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Eat Clean, Drink Green

By Anjida Sripongworakul

Saturday 26 November 2016 Student journalists

Looking for a change from your usual cup of coffee or hot chocolate in this chilly weather? Try matcha!

The Japanese green tea powder is the ultimate health booster, bursting with a high antioxidant concentration, the immune system booster catechins, and amino acids, capable of soothing you without any of coffee’s jitters.

Not only that, matcha’s characteristic as a natural fat burner and detoxifier makes it a no-brainer for your diet plan. One cup of matcha grants you the benefits of 10 green teas.

Matcha is an up-and-coming trend among a small group of students interviewed, mostly postgraduates. Students labeled matcha as, “satisfying”, “healthy”, and “cool”, a couple confirming that they “love it”, Some said they “would try”, the drink, while others did not drink tea but were generally positive toward matcha, even if they “don’t really know what it is”, with one describing it as “seems interesting”.

And where else to go for all things matcha than the ultimate matcha bar? Tombo, Poke and Matcha Bar, recipient of six 2015 Great Taste Awards for its tea, is conveniently located in central London’s SoHo, offering matcha drinks, signature desserts, soft serve, and deconstructed sushi bowls or “Poke,” all at student-friendly prices.

The majority of students surveyed had yet been to the bar, but over half felt item prices on the menu reasonable enough for a student budget. Those who have been to the bar praised it for its “good atmosphere and service”, despite the fact that it can “be a bit too busy”, due to the small size and limited number of staff.

The Tombo bar is brightly lit and welcoming, with several tables along the counter and plenty downstairs. On the right side of the wall is a menu detailing various kinds of mouthwatering matcha applications imaginable. The award-winning matcha tea can either be served as a shot (£2.90) or as a hot or iced long drink (£3.00). Most students recommended the matcha latte (£3.60), a blend of milk foam, steamed milk, espresso and matcha, which can be served unsweetened, or with cinnamon or vanilla flavouring at an extra 20p, but best enjoyed as a classic. One sip of that healing liquid, and it’s a more relaxing therapy than that coffee you grab before class. Treat yourself to a matcha latte, it’s truly worth it, promise.

Among the dazzling array of matcha desserts on offer, the most popular among students is the matcha sundae (£5.95), a sweet pick-me-up combination of matcha ice cream, matcha brownie, Azuki paste, and granola with date syrup and cone biscuit. Other matcha-related goodies include the soft and chewy Matcha Gateau (£4.30), which goes perfectly with your matcha latte, and even a matcha donut, exploding with matcha filling in its cake dough, a special collaboration between Tombo and the premium donut chain, Crosstown Doughnuts

Zhiying Chen, a Masters’ candidate in Management Sciences at London School of Economics, described the matcha latte as “tasty and original”, and recalled the environment as “bright warm”, and “a great place…. to chat with friends”. She would much return to the place again. Other students surveyed echoed Chen’s review.

Once you go green, you can never go back.

Tombo, Poke and Matcha Bar is open Mondays through Saturdays from 11:30am to 9pm, and Sundays from 11:30am to 8pm, at 28 D'Arblay St, W1F 8EW.



Anjida Sri

I'm a Management Science (Decision Science Stream) Master's candidate at London School of Economics and Political Science. Originally from Thailand, I'm as passionate about the science, psychology, and statistics behind decision making as I am about film and writing. I enjoy opportunities to combine my passions in reviewing, discussing, and analysing films. My major influences include the New Yorker's James Wood, classic Russian literature, and Richard Siken's poetry. I've written film reviews, celebrity profiles, and news and technology coverage for my undergraduate engineering newspaper, the University of Waterloo's Iron Warrior. I'm also a guest blogger and Student Blog Editor for LSE's Department of Management. I believe pop culture, current affairs, and critical, world-changing ideas are integral to student lifestyle, and I'm committed to representing students' reality outside the classroom to society and the world. I hope to continue investigating this theme through NUS' platform for student voices.