American consumers often like to tinge their indulgences with something they perceive as being good for them. Hence the growing popularity of dark chocolate, albeit enhanced with sugar and fat, and green tea, often sweetened, flavored with fruit and enriched with dairy.
Of particular interest these days is matcha, a powdered Japanese green tea rich in antioxidants. Although traditionally drunk simply mixed with hot water, American consumers are enjoying it with dairy or dairy alternatives that help mitigate the tea’s earthy and bitter notes.
Matcha lattes can be offered as a breakfast drink, perhaps paired with whole-wheat croissants or fruit parfaits, or as a caffeinated afternoon pick-me-up.
Market research firm Datassential reports that mentions of matcha lattes are up 216% on menus over the past four years, with a penetration of 1.6% overall, leaving plenty of runway for growth.
Click through the gallery to learn more about this week’s Flavor of the Week and see how one restaurant is using matcha lattes on its menu.