Matcha Cita is a colorful new café with stylish decor, soothing tropical house music, and an innovative matcha menu.
Matcha Cita was one of many health pop-ups to come to Chicago in 2021. The matcha-focused café landed in Chicago’s north side Lincoln Park neighborhood early last year to temporarily offer Chicagoans an Instagram-worthy, superfood-sanctuary selling an array of drinks, breakfast items, and pastries all revolving around matcha.
Roll on a year and founder, Bianca Pearson, has opened a permanent location with co-owner Vincent Lujan at 1017 W Lake Street in West Loop, just steps away from the Morgan ‘L’ station. Like its popup predecessor, Matcha Cita will offer a range of incredibly tasty-looking specialty matcha lattes and matcha iced teas as well as over 20 different smoothies, smoothie bowls, juices, a selection of pastries from Vivian Hu of Chicago Desserts, and even matcha waffles.
The Purple Haze, for example, comes with matcha, lavender, CBD, and oat milk while the Pink n’ Pitaya Smoothie with pitaya, strawberry, banana, peanut butter, and vanilla almond milk. Drinks can also be leveled up with added custom accessories by choosing to “Make It Nice” with fancy glitter, “Make It Lucky” with lucky charms, “Make Me Mellow” with CBD, and “Make Me Pretty” with collagen.
Roughly translating to “matcha date” in Spanish, Matcha Cita café is a reference to the timeless coffee date. Having served as Director of Sales and Marketing at trendy hotspots like Joy District and Flight Club Darts in Chicago for over a decade before going on to launch her own a boutique balloon installation and event planning company, Matcha Cita is born out of Pearson’s love for both stylish interior design and the magic of matcha.
Guests will find a lively and colorful 1600-square-foot café with a retro and geometric design fused with tropical vibes.
“When I realized there was an opportunity to bring a trendy, fully matcha-focused café to Chicago, I began conceptualizing Matcha Cita,” said Pearson, “I wanted to create a photogenic space, and the menu, the decor, the music, everything was carefully curated to create an overall energetic, cheerful vibe. After our initial pop-up in Lincoln Park, I knew I wanted to open an all-day café where guests could enjoy a delicious menu but also feel welcome to stay awhile.”
The result of Pearson’s vision is a bold and bright photo-worthy space with a palette of vibrant pink and green pastels and lavender lights that hang overhead. Custom-made wall panels, greenery, flowers, disco balls, tropical print wallpaper, and bold, patterned encaustic floor tiles add a unique and ethereal touch to the vibrant café. There is even a very photo-worthy neon sign that reads “Matcha Made in Heaven” on a backdrop of roses hanging from the ceiling.
There are 20 seats in plush light corduroy pink and matcha green booths and at white marble café tables while a cozy sidewalk patio has been outfitted with tables for the warmer months.
Literally translating as “fine powdered tea”, matcha is a well-documented superfood first used in China that boasts several health benefits and has consequently seen a huge surge in popularity around the globe in recent years.
Coming from the same plant as green tea, matcha is extremely high in antioxidants but it has also been reputed to have stress-reducing effects, boost brain function, improve heart health, aid in weight loss, and prevent cancer.
Matcha Cita is located at 1017 W Lake Street and is open from 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday and until 5 pm on Sundays. More information can be found at matchacitachi.com.
[Featured image courtesy of Matcha Cita]