There is a lot of hype around matcha, even though this verdant tea has been consumed for literally thousands of years. Even though matcha is “everywhere”, most of it is adulterated with hidden sugars. Don’t assume that when you get a matcha beverage that you are drinking the same healthy beverage drank by the monks from the hillsides of Japan. Additionally, the matcha in baked goods is from such a low grade of tea leaf, that it’s mostly added to the pastry just to give it a green hue.
Stonemill Matcha is a notable exception. The beverages and bites using matcha here use a high grade of matcha that is sourced and blended in Kyoto. The leaves here are harvested when they are tender and young, giving them a vibrant hue and a great depth of flavor and are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and L-Theanine. It’s unlikely to be a coincidence that Japan has the most centenarians per capita than any other place on the planet.
Walking into Stonemill Matcha reminds me of the modern Japanese cafes one would find in Tokyo’s Nakameguro neighborhood. Clean, minimalistic, and with impeccable service, Stonemill is easily my favorite café on Valencia street in San Francisco’s Mission District.
You can come here and get a savory meal, such as chicken okayu (rich porridge) or a katsu (pork cutlet) sandwich. However, when I go to Stonemill I tend to opt for their unsweetened matcha latte with oat milk and a pasty. It feels like the most simple, yet decadent breakfast possible.