My love (or is it a need?) for coffee knows no bounds. But in the evenings, only tea will do the trick. Luckily, my client's office is strategically placed right in between Oren's on 3rd Avenue and Tafu on 51st Street. Oren's in the morning, Tafu in the evenings—there is little to complain about.
With prices starting at $6 a piece, the matcha lattes at Tafu do not come cheap. But there's an unexplained peacefulness that exude from the woman who prepares my daily latte. A part of me believes that by drinking the latte, I too shall be calm. Such things are very important when the work days feel endless. Steaming the milk, incorporating the matcha powder, drizzling on the brown sugar syrup—it's a slow process compared to your average coffee shop.
The menu offers a choice of four different matcha-based lattes: cream, ice cream float, chocolate, and kuromitsu (black sugar)—the last two are my favorites. The chocolate latte swirls in whipped cream and a light helping of milk chocolate syrup, while the kuromitsu latte brings about memories of caramel gone softer, lighter, and more complex. The lattes are intoxicatingly frothy and speak clearly of matcha, with each element coming through strongly and no one overwhelming another. Hot or iced, that's your call, but in this weather I wouldn't dream of anything aside from the former.
And if you're hankering for something sweet to pair with the latte, they've got you covered. A range of sweets running from Itzy Bitzy Patisserie macarons, to roll cakes, mochi, chocolates, and cheesecakes—all tea flavored, of course. I have not spotted Kyotofu's Chocolate-Miso cakes in a while, but hopefully if I keep on asking, they'll bring them back soon.
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