I haven't been to Victoria in almost 15 years, so when the chance arose for a romantic brief getaway during a three day weekend, I jumped at it. Little did I know that the passage on the Victoria Clipper from downtown Seattle to the inner harbor of Victoria would be fraught with nauseating turmoil. I will spare you all the details of a ferry full of sick people. Needless to say, I spent an intense two hours in focused concentration, just trying to breathe!
Thankfully, the ferry docked in one piece, and we all scrambled to disembark immediately! Alive and still breathing, it was a quick walk in the rain to our hotel. Settling our stomachs by taking time to settle into our room, three hours later I was eager to discover the matcha in the city. Only 7 blocks from our hotel in the brisk cold, I found Just Matcha Tea Shop, although I had a bit of trouble spotting the signage. This location, on Pandora, is just one of two of their places of operation. I was delighted to find that they offer several grades of matcha, plus a variety of flavored and seasonal matcha lattes.
Of course I had to start with a premium ceremonial grade served in a classic and beautiful chawan (so glad they served matcha in bowls rather than glassware!). This was lovely, but a bit thin, and I longed for a bit more complex vegetal umami and longer finish. But the color was rich and green.
Since I was here I had to follow this with a chocolate latte using one of their lesser grade matchas (why waste the good stuff, right?) and almond milk. Nice for a treat but if I’m going to get a flavored matcha drink I guess I need three times the matcha serving.
Just Matcha had a great assortment of bakery items that where also gluten-free, but not dairy-free as well so I passed on these. I do want to return to look at the gorgeous handmade chawan. I know Victoria is known for British high tea (going to Empress tomorrow) but there are several places for us matcha lovers! Check this place out!
Second trip to the teashop and met the owner, Kip, who graciously indulged me in my desire for koicha, making me a delicious, rich, smooth and creamy bowl using their premium blend. This matcha had a lovely finish with only a slight bitterness! This was heaven, motivating me to immediately buy both their shincha and platinum grade matcha blends. Over matcha, we talked about his experience with matcha and owning a teahouse. This is what a love - good tea and conversation. Thank you, Kip, for the koicha, matcha and the conversation! I can’t wait to make these at home.