Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 24, 2024

Matcha, matcha and more matcha

By SYDNEY LANGER | January 31, 2024

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COURTESY OF MINGYUAN SONG 

Kyoto Matcha is great at adding matcha to any dessert you can think of, including cheesecake!

Matcha has evidently become one of the delicacies of coffee shops and stores in the past decade, with it regularly appearing on most menus. Its savory and earthy taste attracts people, and its popularity seems to keep growing. Now imagine your favorite treats — ice creams, cakes, cheesecakes and more — but all in the flavor of matcha. 

Kyoto Matcha, a store in Towson, creates a variety of desserts and drinks, almost entirely with matcha flavors. 

This cafe has a modern feel, characterized by the two large illuminated screens that customers can order from and honeycomb-shaped lights hung in a line. Dark green plants placed sporadically in the cafe as well as light green booths seed a positive spirit throughout the restaurant. The lively background music only adds to this feeling. A glass display of a variety of Kyoto Matcha’s items sits next to the counter, and the items are magnificently and delicately created. 

Their menu ranges from tiramisu to soft serve to milk cap cakes to a variety of matcha lattes, providing viable options for everyone. The brown sugar boba milk cap cake is delicious. It is a moist sponge cake doused in a salty but sweet foamy cream and topped with boba. With each bite, you can taste each of the distinct flavors from the cake, boba and cream, creating a mouthful of pure happiness. A variety of flavored milk cap cakes exists, including ube, pork floss, mochi soy, rose strawberry and, of course, matcha. I have combined the moist cake with matcha cream and red bean to create the effect of a delicious mouthful of flavors. 

COURTESY OF MINGYUAN SONG

The flavor from the matcha crepe layer cake is also heavenly and when paired with the texture of the thin cake, tastes even better. I would strongly recommend getting the matcha float, a combination of matcha ice cream and a matcha latte. One consideration, however, is that the matcha drink does not contain much sugar at all; the 100% sugar latte, thus, rather than the 50% or 0% may be the better choice for you, even if you have just a little sweet tooth! My friends’ and my personal favorite is the matcha frappuccino — made with matcha, milk and ice — which has the absolute perfect consistency: extremely creamy, not excessively icy and with the ideal amount of sugar for us. 

Even in the snow, we also loved the soft serve, with the choices of matcha, milk or mix. The matcha ice cream was rich, and I really loved the flavor of the milky soft serve, which tasted like a more flavored vanilla ice cream. Kyoto Matcha also has the option of a parfait topped with soft serve! The only item that I did not adore was the matcha cheesecake. Though I did love its presentation, composed of a mini cheesecake smoothly covered in matcha, accompanied by a sponge cake and red beans, I personally was not enthralled with the combination of the matcha flavor with the cheesecake. I did like the texture of the cheesecake, however, so I am inclined to try one of the other flavors.

Kyoto Matcha’s menu is extensive, and there are still a multitude of items I would like to try the next time I am in Towson. I am so intrigued to taste both the matcha roll cake and the matcha red bean towel cake, both of which look exceptional. Furthermore, the cafe has a range of drinks that I am excited to sample, from several boba flavors to a cherry blossom frappuccino to the ube matcha latte. 

The price range of Kyoto Matcha is certainly a bit expensive, with many of the cakes being $9–10 and the drinks averaging about $5.50, but most of the more expensive items do come with quite large portions. Lastly, the service at Kyoto Matcha was impressive, with notably kind servers and extremely fast assistance. 

If you are a matcha lover or even just a dessert lover, I promise Kyoto Matcha is the place for you. No words could truly give justice to their food, and I look forward to the many times I anticipate returning to Kyoto Matcha in my next few years in Baltimore. 


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