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Matcha in NYC: 9 creative concoctions

For a healthy addition to your diet that packs a punch, think green. And no, we're not talking about your good old green tea, but its powdered cousin, matcha.

Like green tea, matcha gives you a caffeine boost while also being high in antioxidants. But because it is the whole leaf ground into a powder, versus tea leaves that are then seeped or strained, you get the added benefits of ingesting the whole plant.

"Matcha provides all the awesome perks of green tea -- metabolism boost, strong anti-cancer, powerful antioxidant -- intensified," said Lauren Slayton, founder of the Manhattan-based nutrition practice Foodtrainers, who pointed to a 2003 University of Colorado at Colorado Springs study that found that the concentration of EGCG, a potent antioxidant, is 137-times greater in matcha than a standard green tea.

If you're looking to incorporate more matcha into your life, the powder can be used for tea (just whisk it in near-boiling water until you have a foam), or easily blended in smoothies. You can also add the versatile ingredient to water when cooking quinoa or brown rice, or even baked goods like banana bread, recommended Slayton.

"Matcha has a mellower, less bitter flavor than green tea," said Slayton, who likes the DoMatcha brand. "Plus, it's a really pretty color."

The powdered green tea is also popping up all over town, from drinks like lattes and cocktails to even desserts. Pastry Chef Becca Punch recently introduced a green tea and lemon custard with matcha crumble on the dessert menu at the Musket Room.

"By adding in the matcha, I'm able to give it a complex, earthy base without being overpowering," said Punch.

Though a matcha macaron may sound tempting, Slayton warns against enjoying too many sweets when you're really looking for a healthy fix.

"A pinch of a healthy ingredient doesn't make a pie any less pie-like -- unless of course the other ingredients are improved too," said Slayton. "Beware of the health halo when something has matcha in its name."

With that caveat in mind, here are creative matcha concoctions available in New York City:

Matcha Chia Glo

This sweet, creamy matcha smoothie also features chia
Photo Credit: Organic Avenue

This sweet, creamy matcha smoothie also features chia seeds, which are a high source of Omega-3. Thanks to the addition of cardamom, it also has a hint of spice.

$7 at Organic Avenue, various locations, organicavenue.com

Wakabu Sochu Sweet Matcha cocktail

This recently opened soba house serves up this
Photo Credit: Daruma-ya

This recently opened soba house serves up this green elixir, which features the green tea powder, as well as shochu, lemon and tonic.

$13 at Daruma-ya, 428 Greenwich St., 212-274-0428,darumaya-nyc.com

Matcha latte and croissant

Matcha is everywhere at this Japanese bakery, though
Photo Credit: Meredith Deliso

Matcha is everywhere at this Japanese bakery, though you can't go wrong with the matcha latte paired with the flaky, creamy croissant with matcha custard, with powder added on top for good measure.

$4.25 latte, $3.25 croissant at Takahachi Bakery, 25 Murray St., 212-791-5550, takahachibakery.com

Matcha Matsu

You can choose from dozens of specialty teas
Photo Credit: Meredith Deliso

You can choose from dozens of specialty teas with unique blends at DAVIDStea, including this matcha powder, served straight up. Whisk the pure powder in near-boiling water and sip, or use to cook in your next meal.

$14.50 for 50 grams at DAVIDStea, 275 Bleecker St., 212-414-8599, davidstea.com

Shiratama Coupe

Red beans, matcha jelly and matcha ice cream
Photo Credit: 15 East

Red beans, matcha jelly and matcha ice cream collide in this epic dessert at Chef Masato Shimitzu's modern Japanese restaurant.

$12 at 15 East, 15 E. 15th St., 212-647-0015,15eastrestaurant.com

Green Tea-ramisu

From frozen drinks to ice cream, matcha is
Photo Credit: Spot Dessert Bar

From frozen drinks to ice cream, matcha is a favorite ingredient at the East Village dessert bar, but this dish has a clever name to boot. Layers of matcha mascarpone cream and ladyfingers soaked in matcha syrup are all topped with matcha powder and white chocolate shaving in the sweet, gluten-free treat.

$5.95 at Spot Dessert Bar, 13 St. Marks Pl., 212-677-5670, spotdessertbar.com

Apple, green tea custard and yoghurt

New pastry chef Becca Punch's debut on the
Photo Credit: The Musket Room

New pastry chef Becca Punch's debut on the menu is this green tea and lemon custard with green apples and lemongrass, matcha crumble, pound cake and yogurt sorbet. It's light and complex all at once.

$13 at the Musket Room, 265 Elizabeth St., 212-219-0764, musketroom.com

Green tea and pistachio macarons

Get a double dose of green goodness at
Photo Credit: O Mervielleux

Get a double dose of green goodness at the Belgian patisserie with this green tea and pistachio macaron.

$2.20 each, $12.90 for five at O Mervilleux, 1509 Second Ave., 646-681-8688, omerveilleux.com

Matcha donut

At Tomoko Kato's newish dessert parlor, French and
Photo Credit: Patisserie Tomoko

At Tomoko Kato's newish dessert parlor, French and Japanese influences collide, from the macarons to the mochi. Matcha is prevalent in many dessert items, including the intriguing glazed donut that would have Homer Simpson drooling. Pair it with the bakery's signature matcha latte ($4.50) for bit of a boost.

$2 at Patisserie Tomoko, 568 Union Ave. in Williamsburg, 718-388-7121, patisserietomoko.com

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