Matcha Tea & Dessert Pre-Launch
Before the Thanksgiving Weekend (for all you non-Canadians, Thanksgiving is in October for Canada), I had the wonderful opportunity of attending Matcha Tea & Dessert‘s Pre-Launch event.
Matcha Tea & Dessert is a soon-to-be new cafe place in Toronto, serving a combination of tea and matcha desserts. They were actually a vendor at this year’s Sweetery Toronto! (You can read about that here.) Greeted and hosted by the nicest and friendliest people, Ivan and Athena explained how Matcha Tea & Dessert began and the origin of matcha. We were given this delicious Hot Matcha Uji Tea.
Owner Chris (I forgot his last name!) travelled to Taiwan and Japan to learn more about matcha and tea, then brought it over to Canada. As a result, Matcha Tea & Dessert was born!
Here are couple of fun facts about matcha that I learned:
- There are two types of matcha
- Ceremonial matcha is a brighter green. To reach this bright green colour, in its processing, it is kept in the shade for three weeks to allow the green hue from the chlorophyll to be more vibrant.
After we learned about the development behind Matcha Tea & Dessert and matcha, Ivan and Athena walked us through the set up for the event. It was split into two parts:
- Tea Tasting Experience
- Food Tasting
Tea Tasting Experience
In the Tea Tasting Experience, Ivan and Athena got us to play a little game. There were six different teas for us to try and we had to guess what each tea was based trying the tea and the loose leaf.
For each tea we guessed correctly, we received a voucher for a free drink. Andddddd, we were allowed to help each other. This was a plus for me since I’m not really a tea drinker. I ended up correctly guessing three of the six teas.
Here are the teas we tried (and some fun facts!):
- Ken Ting
- Lishan Oolong
- Grown in high mountain areas
- Wen Shan
- Has a sweet after taste
- From Taiwan
- Oolong Sencha
- Osmanthus Oolong
- Used in weddings. Is the tea symbolizing love and romance.
- Earl Gray
It was really difficult to figure out which tea was what, especially the oolongs. All the oolongs had a very herbal taste and earthy aroma, which is very similar to tea served in Chinese restaurants. I was pretty much randomly guessing for them. Besides Earl Gray, Ken Tang was the easiest to determine; it had a fruity sweetness to it and its loose leaf had the exact same smell.
For the last part of the event, we got to sample some of the desserts that will be on the menu. Here’s what we were to be sampling for the Pre-Launch.
“Finely graded matcha hot drink”
This was the tea (first photo in this post) that we were given when we first arrived. Served hot, this matcha tea is sweet and a bright green. (I believe this was using the ceremonial matcha.) I’m not a huge matcha person, as the matcha that I’ve been consuming give off an earthy aftertaste, but this matcha tea was not only sweet but had a creamy texture to it. I quite liked it and it gave me a nice kick for 11:00 in the morning.
Matcha Hokkaido Lava Cake
“A magma of matcha ooze that flows down the slopes of the chiffon cake”
I was kind of disappointed to try this again. It was one of the items served at Sweetery Toronto. This one didn’t taste much different than the one at Sweetery. It was light in taste and not too sweet. I did find the “lava” part to be less runny, which I preferred. It made it easier and less messy to eat.
Matcha Red Bean Swiss Roll
“Matcha flavoured swiss roll cake enclosed with sweet succulent red bean”
If you’ve had Asian Swiss Roll cakes before, this was nothing new. It had an outershell of matcha flavoured cake and a creamy red bean filling. The cake was light, soft, and not sweet at all. But I couldn’t taste the matcha. The red bean filling didn’t have that red bean punch I was looking for. I think it would have been better if the red bean wasn’t in chunks and was blended with the cream. However, I think this item would pair nicely with a warm matcha tea.
Matcha Cheese Foam
“A balance of saltiness and richness of cheese matcha drink”
Apparently Cheese Foams are a thing? I didn’t know that until the other food bloggers were telling me that a lot of other Asian food places were doing this as well. When I saw “cheese” and out came a drink, it really had me skeptical. It’s a cold drink with two prominent layers. The top layer of the drink is blended cream cheese, heavily sprinkled with matcha.
The bottom layer is the matcha tea part (Duh!) and you’re supposed to drink it at a 45 degree angle to achieve the taste of both layers together. The drink is also served cold because it’s easier to separate the layers in a colder condition. Like the Hot Ujicha, this drink is sweet. The cream cheese gave it some savoury taste, but the sweet matcha taste overpowered it. I know some didn’t like how sweet it was, but it was the perfect kind of sweet for me. However, I could only ingest so much sugar for 11:00 in the morning. It is pretty looking though 😀
Matcha Sesame Twist Soft Serve
Unfortunately, their soft serve machine wasn’t working so we didn’t get to try this 🙁 BUT, we did receive a voucher for a free ice cream when the place officially opens! With the sesame mix, it sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it!
While it was a lot of sugar to handle in the morning, I did enjoy what I ate and drank. I’m not a big matcha person but this event has made it grow on me. I just need it to be sweet rather than earthy tasting. The Hot Ujicha was my personal favourite out of all the items we tried. It was the perfect thing to have for a beautiful autumn day. I do see the Matcha Cheese Foam and Matcha Hokkaido Lava Cake being big hits once the place opens. One thing that was a plus for me was the place’s decor. I really liked the wallpaper used – it was a black and white grid of Chinatown in Toronto.
Overall, I had a great time at the Matcha Tea & Dessert Pre-Launch. I got to meet more foodies and put faces to Instagram handles 🙂
If you’re a matcha lover, hit up Matcha Tea & Dessert when it opens. The place is located at 407 Spadina Avenue in Chinatown. The place’s grand opening is October 29th. Mark that date in your calendars! And don’t forget to follow them on Instagram (@matchateadessert)!