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Green signal! Japan’s matcha is Bengaluru’s new cup of tea



BENGALURU: Foodgasm and clean eating — the top two trending terms of the year — have married and birthed matcha desserts. The traditional Japanese green tea is now in chocolates, cupcakes and ice creams. The green tint it lends to the food is hogging the limelight on social media and its antioxidants are garnering hits from conscious foodies.

Misu on St Marks Road launched matcha green tea mousse a week ago. Owner Amit Ahuja imports it at Rs 22,000 per kilo from Japan, exclusively for this dessert. “Instagrammable food sells these days. 50-60% of the crowd at my restaurant wants matcha cupcake because it carries a cool quotient. It helps me increase footfall and keeps me trending in the competitive F&B market,” says Ahuja.

Agrees Chef Mako Ravindran who has introduced matcha and raspberry ice cream meringue cake on his menu at 1Q1. “The power of social media has fuelled the trend. The green colour that matcha brings makes a pretty picture,” says Ravindran, who finds the sales of the dessert peaking during lunch hour.

Traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremonies, matcha or powdered green tea gained popularity worldwide due to its supposed cancer-healing property.

At Smoor, the sesame and matcha dark chocolate bar is the new bestseller. “The full-bodied chocolate with soft sesame and tea aroma is loved. We are soon introducing cupcakes and macarons with matcha too,” says CEO Vimal Sharma.

Shizusan Shophouse & Bar at Whitefield has given this Asian twist to Tiramisu: the sweetness of mascarpone comes layered with the bitterness of matcha.

While creativity is on an all-time high at restaurants with this new found ingredient, food experts admit that the matcha madness will take time to gain traction here. Reason: matcha in dessert is an acquired taste.

Tea addict and food blogger Nikhilesh Murthy said matcha-flavoured choco bar and kitkat chocolate are already circuiting in the dessert market in South Korea. Murthy notes, “Asian ingredients like matcha and ginseng are suddenly exotic now. However, it is still looked upon as an elitist and a mature dessert. The bitter flavour profile of matcha will take time to find fame on the sweet tooth of kids in Bengaluru.”

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