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  • April 11, 2022 6 min read

    We’ve all seen matcha explode onto the health-food scene in recent years, but what exactly is it?

    Matcha is a fine powdered green tea that goes through a specific growing process which includes shade-growing for three to four weeks before harvest.

    To make matcha as fine as it is, the tea leaves’ stems and veins are also removed in processing.

    Matcha may seem like it's the new drink on the block, but with origins dating back to the Tang Dynasty of China over 1000 years ago, this hypothesis couldn’t be further from the truth.

    It didn’t take long for other East Asian countries (most notably Japan) to clue into the matcha way of caffeinating, and it’s been woven into their cultures ever since.

    Prized for its many health benefits as well as having a powerful caffeinated hit, matcha’s popularity has sky-rocketed in recent years as the health-conscious and curious seek out drink alternatives.

    You can now find matcha’s unique flavor profile being paired with all kinds of food, and it really feels like the surface is only just being scratched.

    Traditionally served as hot tea with matcha suspended in water or milk, these days matcha can be found in noodles, ice cream, coffee, confectionery, and desserts.

    To make sure you’re sampling the finest matcha that the Sunshine State’s capital has to offer, we’ve featured the Brisbane cafes that do matcha best.

    1. Bonsai Botanika

    Even though Bonsai Botanika is located on Elizabeth Street in Brisbane’s bustling CBD, a stop by this cafe has a welcomed reprieve from what’s going on outside.

    With decor that gives the impression of a modern Japanese Kissaten, this is a cafe that cares about their aesthetic almost as much as they care about their matcha.

    Doing high-quality matcha teas, coffees, cakes, bakes, biscuits, as well as plenty of eggy brunch options, nobody should leave Bonsai Botanika hungry, or un-caffeinated.

    That is unless they order a decaf matcha coffee, for which this cafe is known for. Spread out over three levels, Bonsai Botanika has ample big-table seating, nooks for couples to cozy into, as well as street-facing benches for lone matcha drinkers to watch the world go by.

    2. Koto Sanpo

    Elizabeth Street is a stretched-out hub of shopping and business, so it's little wonder why another of the city’s best matcha cafes can be found along it.

    Translating to “peaceful Kyoto stroll”, Koto Sanpo is a contemporary take on the traditional Kyoto cafe.

    The cafe’s interior walls are lined with low-hanging plants which offer the sense of being at one with nature and drink.

    Sourcing premium matcha direct from the Kyoto Uji region, it’s clear that Koto Sanpo is dedicated to serving Brisbane the best matcha in town.

    Not only do they serve the highest quality matcha in all forms, but Koto Sanpo also comes ready to present you with Australia’s only Kyoto-inspired high tea experience.

    Another notable addition to their speciality menu is the beautifully presented strawberry, white chocolate, and Vienna double matcha lattes.

    Stop for a moment to dream up your wildest dessert and it’s likely to be found on Koto Sambo's menu.

    Creative parfaits, Japanese pancakes, matcha roll cakes, matcha jelly, even though these are desserts we’re talking about, they look fresh, and they feel healthy.

    If you’ve got a hunger forming that only something savory will fix then they do insanely good Katsu, bento, soup, and curry too.

    3. Just Soy Cafe

    In the outer suburb of Sunnybank Hills is another Asian-inspired favorite that goes by the name of Just Soy Cafe. This cafe has a low-key aesthetic that suits the casual vibe of its local area much better than the CBD.

    Serving a wide variety of Asian desserts (including plenty of matcha-flavored treats), Just Soy is where the people of Sunnybank Hills and surrounds go for their sweet-treat fix.

    One traditional Korean dessert that has not gone unnoticed is the soybean custard topped with a signature matcha syrup, ahum!

    Although it sounds a little strange at first, their fresh and silky tofu dessert is something that every adventurous eater needs to try (if they haven’t already).

    Keeping with the desserts-you’ve-never-heard-of theme, Just Soy serves shaved ice, grass jelly, and matcha ice cream over adzuki beans.

    Not only have they got the most authentic, matcha-centric dessert menu this side of the Torres Strait, but their prices are pleasantly competitive too.

    Just remember, it’s cash only at Just Soy, so bring your dollars along and avoid the mad cash machine dash, because good dessert waits for no man, or woman.

    Best Matcha Cafes In Brisbane

    4. Sweet Treats Dessert Cafe

    Another South Brisbane gem that can be found at Runcorn Plaza, just around the corner from Sunnybank Hills, this Asian eatery aptly named “Sweet Treats Dessert Cafe” has got your sweetest needs covered.

    Two of their most delectable dessert choices have got to be the green tea creme brulee and the matcha brownie - both sublimely flavored to not be overpowering.

    Frappes, hot chocolates, iced coffees, hot coffees, specialty teas, smoothies - their drinks menu is as extensive as it is delicious. Naturally, you can get any one of the drinks listed above with a matcha-twist.

    One of their all-time summer thirst-quenchers has got to be the Matcha on Coconut Juice. To warm you through on a chilly winter’s morning, you can’t go wrong with a Green Tea Matcha Latte served hot.

    Whether it’s morning, afternoon or evening, stopping by Sweet Treats for a drink and some sweetened naughtiness is never the wrong decision (which makes it always the right decision).

    5. Nominom

    If you’re someone who grimaces at the idea of a chain cafe, and only steps into quirky, one-of-a-kind cafes, then Nominom may not be for you.

    If, however, you can look past its tacky aesthetic, Nominom is a great place to get your frozen yogurt fix. If you were wondering whether there’s any chance of getting matcha frozen yogurt, of course, there is.

    As well as doing the best matcha “froyo” in town, Nominom has a vast array of toppings (some healthy, some not so much) that are ready to elevate every flavored froyo on their menu.

    Even though frozen yogurt may be what Nominom is known for, they have a bounty of bites that come ready to rock your socks right off.

    Matcha-flavored superfood mixes, waffles, fondue, there’s no question, Nominom has brought the “nom-nom” vibes to Brisbane’s city center. The only question is, are you ready for them?

    6. Ruca Cafe

    This contemporary cafe has captured what’s so good and special about Brisbane’s brunching scene, and they serve it on plates every day.

    Ok, we’re going to level with you, Ruca may not be the most matcha-centric cafe on this list. But, with a menu that reads like the who’s who of on-trend light bites, big brekky, and the rest, who’s complaining?

    Of course, you can still get your matcha latte iced or hot, and at the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing here? We weren’t joking when we said their menu is an impressive one.

    Featuring veggie and meat-heavy brekky (both light and big), as well as specialty bread, light bites, and more substantial evening meals like pizza, pasta, and burgers - this iconic cafe has taken inspiration from traditional Italian cuisine and given it a modern edge to outshine the rest.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Are The Health Benefits Of Matcha?

    One of the big reasons for matcha’s popularity over the last 1000 or so years is its health benefits.

    The number of antioxidants found in high-quality matcha can be up to 137 times greater than your run-of-the-mill green tea.

    This abundance of antioxidants means matcha is known to boost brain function and a person’s metabolism (which in turn can aid weight loss).

    Although it’s not 100% effective on everyone, matcha may also protect the liver, promote heart health, and prevent some types of cancer as well.

    All things considered, it’s easy to say that high-quality matcha is one of the healthier drinks in the world.

    What Does Matcha Taste Like?

    It’s no secret, matcha in its pure form has an unusual taste that could be considered acquired. Notes of sweetness and umami come through as do underlying tones of bitterness.

    People also comment on the vegetal grassy notes of matcha that offer a delicate earthiness.

    It sure doesn’t sound like something you’d necessarily want to drink, but these are all subtle flavors, that, once infused in tea, coffee, and desserts are recognizable, but only just.


    Making time for matcha in the morning is a very beneficial prospect that offers a kickstart of antioxidants, the likes of which regular tea and coffee are far from matching.

    As is evidenced from the cafes listed above, Brisbane is a city that loves its matcha almost as much as it loves its coffee, with an abundance of matcha cafes sprouting up all over the city.

    We scouted long and hard to find the best of the bunch, and we hope you were able to find something matcha-infused that tickled your appetite in the iconic city of Brisbane.