A matcha-lovers guide to the best in Orange County. I’ll just get it out of the way by saying my favorite matcha is always the one I make myself at home. Mizuba matcha is by far my favorite brand, so that’s what I use. I also always, always go with unsweetened matcha. I can eat all the sugar in the world, but I can’t stand to drink one sip of it. So when on the hunt for good spots, not having
pre-sweetened matcha was my number one criterion.
When I’m on-the-go or need some ~TREAT YO SELF~ vibes, here are my go-to shops:
PORTOLA COFFEE CO.
Like I said, I love Mizuba, so I scope out coffee and tea shops accordingly. Portola has a nice almond milk pairing, and when ordering, they like to cut to the chase. Nothing I love more than a barista who doesn’t want to chit-chat and serves up a perfect cup o’ matcha in record time.
Honestly, I would only go to Kit because it was closest to our house. Even though they also use Mizuba, I will say I don’t love the way they make it as much as Portola, or even some non-Mizuba spots. They do have a nice array of plants to look at while you wait for your drink, which is key because you will always wait at least 5-10 minutes for your drink. Like I said, this place was more convenience for me and my support of Mizuba.
This spot serves Art of Tea matcha and it’s really good! (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t try to persaude them to switch to Mizuba, though. They were testing it out one week so I had to offer my two cents.) This is the only place I would occassionally add sweetener to my matcha. I’m a sucker for anything floral, so here’s my secret sweeteened order: iced almond milk matcha with just under 1/2 pump of rose.
It has the lightest bit of sweetness and the perfect hint of rose.
NEWPORT COFFEE CO.
This was a Sunday ritual for me down in SocAL. Every Sunday when I worked the Farmers’ Market I get myself a hot almond milk matcha from Newport Coffee, Co. I’m usually a strictly iced drinks orderer, so a warm matcha on my chilly Sundays at the pier was a treat I looked forward to all week. They serve up Tenzo Tea, which is another decent matcha brand. Tenzo makes some funky flavored matchas, like bluberry matcha, which I found just awful, but their original is definitely up to par.
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I’m going to put off sharing the spots I avoid. (For now.) They’re some of the most popular spots! I think it’s funny when places with such high reputations have such shitty coffee or tea.
All people want these days is a neon sign to Instagram. Psh.