by Sloane Dakota Tucker
We all know that caffeine fuels our major American cities. But whoever said that it has to be just coffee that fuels you? Personally, I’ve cut coffee out of my diet and switched to green tea, superfood smoothies, and most importantly: matcha.
What is matcha, you ask? Essentially, it’s Japanese green tea powder. It’s delicious, keeps you caffeinated without the jitters, and makes a great base for lattes! While I like to make one every AM, I still need my afternoon kick. Below are some pointers to navigate the matcha scene in my home, Washington, D.C.!
Note: I tend to seek out a matcha that doesn’t have any added sugars. However, a few of these cafes do have sweetened matcha mixes, which I’ve specified. There’s a difference between most green tea lattes (usually made from some kind of concentrate) and matcha.
A Baked Joint/Baked & Wired
These sister shops have collectively been in the city for nearly a decade, specializing in fresh bread, cupcakes, and of course, coffee. I’ve been going to Baked & Wired for years, and A Baked Joint is just as amazing. Not entirely sure when matcha was added to the menu, but I’m glad they did. I tried this latte on a hot day, so I got it iced. For those of you that want to try matcha that’s on the sweeter side, definitely give these shops a try. Their matcha blend includes some sweetness in the powder!
I first tried The Wydown’s matcha latte at their Apollo location and it was perfect, probably because I’m still completely swoony about the space. Every time I get matcha, I like to be a bit obnoxious and ask if the latte is pre-sweetened or not. They had explained to me that it was, but only a tad. I decided to take a chance and it was a perfect amount of sweetness, since I don’t tend to enjoy my coffee or matcha too sweet. The latte was just as good as the atmosphere.
Matcha at Tryst is a godsend, since it’s probably one of my favorite cafes to get a few hours of work done (bless their wifi). Just like all their beverages, it’s served with some animal crackers as an added treat. If you’re looking to try matcha on a busy laptop work day, head over to Tryst. It was definitely the sweetest matcha latte I had on my search, but that’s no worries for your sweet-toothed friend!
The Jrink matcha was hands DOWN the fanciest latte I tried. Jrink started off serving only juices and nut milks, then expanded to smoothie bowls and lattes. Fun fact: only one of Jrink’s lattes actually include coffee. They make all their lattes with their house-made nut milks. Jrink’s matcha is made with their almond milk (including almond, coconut, dates, vanilla, and cinnamon) and a sprinkle of sea salt mixed in. The house-made almond milk really made this latte, and even if you don’t get the matcha, get the almond milk.
I…love…Maketto. It’s definitely one of my favorite spots in the city. I don’t live near Maketto, but I make the commute because it’s always worth it. For some reason, I waited until a couple months ago to try their matcha (probably because their coffee and Beckham lattes are pretty darn amazing, too). Of course, there was zero disappointment. Like all their drinks, it was served with a cookie and a soda water palate cleanser. If you’re having it in-house, the ceramic really does the matcha justice, as well. Maketto is also another spot to set up shop and get some remote work done on one of those coffee shop hustle days.
Sloane Dakota Tucker is a DC local fine art photographer, specializing in portraits all across the spectrum. As a business, she’s cultivating a portfolio of lifestyle and wedding work. As an artist, she aims to meet and work with others that tell specific and inspiring stories through their portraits. You can also follow her on Instagram @slodak.