We stopped by the second branch of Midori Matcha over the weekend to conduct some quality control. Located behind Portola Coffee (within the OG Costa Mesa food hall), they opened Sunday in the former Seventh Tea Bar/Bistro Papillote space. Pictured above, a tart: sablee with azuki cream, walnuts, matcha fragipan and chestnut mousse with matcha pastry cream. Sourcing local desserts from Stephane Treand Patisserie Chocolat (located steps away in SoCo), this is not your run-of-the-mill soft serve and green drink joint.
The story of Midori Matcha began in 2015, when Founder Dmitry J. Steinbuchel began offering the world’s first organic, cold brewed matcha beverage. Hungry for more, plans to open the first cafe in Little Tokyo began the following year. Per Dmitry, “It wasn’t an easy journey (as it was a do-it-yourself project), but we’ve learned so many lessons along the way, which we now deeply value.” Location number one opened its doors a few hours before January 1, 2017.
Offering authentic Japanese Organic Matcha drinks, pastries and Kyoto-style soft serve ice cream, what sets them apart is their use of only Organic Imperial or Ceremonial Grade Japanese matcha. They never add any preservatives, artificial flavors, added colors or artificial sweeteners. Per Steinbuchel, “Simple and pure are our two main ingredients. We believe in enjoying matcha as close to its original traditional roots as possible. We make all kinds of matcha drink infusions, but we follow strict rules, and those rules are to never mask our matcha with unhealthy creamers, boba or any other kind of distractions which can take away from experiencing the true aroma and flavor of quality Organic Japanese Matcha.”
Pricing starts at $5.50 for either matcha or black sesame soft serve. Over 10 drinks are poured, mostly involving lattes and granitas. We appreciate the pureness of their flavors, resulting in an overall taste that is less sweet. As far as pastry is concerned, our preference for a matcha almond croissant tastes more subtle than its vibrant hue appearance. If you cannot decide, then steer towards the soft serve. While a swirl is the favorite, opting for one flavor only provides a clear flavor profile to judge upon (The matcha-only flavor also includes a dusting of matcha powder). Abundant indoor and dedicated patio seating, plus the natural light filtering in means Midori Matcha is the new Instagrammable destination. Visit for dessert, or pick-up your beverage of choice– they’ve got you covered.
Midori Matcha is at 3313 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa; www.midorimatchatea.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.