Contributor Maddie Salters visiting the Teapigs pop-up at Boxpark? It’s a matcha made in heaven. Check it out!
Teapigs, the English company founded with an eye for ethics and a taste for good tea, has had a short stint at Boxpark in Shoreditch since last week. Launching on the 16th of January, the popup shop has put a heavy focus on their most popular product: matcha, a delicate powdered green tea from the Nichou region of Japan, packed with flavour and antioxidants. Unit 26 has been transformed, at least for a little while, into a haven for tea and a menu of tasty treats you may never have associated with it.
Counters of matcha-enhanced challah, chocolates, and biscotti greeted me as I arrived for their Matcha Masterclass on Thursday, January 29th. The small space, boasting clean lines decorated over in lime-green posters of the store mascot, “Our Hero!” Mighty Matcha (a tea cup with some serious biceps), welcomes you to an experience that promises to be that elusive blend of delicious and healthy. Right away, I indulged in a slice of matcha cake (a gluten free option, £2), delightfully sweet, with a mossy matcha buttercream frosting. The syrupy thickness of the cake was balanced out nicely by the cream, giving it a baklava consistency while still preserving that distinct deep, gritty taste of the tea. Having it alongside an almond milk matcha latte (£2.50), a smooth drink with a thick head of foam and a natural earthiness, made for a great afternoon treat. For those of who prefer a chilled beverage, Teapigs’ new line of refreshingly infused juices (£1) offer up apple and grapefruit flavours, though my personal favourite was their elderflower mix.
So why matcha? As a Teapigs representative explains, matcha’s vibrant green colour comes from harvesting shade-grown leaves that retain most of their chlorophyl. The result? An energising, metabolism boosting super-food that the Japanese have included in recipes for everything from noodles to ice cream for years. Just one small can of Teapigs matcha takes an hour to produce. And the best way to get all those antioxidants into our bloodstream? Through drinking it.
Here, Natasha Corett from Honestly Healthy stepped on to demonstrate some creative ways to incorporate matcha into daily healthful living. A big personality, she had some handy tips for masking the taste of matcha, for those of us to who want the benefit without the taste. Her recipes including a tangy smoothie of kale, chia seeds, bok choi added to a creamy base of coconut yogurt. If you’re raising a brow at the idea of coconut yogurt blending well with leafy greens, then you aren’t alone. The addition of fruit; melon, apples, or banana; mask the veg up with natural sweetness and create a green juice very drinkable. If you’re more in the mood for dessert, raw cocoa powder, sweet date syrup, a milk of your choice, and matcha powder make for a thick and healthy hot chocolate. Other suggested ingredients? Cashew butter, coconut oil, and Peruvian lucuma powder. Exotic!
I enjoyed getting to touch and taste the raw ingredients in the workshop, the matcha and cocoa powders, both truly flexible flavours. Still, for me, nothing beats a cup of pure matcha itself, added directly to hot water. I’ve started taking the Teapigs’ daily matcha challenge, and so far, so good! So for anyone whose made a healthy living resolution for 2015, this cuppa’s for you.
For a more energised and healthful you, visit Teapigs at Boxpark, Unit 26 (2 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6GY) until Tuesday, February 3rd, or learn more about the matcha challenge and buy online at teapigs.co.uk. Find more healthful recipes at, visit the Honestly Healthy website at honestlyhealthyfood.com.
PROTIP!: Remember to make your matcha with water 80 °C or cooler, so you don’t burn the healthful properties away! A good trick for this is to add cool water to your cup before pouring the boiled water over it.
Written by Maddie Salters, a native New Yorker who has lived abroad for half of her life – from cities spanning Montreal to Osaka. While there’s still a lot on her “to trek” list, she has currently landed with both feet firmly in London. As a seasoned travel writer and cultural essayist, you can find her work on TripAdvisor, and in print in Wanderlust Magazine and other international publications.