This second installment is all about some of the newest matcha experiences that have come to Japan in recent months.
Some famous global companies are celebrating the matcha and green tea trends by including Japanese matcha and green tea in their newest product lineups in Japan, where the craze all began. Here’s what we’re finding.
Häagen-Dazs opens a pop-up restaurant featuring green tea courses
For two weeks in April and May 2019, Häagen-Dazs treated Tokyo to a pop-up restaurant called “Matcha Salon.” The ice cream manufacturer wanted to celebrate its 35 years in Japan and to thank its Japanese customers for inspiring its Häagen-Dazs matcha-flavoured ice cream—which is now outselling even its famous vanilla ice cream.
The six-course menu was inspired by Häagen-Dazs’s matcha-flavoured ice cream, which was the first flavour Häagen-Dazs created specifically for the Japanese market 35 years ago. Each course was a testament to the versatility of matcha, with every dish indulging the Japanese trend to experience the five senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch.
Shake Shack caters to Japanese love for Uji matcha
On April 1, 2019, US-based Shake Shack opened its 14th store in Japan—this one located in Kyoto. You might think the April opening isn’t cause to create a big stir. Unlike other locations, however, this new Shake Shack will offer an exclusive shake and dessert catering specifically to its trendy Japanese customers.
• Shake Shack’s Uji Matcha Shake incorporates quality powdered matcha into its classic vanilla shake, infusing the fresh aroma, flavour and colour of green tea into this favourite treat.
• The Kyoto Cookie Cr ete merges Shake Shack’s famous Crete frozen custard with Uji matcha. Topping the dessert is a marshmallow sauce, dried strawberries, and matcha chocolate cookies from Jouvencelle (ジュヴァンセル), a local café famous for its green tea sweets.
Mister Donut launches five matcha-infused donuts and Danishes
Mister Donut (a donut shop founded in the USA in 1956 and now headquartered in Japan with more than 1,300 stores worldwide) is honouring the loyalty of its Japanese market by creating five new donuts and Danishes especially for matcha-loving customers. From April 5 through mid-June, Japan’s beloved donut chain is catering to the Japanese trend for new tastes and textures. Sourcing high-quality matcha from Kyoto’s Gion T sujiri ( 祇園辻利), the donut maker has created five exclusive new offerings for its Japanese customers during this limited time. Let’s hope that the Japanese and these matcha-loving companies export these delightful products to the rest of us in the global market real soon! In the next (and the last) article of this three-part series, I will share with you the latest trendy tea products in Japan. Stay tuned!
Kei Nishida is a Japanese green tea enthusiast, a writer, and the founder and CEO of Japanese Green Tea Company. His passion for introducing America to the tea of his homeland was the catalyst for creating the only company that brings high-quality tea from Arahataen Green Tea Farms to the rest of the world.