Just steps from the Morgan stop on the Pink and Green lines is a heavenly place.
And if you don't believe this writer about Matcha Cita (1017 W. Lake St., with an additional spot at Studio Three at 648 N. Clark St.; www.matchacitachi.com ), all one has to do is look up. It literally says "Matcha Made in Heaven."
Following a popular pop-up stint in Lincoln Park in 2021, Matcha Cita opened a permanent location in April 2022 in the West Loop. Founded by Bianca Pearson with co-owner Vincent Lujan, Matcha Cita was born out of Pearson's love of matcha and stylish interior design. There are plenty of Instagram-worthy spots in the cafeand the dishes and drinks deserve spots on social media as well. There's even a photo booth in the back behind a door that reads "Press for Matcha."
"The pop-up did phenomenally well; lines were out the door," Pearson told Windy City Times. "Immediately I started looking [for a spot] and I had my eye on this West Loop location for a long time. It was beautiful already; I fought for it and I got it."
As for how she even became so interested in matcha (a type of powdered green tea that's loaded with antioxidants), blame/credit COVID. "So during the [pandemic], I did get COVID," Pearson admitted. "I couldn't drink coffee; it was the most disgusting thing I ever had in my lifethat and Pepsi. But I could drink Coca-Cola and matcha. I needed caffeine so I got into matchaand there were no matcha cafes. Actually, there are no matcha cafes in the Midwest that focus on what we focus on."
Highlights at Matcha Cita include hot and iced matcha drinks like the Bluetiful, with matcha, blue spirulina, blueberry and vanilla almond milk; the Pink Senorita, which contains matcha, strawberry, pitaya and coconut milk; and the popular Purple Haze, with matcha, lavender, CBD and oat milk. Smoothies include Hydration Station (with strawberry, pineapple, mango and coconut water), Matcha Matcha Man, Espress Yourself (with almond butter, espresso, almond milk and Nutella) and even Green Latifah (with spinach, pineapple, mango, matcha and coconut water).
Guests can customize their drinks with fun accessories ranging from $1.95 to $3.95 including Make Me Pretty (collagen), Make It Lucky (Lucky Charms), Make Me Mellow (CBD), Make Me Strong (protein) and Make It Matcha (matcha, naturally). Seasonal highlights include a pumpkin spice matcha horchata with pumpkin spice, cinnamon, matcha and vanilla almond milk (and it's absolutely divine); and a brown sugar cardamom matcha latte with cardamom, brown sugar, choice of milk, and matcha.
There are plenty of food options as well. The Pitaya Bowlwith blended pitaya, strawberry, banana and vanilla almond milkis very filling and delicious. Some of the other items include lox toast; bruschetta consisting of avocado toast with tomatoes, feta and a balsamic drizzle served on multigrain bread; and sweet treats such as a pumpkin cheesecake chocolate bar, various muffins and even silver and pink champagne lollipops. (Note: The River North site has mostly more healthful options; after all, it's in a fitness facility.)
A play on and reference to the timeless coffee date, Matcha Cita roughly translates to "matcha date" in Spanish. Make a date to go there, even if it's by yourself. By the way, say hello to Connor if he's working while you're there; he's one of the nicest people on the planet.
Note: This visit was arranged.