Nomi Matcha: Revisiting Matcha in the Philippines
There’s a drink on almost every café menu I always go for no matter what country I’m in – the Matcha Latte. I always think it’s a great source of antioxidants and dietary fibers and it gives that much-needed caffeine kick without the crash. Matcha is a superfood and a versatile ingredient. This versatility and the various nutritional benefits are the main reasons why nowadays we see it in hybrid drinks, like espresso-matcha, and pastries such as layered cakes and pastillas.
Matcha, slowly and surely, became a ‘trendy’ flavor in the Philippines, with restaurants and coffee shops serving their own unique creations. There’s the Matcha McFlurry from McDonald’s, the Matcha Churros from La Lola Churreria, and even a Matcha-Hazelnut Frappuccino from Starbucks. Just imagine a whole café and restaurant dedicated to this superfood.
Nomi Matcha Philippines revisits the origins and benefits of matcha by taking it a step further from it being an ingredient for desserts and focusing on what matcha can do for you and for your health. We spoke with Nomi Matcha founders Mike Jiang, Asuka Hosokawa, and Take Hosomi who spoke about their vision for Nomi in the Philippines – a place for empowerment, energy, and motivation.
Upon entering Nomi Matcha, you will be greeted by their ‘I want…’ wall. It’s a whole wall composed of people’s goals in life like ‘I want to be healthier’ or ‘I want to bring joy to those around me.’ Mike Jiang told us about a time a customer approached him and said that when he saw this wall, he was motivated to do something about his health and get in the realm of fitness once again.
Nomi Matcha is, sure, a matcha-lovers’ dream-come-true, but more importantly, it’s a ‘hub of energy’ in the tiring bustling city life.
Nomi Matcha sources all their matcha powder straight from Kyoto, the birthplace of green tea, to constantly give their customers the best matcha in town.
Their Matcha Latte (Php 160) has the perfect balance between the sweet and the slightly bitter taste of the matcha. Unlike many matcha latte blends in the Philippines, this one’s sweetness doesn’t mask the matcha flavor but rather it heightens it, giving you the purest matcha taste without it being too strong to the taste buds.
Také and Mike, after being in the Philippines for some time, found that the Filipino taste buds really do have an affinity towards sweet things. Without compromising their high-grade matcha powder’s flavor, they sought to find the right middle ground that many will still appreciate.
But of course, if you’re a solid matcha green tea fan, then the Simply Matcha iced drink (Php 120) is the one to get. It’s really just Nomi Matcha’s matcha powder topped with water and ice. We were expecting it to be a little bitter but it’s actually a very refreshing drink after a day in the scorching heat. And besides, you can always get syrup on the side if you still need that hint of sweetness.
Both the Simply Matcha and the Matcha Latte may be ordered hot or iced.
Nomi Matcha continuously builds from their thrust towards encouraging positivity among their guests. With light flavors and healthy ingredients, they carefully curated their savory meals to satisfy their customers’ cravings without them leaving the café feeling lethargic and slow.
Their Power Packed Bowls are simple and healthy rice bowls you can get any time and without you having to worry about maxing out your calorie count for the day. This Chicken Power Bowl (Php 290) consists of roasted chicken topped with pesto and toasted cashew, a perfectly cooked 6-minute egg, grilled tomatoes, and carrots.
The restaurant also has beef-based and seafood-based power bowls, as well as vegan bowls. All bowls are served with Japanese white rice but you can customize your grains if you want. They have organic brown rice, red/white quinoa, and cauliflower rice options for healthier carb options.
For a quick snack, Nomi Matcha has something called the Chicken Yum Yum (Php 190). It’s a basket of breaded chicken bites served with Japanese mayo, pink sea salt, and cabbage with sesame dressing.
There’s no strict way to eat this but Mike recommends to squeeze the lemon over the basket of bites, dip the chicken in Japanese mayo, then dip in the sea salt before eating.
No food escapade is complete without dessert. We highly recommend getting Nomi’s Matcha Churros (Php 130). They’re perfectly crisp chocolate churros on the outside with a fluffy matcha filling on the inside. It’s then drizzled in white chocolate and topped with matcha powder. It’s almost like matcha churros can’t get any better than this.
We also tried their Matcha Cookie (Php 80) and their Legendary Greenies (Php 90) which is like a fudge brownie but it’s made out of matcha so it’s green.
The owners are always experimenting on the Matcha Cookie, constantly wondering which one’s a better drizzle – salted caramel or white chocolate. And we can see why it’s such a difficult choice to make.
The salted caramel gave the matcha-based cookie a new depth of flavor, working from the matcha’s slight bitterness and complementing it using a touch of sweetness and some hints of saltiness. The white chocolate, on the other hand, gives a more classic taste. We’re used to the matcha-white chocolate combo already and it’s always been a crowd-pleaser.
Nomi Matcha also takes pride in their Legendary Greenies, a fudge ‘brownie’ made out of their legendary matcha powder. It’s soft and dense, so it’s not like those brownies that resemble cakes at all. It’s really more of a fudge, and not to sweet at that.
It’s a pastry made for the sweet-tooth to truly appreciate the purest taste of matcha, without it being overpowered by so much sugar and cream. You can have it on its own or partnered up with their drinks. It’s okay, matcha won’t give you a caffeine rush that easily.
Nomi seeks to revisit the purest flavors of matcha once again in line with their belief to serve their customers their best creations by staying true to who they are, “We hope that by being true to who we are, serving you simple, pure, clean ingredients, we allow you to be true to who you are.”
In the future, Nomi Matcha aims to build their Açai line, another superfood they plan to import straight from Brazil.
Nomi Matcha is located at W City Center Building, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Philippines.