The best places for matcha in the U.S.

The greener, the better

Have you heard about matcha? Perhaps you love the green stuff already or you are finally ready to see (and try) what all the fuss is about. If you're into the taste of tea, it's time to step up your steep and go for the green goodness of matcha. But what is it exactly? According to Health, "Matcha literally means 'powdered tea'. When you order traditional green tea, components from the leaves get infused into the hot water, then the leaves are discarded. With matcha, you're drinking the actual leaves. It's a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea."

In fact, one serving of the stuff is nutritionally equivalent to 10 cups of green tea brewed the usual way. You'll get that caffeine kick with 137 times more antioxidants Besides that, it boosts metabolism, burns calories, is rich in vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and selenium, and lowers blood sugar and cholesterol. Not to mention, it's delicious!

But not all matcha matches up. As per NBC News Better, "To get the best quality matcha, make sure your matcha is bright green — The darker the matcha, the older the matcha, and its beneficial properties weaken over time." If you're looking for some of the best matcha across the U.S., visit one of these places for a 'spot of tea'.

Ippodo Tea Co.

Via japanculture-nyc.com

Ippodo Tea Co. is a Japanese-based business, but lucky for New Yorkers, there's a shop in the Big Apple. For Americans who take great pleasure in Japanese tea customs, this place is full of wonderful Japanese character and charm. The store is small and sleek, but for take-out tea, it's a favorite among New Yorkers who are always on-the-go. Try their Koicha (thick matcha) or Usucha (thin matcha), a matcha soy latte, a matcha almond latte, or even a matcha slushy. Do a matcha tasting to sample and compare. Authentic preparation is taken seriously at Ippodo Tea Co. but all you'll notice is the delicious flavor.

125 E. 39th St., New York, NY

Chalait

Via chalait.com

Another New York City hot spot for matcha is Chalait, with three locations across the bustling city. Fine Japanese matcha tea is made with quality and simplicity, bringing nothing but purity to the palate. Go for a shot of the green drink or consider a matcha Americano, matcha cappuccino, or matcha latte instead of your usual coffee-based beverages, although they sell those too. Pair your matcha drink with a tasty bite such as a mashed avocado and egg sandwich with salmon on multigrain, a hearty quinoa bowl with butternut squash, a fresh kale salad with fennel, or matcha white chocolate bark for something sweet. And if you stop in Chalait's Chelsea Market location after 5PM, get your happy hour started with beer, cider, or wine!

229 W. Houston St., New York, NY

1216 Broadway, New York, NY

75 9th Ave. New York, NY

The Curb Kaimuki

Via yelp.com

Island living is splendid, made even more special thanks to eateries and cafés that are as spectacular as the views. Hawaiians who have the opportunity to visit The Curb Kaimuki know that matcha is as tasty and healthy as can be when prepared by folks who care about the entire process, from origin to cup. What started as a food truck grew into a busy café, and customers flock to fill up their cups with matcha. Hot or iced, their matcha lattes are balanced and bright, made with regular, soy, or almond milk. Coffee drinks are popular at The Curb Kaimuki too, as are chai lattes. Scones, cookies, sandwiches, and toasts accompany the beverages beautifully.

3408 Waialae Ave. #102, Honolulu, HI

Steven Smith Teamaker

Via smithtea.com

With two locations in Oregon and one in South Korea, Steven Smith Teamaker is bringing the magic of matcha across the world. Their tasting rooms are famous for flights of all sorts of teas, allowing those new to the various styles to sip and select their favorites. Customers enjoy Steven Smith Teamaker's matcha green tea latte, which is frothy and fun, made with care and creativity. A unique offering is tea on tap, in flavors like sparkling strawberry honeybush and nitro chai. Grab a seat and enjoy your tea at one of the Portland locations or buy a box to go for matcha the next morning.

110 SE Washington St., Portland, OR

1626 NW Thurman St., Portland, OR

Samovar Tea Lounge

Via foodmento.com

San Francisco is a beautiful and exciting place to live or visit, and Samovar Tea Lounge took advantage of its many charms by opening three locations in the city. Serene and inviting, they call it, "An urban sanctuary, a place to step out of time and connect to what's most important." Plenty of tea types are sold at Samovar Tea Lounge, but for lovers of matcha, they've got some truly special ones. Super Uji matcha (notes of umami, warm butter, and ocean breeze) sounds divine, as does matcha Hekisui (notes of cut grass, chocolate, and umami). For those with a sweet tooth, sip on their sweet matcha (notes of chlorophyll, white chocolate, honey, and umami). No matter which you pick, your senses will be heightened, and your palate will be pleased.

730 Howard St., San Francisco, CA

411 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA

San Francisco International Airport, International Terminal A, San Francisco, CA

Yoko Matcha

Via yelp.com

Head south for matcha at Miami's first matcha café, Yoko Matcha. Sunny skies and superior sips make this spot one to break for. Iced drinks are all the rage at Yoko Matcha, like a matcha con leche (milk), matcha with iced coconut milk, matcha with lemonade, matcha frappe (blended with white chocolate and coconut milk), and more. Pair your ice-cold drink with a tasty matcha alfajor (a matcha cookie sandwich filled with dulce de leche) or a matcha pastelito (a puff pastry filled with matcha, white chocolate, and cream cheese). They even make matcha vegan tarts and matcha waffles. Too much matcha? Never!

59 NW 29th St., Miami, FL

Cha Cha Matcha

Via yelp.com

After an inspiring trip to Japan, two NYU grads decided to open Cha Cha Matcha. The cute NYC shop is so much more than tea, with tasty treats and fresh coffee too. Take a seat inside or take home your matcha goodies after ordering at the counter. Iced or hot, the matcha is amazing, but be sure to try their soft serve matcha ice cream or a coconut matcha latte. On a hot day, their matcha lemonade will refresh. Matcha-infused pastries are perfect, and the shop's friendly vibe is just as pleasing. Cha Cha Matcha is as close to Japanese tea you can find in the Big Apple.

373 Broome St. New York, NY

Matcha is on the menu. Tea has never been so terrific!

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Finally, we are done with 2020! Between all the highs and lows, it felt like 5 years packed into one, so I'm excited to start fresh in 2021. I'm taking my New Year's resolutions to the next level: cook more, read more, and get back to things I truly love like arts & crafts and morning runs (okay, most likely walks).

Honestly, I could go on forever about the new year, new me thing but actually getting started is my biggest hurdle. I realized that my motivation comes from my mood which directly relates to my environment … and for the past year, my house has been my habitat. So, it's not looking too great after all the wear and tear. The dirt and the mess have accumulated right under my nose.

It's not that I'm bad at it, I just feel so overwhelmed. When my house is clean, I feel much more in control and motivated, and right now it's far from it. When I was venting about my cleaning woes the other day, my friend recommended Handy.

Handy allows you to book local professional cleaners and sign up for monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly plans. Plus, you can schedule appointments at a time that works for you with availability 7 days a week from 7am-11pm. So to get me in the right headspace to tackle my goals, I'm going to be signing up for Handy. I'm looking forward to letting the experts take over.

Although having people in your home may sound a bit strange right now, Handy has rolled out the Handy Safety Standard to help promote the health and safety of the customers and professionals who use their platform. Some of these measures include requiring Pros to wear face coverings during bookings and mandatory daily in-app check-ups to verify they are in good health before claiming a booking. They even have a section on their site dedicated to keeping customers and professionals updated on the latest CDC health and safety guidance.

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Once my house is in order, the fresh feeling will have a domino effect on so many other areas of my life:

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Nothing makes cooking more enjoyable than a sparkling kitchen. I'm inspired by a clean space and all the new recipes I'll be whipping up in 2021 already have me drooling.

✔ More Exercise (aka walking!)

I won't feel guilty getting out for a walk on-the-daily when I know I'm not neglecting any household chores thanks to Handy. And when I come home I'm not greeted by any reminders to clean.

You can specify exactly what you want to be cleaned before your Pro arrives and if you like them, you can request to have the same Pro come every time. I can already imagine how exciting it will be to walk into my spotless space.

I cannot wait to book my cleaning through Handy so I can get my 2021 resolutions rolling. My New Year is all about my wellness and my environment plays such a big part in it. I'm signing up for bi-weekly appointments. But their plans are super flexible and if I need, I can always change to a weekly or monthly cleaning plan — sometimes they even have bookings available as soon as the next day!

With Handy, I'm leaving that rough 2020 in the dust and jumping into 2021 feeling fresh and ready-to-go.

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Given the nature of the pandemic, it can be tough to find the best ways to spend the usual festivities that New Year's Eve brings.

Luckily, if you're comfortable enough to step outside for the occasion, there are great places still open and worth visiting. Although you should always keep COVID-19 safety precautions in mind, here are three of the most stunning places to spend Near Year's Eve in the U.S.

New York City (New York)

No guide to stunning places to spend New Year's Eve in the U.S. would be complete without the presence of New York City, New York. The Times Square ball drop is a must-see annual event, though this year it will be a bit different due to the pandemic. Thankfully, the city will still be throwing an event for all to enjoy that will keep social distancing in mind and focus on bringing people together virtually.

While there might be live events for some to enjoy, none have been officially announced just yet. Even if you're enjoying the festivities virtually, there are few better places to spend this special occasion than at the tip of the NYC skyline.

New York City New Years Eve New York City New Years EveForbes

Lake Travis (Texas)

Lake Travis is a brilliant body of water in Texas that provides a versatile collection of ways to enjoy its beauty. If you'd prefer to keep your party secluded due to the pandemic, you can enjoy the evening on a boat in the waters of this lake, which is home to the famous "Devil's Cove" party destination.

If you're comfortable spending the evening in a venue that practices COVID-19 safety precautions, consider relaxing on one of the three decks on display at The Oasis. Even if you don't stick around to ring in the New Year, viewing the sunset from The Oasis is an incredible experience in itself.

Lake Travs Lake Travislaketravis.com

Cape Cod (Massachusetts)

If you're looking for a quainter way to ring in the new year, consider visiting Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Aside from the cool weather and stunning scenery, when spending New Year's Eve in Cape Cod you can visit places such as the Belfry Inn & Bistro. This lovely location has a focus on good dining, stylish and comfortable living, and COVID-19 safety, all of which they put on display via their website.

If you'd prefer not to spend too much time in a restaurant or bar, you can indulge in the incredible appearance of areas like Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Simply wandering around the area and taking in the scenery before enjoying an intimate evening inside makes for an unforgettable adventure.

Cape Cod New Years Eve Cape Cod New Years Evebluegreenvacations.com

Due to the ever-changing nature of certain venues during the pandemic, be sure to regularly check-up on any venues you wish to visit. That way, you can remain in the loop on their availability, activities, and safety precautions upon arrival.