tea master matcha cafe

maybe probably the best matcha in la 

The best matcha soft serve in LA is served in a paper cup with a plastic spoon.

It’s not difficult to curb a matcha craving in Los Angeles. Matcha has been mainstream for more than a minute. Most independent coffee shops source high quality matcha these days. Matcha specialty cafes have been packaged up and branded to be hip and cool and fun. But if you want really good matcha without the frills, in the heart of Little Tokyo, you go to Tea Master Matcha. Like all things good in this city, it’s in an old strip mall. A little shop that’s easy to miss. Just a counter, a simple menu, a shelf full of retail tea and teaware, a couple chairs out front. Say what you will about Yelpers but 1600+ reviews with 5 stars does not lie, not in this town.

Come here for the matcha of course, but you’re really here for the soft serve. Perfectly creamy without being too rich, the earthiness of matcha making sure it’s not too sweet. On par with matcha soft serve in Japan. So if you’re in the area do a drive by. If you’re not, make a day out of it. Walk around Little Tokyo, come to this little strip mall. Maybe get some Japanese pasta or Hawaiian food and then a sweet treat after.

the details

Address450 E 2nd St, Los Angeles (in Honda Plaza)
Hoursopens at 12pm, closes at 7pm Wed/Thurs, 8pm Fri/Sat and 5pm Sunday; closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Price$$ – pretty good for its quality, most things are ~$5-8
Aestheticvery simple and homey

good to know

Go here for: satisfying a matcha craving, satisfying a matcha snob

Order this: matcha soft serve or if you’re a true snob, ceremonial matcha

Amount of time to spend: a quick stop and go, maybe 15 min tops

When to come: weekdays are definitely slower, Little Tokyo can be a little crazy during the weekends

Parking: there’s a lot in the plaza that is sometimes free sometimes paid, depending on whether the parking attendant waves you down (lol) otherwise you are left to circle the blocks for a meter (fairly promising given high turnover) or pay up at a neighborhood lot (usually not too bad if you’re spending the day out, <$10)

Other things to note: 

  • They have oat milk (it’s actually their default for matcha lattes)
  • There are some communal tables outside if you’re looking to sit for a bit.

Last visited: October 2021

Last updated: January 2022

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