Written By Holly Brooke First Look / Places / Victoria Apr 1, 2014 Just Matcha, A Tea Shop in Oak Bay SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestThe 2000 block of Oak Bay Avenue has a little something for everyone, from the butcher to the cobbler to the matcha tea-makers. Whether you are a matcha tea devotee or a newbie like myself, I highly recommend visiting Just Matcha Tea Shop where owners Kip and Tiffannie Home will make you feel, well, right at home. Their small space is cozy and calm with the addition of a few leather chairs to relax in, some books to browse and traditional accessories along the walls. It’s a place where you can “pause and take your matcha moment” says Tiffannie. Rich in history as well as health benefits, matcha originates from Japan with traditional tea ceremonies dating back over 800 years. Grown in shade, the plants are then covered allowing chlorophyll to flood into the leaves giving the tea its rich green color. The tea leaves are then de-veined, de-stemmed and ground into a fine powder. Matcha is sifted before adding water (the cooler the sweeter the tea, the warmer the more robust), then whipped into a creamy froth using a bamboo whisk.Drinking matcha tea creates what Kip calls a “wakeful calmness.” With only 25 per cent of the caffeine found in a regular cup of coffee the effects on the body are gentler. “It’s “a drink that gives,” says Kip. “Matcha is not steeped like other teas. You ingest the whole leaf and so receive 100 per cent of its nutrients like anti-oxidants, chlorophyll, a natural detoxifier and L-theanine, an amino acid said to relax the mind.”The health benefits of drinking it are enough to convert even the hard-core coffee drinkers testifies Kip. And he wasn’t an easy sell. The first time he tried it, he was not a fan. (For Tiffannie who was already a green tea drinker the shift was easier.) However, after preparing a few batches for himself Kip started to notice that he felt more relaxed and over-all healthier.“That afternoon coffee crash was gone,” says Kip. “I just felt all-round better.”On a mission to share and promote this “under-recognized elixir of health,” the Homes’ opened Just Matcha Tea Shop in October, 2013.Their goal in promoting matcha is to demystify the tea by presenting it as an everyday beverage. They prefer to keep it simple too, offering matcha four different ways: straight-up traditional, caramel or choco matcha lattes and the ugi fog (vanilla with steamed milk). Served in large bowls, the teas are priced at $4-$7 each. I sampled the featured maple matcha latte, a delicious creamy concoction with organic maple syrup, almond milk and chocolate shavings.Drinking matcha tea creates what Kip calls a “wakeful calmness.”Packaged matcha teas for sale at Just Matcha include top of the line Breakaway Matcha, Aiya, or locally based JagaSilk and the in-house Hatchi Matcha. Prices range from $26 to $78. You can also buy Culinary Matcha at $20.89 (per 100.00 grams) for cooking, baking and adding to smoothies. They sell matcha accessories as well, including authentic Japanese bowls and locally-made pottery by Laurie Hashizume. Specially-made treats like delicious white chocolate matcha almonds come from the Little Cakery and soon-to-be-stocked baked goods from the Splendid Elf Bakery. As I sipped the last of my tea, I paused to appreciate my very first matcha moment. By the time I’d said goodbye and was halfway down the block, I detected a little extra pep in my step too. Just Matcha Tea ShopTiffannie and Kip Home2021 Oak Bay AvenueVictoria, British ColumbiaCanada V8R 1E2info@justmatcha.com(250) 813-2456 SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Holly Brooke Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ... Read More You may also like First Look / Food News / Places / Restaurants November 30, 2020 Café Jumbo – First Look It’s a cold and rainy evening in early November. Covid cases are on the rise everywhere, and the world is anxiously awaiting the final US election ... Read More First Look / Restaurants / Victoria July 31, 2020 The Palms Launching a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic may seem counterintuitive, but don’t tell that to Rob Ekstrom and Darren Cole – the two ... 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