As I’ve noted before, I do a lot of exploring in the office’s neighborhood because sitting still for long doesn’t mesh with me. At this point I’m well versed in the goings-on at Madison Square Park, I’ve toured the Sex Museum, been to an awful jazz show & tried pretty much every restaurant & cafe on the block… except for one.
Coming out of the subway each day I turn the corner & I’m met with the neon pink & green glare of Cha Cha Matcha, whose patrons have the dedication of a route hardened mailman. Rain, sleet, snow, glaring sun, sticky humidity, loitering crazy folks, garbage day stink, angry fall bees… they’re there… a long row of young, hip looking people lined up outside with t-shirts pasted in Comme Des Garcons ‘PLAY’ heart logos & little round-frame sunglasses as Future blares from the speakers.
Much like the ‘organic mattress store’ a few doors down across the street, this place irks me for reason I can’t precisely pinpoint. It seems more like an Instagram playground than a health spot… But perhaps it’s more of a me problem. Even as I type this I know how lame I sound, but 1) that’s never stopped me from rambling before and 2) I’ve never had my fingers on the pulse of what’s hot.
Instead those fingers have been straightened flat-out while I dance the robot at wedding receptions long after that move stopped being ‘funny’. I’ve had them gripping my debit card as it swipes for a pair of knock off Payless shoes that *sort* of resemble the brand name style. They help me navigate all the things I need to keep me as painfully basic as possible. So I see a place like Cha Cha Matcha where the staff is beautiful & everyone has a unique edge (nose rings, cool tattoos, wild hair colors & elaborate styles…) and I determine it’s ‘not for me’. Plus, I’d tried to go down the ‘kewl drink trend’ path here a couple years ago & it didn’t pan out.
But I couldn’t leave HQ without running into people holding cups full of crushed, vibrant-green tea leaves and I kept thinking about going to give it a whirl. Well today (with a wedding in a week & a half in which I’m wearing a dress I’ve gained a little too much weight for), I decided to go on a liquid diet & make it my lunch. It wasn’t me jumping on a trend, it was just me trying to lose some LBs the healthy way; semi-starving myself in a last ditch effort by sticking to teas & smoothies.
The line moved pretty quickly & before I knew it was my turn. Prior to Googling it to write this I didn’t even know what matcha was & assumed it was a type of seaweed. I asked for ‘a frozen one, please’ but was informed it’s served only hot or on ice. Looking up at the board one particular flavor caught the beady, gray little eyes that rest in my weathered face: The Beautiful Latte.
Collagen, ashwaganda(?!?!), raw honey, bee pollen & vanilla? I know collagen has something to do with big lips (the mouth kind) & I had zero clue what ashwaganda was so one could only assume those are the types of things that make you look like a model.
According to the Post:
Victoria’s Secret models and fit Wall Street girls are lining up at Cha Cha Matcha, serving lattes and soft-serve ice cream flavored with matcha, a powdered, concentrated green tea.
I couldn’t wait to sip & transform.
Right off the bat it felt a little less beautiful when the price popped up on the iPad. $8.00 was already a little ridiculous, and then with tax it was $9.21 & then a small tip (the money kind) brought it to $10.91. So pretty much $11.00 for about 8 ounces of liquid. I’m kind of making this up but that’s like $1.30/ounce. Full disclosure: I don’t have a handle on the markets but that’s like an 8oz cup of pure gold or rubies. Move aside avocados, this is the new reason we don’t own homes.
The only thing that placated me was seeing a lady with cute pink bowls of green powder mixing stuff up. This is what reels us yuppies (ie: me) right in. Look, she’s doing something that looks medicinal & mysterious to make our drink!
An iced latte was placed on the counter & it was time to find out what all the fuss & high price was about. After grabbing it I speed-walked back to the office & couldn’t help but notice the name on the cup.
Agh, sorry Abe. In the interest of ‘ignorance is bliss’ I carried on assuming Abe had also ordered The Beautiful Latte & that it would still somehow work miracles on me.
And it did!
Pleased to announce I look like Fran now so it was all worth it. Overall, the drink itself was pretty bitter before I mixed it up thoroughly with whatever else was in there, and I was even more bitter that it cost the same as a stadium beer. I’d definitely get it again, but somewhere else like Starbucks where it’ll still be good without the fuss. Cha Cha is clearly dedicated to the product but I think part of what you’re paying for there is the aesthetic. They’ve got a very specific, curated palette but it’s just not my taste.