Mad for matcha? Matcha Cafe Maiko, a Troy dessert shop dedicated to matcha ice cream and drinks, is a great place to get a fix.
The cafe, an outpost of the Hawaii chain, opened at the start of the pandemic with an Instagram-worthy menu of soft-serve cones, parfaits, tea, and lattes that will leave followers green with envy. The matcha, a naturally bright-green powder made from pulverized green tea leaves, is sourced from Uji, a city on the southern outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. The mecca of matcha, Uji was one of the first places in Japan to cultivate green tea, some of the best in the world.
Along with matcha, the cafe serves hojicha (roasted green tea), and vanilla, strawberry, or ube-taro soft serve, made from purple yams. Mostly everything is made in house, including the ice cream, waffle cones, sponge cakes, and the adzuki bean toppings.
The cafe’s creamy creations can be topped with a paper-thin layer of edible 23.75-karat gold for an additional $3.50. Sound gimmicky? Eating gold leaf is a longstanding tradition in Japan.
And don’t worry. It’s not only tasteless, but it passes through without being absorbed.
Matcha Cafe Maiko is at 5082 Rochester Rd, Troy; website