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So Many Reasons to Fall In Love With Matcha Tea (Part 2)

matcha latte

If you’re just tuning in, this month we had an opportunity to catch up with Graham Fortgang, Co-Founder of Brooklyn’s Matcha Bar NYC. In part 2 of our series on wellness with matcha, Graham shares how to incorporate matcha into your life.


How would you describe your brand, MatchaBar?

The two words that we use to describe our product is: uplift and motivate. These are emotional words rather than descriptive. We believe there’s something about the product that goes above and beyond and makes you feel that you can go that extra mile.

How does one incorporate matcha for wellness into their daily routine?

Right now we only have one location so it’s hard for us to really spread our product to a lot of people but we have our own brand of tea. We have a partnership with a small farm in Japan and we sell our tea by the tin. Each tin of matcha costs $22, and our Starter Kits come out to just around $50, coming with a matcha tin, a whisk, scoop and instructions.

What that allows you to do is take the power of matcha into your own hands. Once you learn how to do it, it takes about maybe two minutes – sometimes even less than one! For instructions, please visit our website, they are very easy!

You can take it in many different directions. We have people come and say, “I made it at home. It’s my morning ritual and every morning I try something new. This morning, I added a touch of orange with sparkling water and I make a sparkling orange matcha.” I was like, “That’s awesome. No way, I’ve got to try that.” Even my mom wakes up every morning and she does her matcha preparation and posts it on Facebook. Her favorite is a vanilla almond latte over ice.

A lot of our menu items were born from customer suggestions. Everyone shares in the same ritual but many people have different taste buds, so you can really put your own flair on it.

It’s really easy to get ritual in and it becomes therapeutic. We ask people: “what’s your favorite matcha moment?” We always like people to share. They say, “Oh, I have my matcha before I head out dancing and I like to go out dancing on Friday nights.” “Oh, I like to have my matcha before I go climbing.” We hear stories from all sorts of people. It’s really cool because the product isn’t limited to one thing. It’s something that not only gets you going but keeps you healthy.

I had problems with my immune system growing up. I’ve seen an improvement in my health since I started using matcha regularly. The key is being consistent.

What does mindfulness mean to you in terms of your health and wellness?

Mindfulness is all about understanding what you’re putting into your body and what you’re putting into the world. Being really thoughtful about what you’re saying and what you’re doing. It is important to be aware of what you’re putting into your body. We want people to understand what they’re drinking.

When people come in and order a matcha, I make sure they understand what they are drinking and how it will make them feel. If you know what you’re actually putting into your body you can benefit from your awareness.

If you know that you’re getting more antioxidants you’re actually going to think that you’ll be healthier and that positivity actually means that you will be. “One healthy habit leads to the next.” Once you start making one healthy habit you can’t help but make more.

All of a sudden you’re at lunch and they say, “Do you want salad or fries?” You’re like, “You know what? I think I’m going to have the salad.” That’s the essence!

About Matcha Bar NYC

MatchaBar was founded by two brothers, Max and Graham Fortgang. As native New Yorkers, entrepreneurs, and full-time students, the pair were full-blown caffeine addicts. Venturing to a tea retailer on the lower east side, the brothers were first introduced to matcha by chance. In the weeks and months that followed, they shared in a matcha ritual at Max’s East Village apartment, falling in love with the feeling it inspired within them.

As they delved deeper into matcha, discovering its different preparations and health benefits, Max & Graham became fixated on the idea of sharing this ancient tradition with the modern metropolis around them. Their vision is to uplift and motivate generations to come with the power of matcha.

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