Just as some people are addicted to coffee, I am addicted to green tea. However, I think ‘addiction’ is a too strong of a word. I do not drink green tea twice a day in my office while working on research and problem sets, like how others drink their coffee.
I cannot recall the exact time when I started liking green tea. Since I was little, I drank a cup of black tea almost every afternoon. Some of my relatives drink more tea than water. In Indonesian culture, we always serve tea for the guests who come to our house, along with some sweet and savory snacks. Green tea, however, did not reach its fame in Indonesia until the last decade. That is when I started trying out various foods and beverages with green tea and fell in love with them.
All types of green tea are amazing: matcha, sencha, you name it. I am so into green tea, that I am willing to try various combinations of green tea in foods and beverages. I would like to share my favorite spots around MIT and Boston that you should try if you have a green tea addiction like me.
(Where are they? I have made a compilation of the places on Google Maps here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1H-Le64sCehvVoGfuAICk1jxlHQc&usp=sharing.)
The first, and perhaps the closest, is the green tea matcha latte that you can easily get in MIT's Lobby 7 coffee shop. I am not a big fan of coffee, and I always thought that the coffee shop in Lobby 7 only sells coffee, so I never dropped by. However, a few months ago, a good friend of mine told me that they actually serve matcha latte there. Thank God! Now, whenever the weather gets too cold or I need a little motivation, I drop by and get a large matcha latte to fix my day. It is creamy, and they do not put too much sugar in it, which often happens if you get one somewhere else.
Figure 1. Amazing matcha green tea latte from Lobby 7
The second is slightly farther away from MIT, which is Toscanini’s. This ice cream shop is famous among all MIT students for its flavors, such as burnt caramel, mango sorbet, or Belgian chocolate. Unfortunately, little do people know that they have a great green tea ice cream, too! Their green tea ice cream is so rich and creamy, I can only handle two scoops of them. Do not be discouraged if the line is long because it is worth the wait. If you do not like waiting in lines, avoid going there in the evening.
If you think that green tea ice cream is boring, you should try green tea mochi ice cream. You can grab one on your next grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s or H-Mart. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake, and it wraps the sweet green tea ice cream. The ice cream melts inside your mouth after the first bite.
Figure 2. Green tea mochi ice cream. Source: http://ot-foodspotting-production.s3.amazonaws.com/reviews/1534438/thumb...
The next one is the one and only: Pocky green tea. This snack is originally from Japan, and becomes more known globally due to its delicious varieties, ranging from chocolate banana to Brazilian orange. I can finish the entire box of Pocky really fast, because it is that good. I usually choose the Midi variant of Pocky green tea, because the coating is thicker. You can get them at Chinatown or H-Mart.
Figure 3. Pocky midi. Source: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81lVCOl8zBL._SY355_.jpg
When the weather gets a little warmer (which usually starts in late April and lasts until the end of September), it is time for green tea milkshakes and bubble tea. Café Mami in Porter Square serves green tea milkshakes and Japanese foods, such as curry rice and donburi. It is refreshing and good — sometimes I buy two milkshakes just for myself! If you would rather have a matcha bubble tea, Kung Fu Tea or Chatime are good ones. They also have various toppings besides the classic bubble or pearl.
I also like to keep green tea-infused mints in my pocket. Not only does it keep my breath fresh, but it keeps me awake during long lectures as well. A hint of green tea taste in a leaf-shaped mint makes it unique and different from other mints I have tried before. They are available at Trader Joe’s.
Figure 4.Green tea mints. Source: http://www.traderjoes.com/images/fearless-flyer/uploads/article-2196/96004-green-tea-infused-mints.jpg
The last is green tea chocolate. As a fan of green tea, I always bought several boxes of green tea Kitkat whenever I have a layover in Japan, which is also available in a Korean supermarket here: H-Mart. However, I cannot get a green tea truffle anywhere but in Beacon Hill Chocolates. Its sweet green tea ganache enrobed in white chocolate is perfect as a sweet treat for special occasions.
Figure 5. Green tea truffle. Source: https://beaconhillchocolates.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/haikunew.jpg
If you want classic green tea leaves to energize your afternoon or start your morning, you can find them easily in Chinatown or H-Mart. If you are too lazy to make a cup, don’t worry, Boston and Cambridge have a lot of coffee shops where they offer green tea. Which one will you try first the next time you go out?