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Matcha madness: Our favorite spots to enjoy the Japanese staple

It's easy being green...

While you might already love sipping matcha tea because of its multitude of health benefits — metabolism boosting, energy enhancing, immunity boosting — you can also enjoy the antioxidant-powered powder in cake.

Yes, cake.

Its use as an ingredient for sweet treats has spread all over the city, beyond the traditional Japanese bakeries. Here are a few of our favorite picks:

Let Them Eat Cake

Downtown at the only American location of Ogawa Coffee, Matcha is a popular ingredient in several desserts. In addition to their ever-popular matcha lattes, Matcha Cake Rolls ($6) are a popular sweet treat. Paired alongside vanilla ice cream and cubes of coffee gelatin made from the restaurant’s Kyoto House Blend, the spongey dessert is made with tea leaves imported from Japan.

At Brookline and Cambridge’s Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, Lady M’s Green Tea Mille Crepe with Ice Cream ($12) is a flaky treat that’s perfect for capping off a heavy meal. And depending on which type of puff pastry shell you choose, Chinatown’s Beard Papa’s can fill your cream puff with creamy matcha flavor for a unique twist on the original treat. (Prices vary)

Ogawa Coffee (10 Milk St.)

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BB (1002 Beacon St. Brookline and 16-18 Eliot St. 2nd Floor, Cambridge)

Beard Papa’s (31 Harrison Ave.)

Keep it Light

For healthier picks, the soon-to-be-open Juice Press at The Street in Chestnut Hill offers the Samurai Matcha Bowl ($7). Packed with iron and protein, it’s a mix of matcha, coconut milk, chia seeds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, dates, cashew, vanilla and other superfoods.

The Lemon Matcha Cookies at Cocobeet ($6-8) are another guilt-free option. A heart-healthy mix of cashews and almonds is paired with one of three different, healthy fillings — high-quality chocolate, Asian strawberries and berry compote. Each topped with touch of matcha powder and agave.

Cocobeet (100 City Hall Plaza)

Juice Press (33 Boylston St. Chestnut Hill)

Fancy Pants

In January, Back Bay’s Deuxave will welcome Shaun Velez, a new Executive Pastry Chef from Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant group. With him, he’ll bring aMeyer Lemon Vacherin($14)— a traditional French dessert with a twist: matcha steam cake, red currant gelee and almond foam—to the restaurant’s dessert menu.

And for a very special occasion, head to the Leather District's O Ya for Pastry Chef Deanie Hickox’sWhite Chocolate Namelaka($12), which is like a very light ganache. It’s paired with yuzu sherbet, matcha sponge cake and winter fruits. Meanwhile Meritage Restaurant and Wine Bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel uses just a touch of matcha on theirKalamansi Lime Mousse($12), alongside mandarin and pink grapefruit.

Deuxave (371 Comm Ave)

O Ya (9 East. St.)

Meritage Restaurant and Wine Bar (70 Rowes Wharf)

Liquid Courage

If the only way you’ll dare to try matcha is if it comes on a cocktail menu, head to Parsnip in Harvard Square for theirLittle Green Monster($10), a delightful treat of BarSol Pisco, sapling maple liqueur, hot coconut cream, matcha tea powder and toasted pecan bitters.

But if you lean more towards the traditional, you aren’t out of luck. When Bread & Salt Hospitality’s Juliet opens in January, the Union Square restaurant will offer traditional Japanese matcha serviceat their 6-seat counter, where guests can watch as the powder is dissolved in water and whisked with a bamboo whisk until it’s frothy and ready to serve.

Parsnip (91 Winthrop St. Cambridge)

Juliet (257 Washington St. Somerville)

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