I sit in a honey-brown leather armchair melting into the rich, caramel material, as my friend Carlie and I wait for a table. It is my first time inside this lovely café. The bright windows let in the heated glare of a hot summer’s day, but I’m still in awe. I admire the funky modern light fixtures with octopus arms intersecting the lush hanging plants, the blend of mix-matched oak coffee tables and buttery leather chairs. Most notable are the vibrant, staggered chalkboards crowding the back wall, detailing the barista bar’s menu with quirky and colorful hand-made illustrations. It is the perfect backdrop for a movie, where love interests meet accidentally for the first time or where main characters have their brightest idea yet, driving the plot home.
Perhaps most impressive is the ornate list of hand-crafted drinks. As a barista in a former summer job, I can appreciate the creativity and craft behind each one: a classic Americano, a simple vanilla latte, an interesting-sounding Mexican iced coffee, rose cardamom tea, and so on. Carlie and I are as eager as kids in a candy store, waiting to get our caffeine-fix. Once seated, we order innovative lattes, taking sips from each other’s and enjoying the ambiance and calming music of our newfound favorite café. This is no simple feat, as our tried-and-true, café in a quaint house recently went out of business, leaving a hole in our hearts ever since. Fondly known as Blue Max, the little house café was where we would gather, as if in the TV show Friends, to enjoy each other’s company over a bite and a comforting cup o’joe. But today, perhaps the gap can be at least partially filled. I can picture myself doing lots of great thinking in that chair by the window, fueled by this delicious emerald drink, also known as maple cinnamon matcha.
The creamy froth dances on my tongue, warming my throat on the way down. Its sweetness is almost nostalgic, like the warm milk and honey enjoyed by children. Each sip tastes like a spiced autumn hug. Ever since trying this matcha recipe at this café, I decided I had to recreate it at home. After all, it is the perfect drink to cozy up with in the fall! Subtly earthy with a hint of sweetness, this matcha latte will brighten up the rainy fall days that have covered the Chestnut Hill campus lately. With notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and other spices coupled with the nutty, sweet maple, this drink warms the taste buds and the soul. Matcha adds an unexpected twist to a traditional fall beverage, giving this drink a unique look and taste which will surely brighten your day. So, this November, spice up your vibrant matcha tea in time for the holidays and the cold weather with this maple cinnamon matcha latte recipe!
- 1 teaspoon authentic ground matcha tea powder
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
- 1-2 cups oat milk
Heat water in a tea kettle on the stovetop with a cinnamon stick. Just before the water begins to boil, take the kettle off the stove, remove the cinnamon stick, and pour some of the water into your mug of choice. Only enough water to achieve a deep green mix is necessary, as this will determine how strong the concentration of the tea is. Froth and mix the matcha powder into the water, creating bubbles and froth. A matcha tea whisk provides the best results, but a small kitchen whisk will work as well. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract to the matcha and combine, forming a homogenous mixture. Steam the oat milk in a milk frother or steamer until a pipping hot, bubbly layer of froth forms on top of the warm liquid. Not all the milk should evaporate; instead, only the top layer should be creamy and foamy for the perfect latte. Pour the milk over the tea slowly in a swirling motion. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, as well as a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired, and enjoy!