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Exclusive: An interview the co-founder of Dubai’s The Matcha Tokyo

Co-founder, Masahiro Nagata of The Matcha Tokyo on bringing a niche matcha concept to the city.

What inspired you to The Matcha Tokyo?

I have been familiar with Japanese tea since I was a child, but I became interested in it particularly after spending many years abroad; with my great appreciation of Japanese cuisine, I became interested in learning more about it it. I visited Japan’s tea producing regions to learn more and was especially captivated with the profundity
of organic cultivation, which begins with the preparation of clean water, clear air and fertile soil. This experience inspired me to want to spread the deliciousness and magnificence of Japanese cuisine to the world.

Talk us through the concept.

We are a lifestyle brand that offers high-quality matcha, which has great benefits for health and beauty, in a modern manner.

The Matcha Tokyo

What are some of the key dishes and beverage to try at The Matcha Tokyo?

We would like you to try all our wide variety of matcha drinks and food, but our signature menu items are straight matcha and matcha latte. Each cup of straight matcha is prepared in a ceremonial performance, which you can enjoy watching in-store. Matcha Latte is our most popular item, made with rich matcha and high-quality Japanese brown sugar. We take pride in producing an authentic matcha taste in our Matcha Latte, fitting for a matcha specialty store.

Matcha has an array of health benefits for your skin – name a few.

Matcha contains a lot of catechin, which has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, making it excellent for anti-aging and beauty. It is also rich in vitamins, which are excellent for beautifying the skin, as well as rich in dietary fiber, which is good for intestinal health. With rich nutrients, matcha makes you beautiful from the inside out.

What are some of the health benefits of The Matcha in the long run?

Matcha also contains theanine, an amino acid that has a relaxing effect on the brain, thus making it good for daily “mental health” as well as “brain health”, as the theanine activates the brain, improving cognitive function and lessening tension; these are very important and welcome benefits.

Tell us about some unique offerings at The Matcha Tokyo?

Our drinks are unique, combining matcha with different ingredients, such as matcha and coffee, matcha and fruit, matcha and protein. Each menu item is made with the concept of enjoying matcha beautifully and healthily, so we hope you can enjoy them while keeping that in mind.

The Matcha Tokyo

Tell us where your matcha is sourced from?

The Matcha Tokyo creates its own unique blends of matcha from carefully selected tea leaves grown in Kagoshima Prefecture, Uji City in Kyoto Prefecture, and Shizuoka Prefecture. The tea leaves are carefully prepared with delicate craftsmanship in an isolated
natural setting.

Can you expand on how the traditional Japanese tea ceremony relates (or doesn’t) to matcha?

The ‘Tea Ceremony’ is performed in a formalised room with specialised tools, selected artwork, and ritualised flow. The host and guest(s) respect each other and the space during tea ceremony, upholding this ritual and completing the space. Japanese food and sweets are served, but the main character is “matcha”. The ceremony itself is called tea ceremony, whereas learning about this ritual is called “Sado”. Sado incorporates Japanese spirituality and is a unique traditional Japanese art, so it has attracted attention from overseas.

The Matcha Tokyo Founders

How has the love for Matcha in new regions developed in recent years?

Matcha is recognised as a healthy drink primarily due to its green colour, but aside from its appearance is great for beauty and health. In Dubai, it is spreading its influence as a superfood. Matcha is delicious, nutritious, and comes in a powder form that is easy for processing, so it has the potential to be used in many different ways: as a food, a supplement, and more. Furthermore, because matcha is excellent for brain and mental health, we believe that the future of matcha is for it to be consumed as a part of daily routine: at home with family and friends, not just at cafes.

This is The Summer Escape Issue – where do you plan on travelling to this Summer?

I plan on going to the great outdoors for a digital detox.

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