Archive for August, 2016

Trend Alert:

If Instagram posts are any indication of the latest food fads, matcha lattés are trending. Food-forward grammers are working hard to capture the perfect latté in shades of verdant green and it’s the coffee shops and tea salons that are offering drinks made with this whole leaf, green tea powder that are winning on social media and bringing in new customers. With more consumer awareness comes increased demand for this antioxidant-rich, caffeinated alternative to coffee.

16012 iSi Macha 0080
Photography: Gregor Halenda


Inspired by a trip to Japan, partners and co-owners Michelle and Ramon Puyane opened Chalait in 2015, a popular Manhattan café (now with two locations), focused on serving a variety of matcha beverages. While they also serve traditional espresso drinks, it’s their whipper-made matcha latté that has become their signature item. Using the iSi Thermo Whip has allowed them to consistently and efficiently execute high-quality matcha lattés at a New York City-pace. Matcha drinks now represent a solid sixty percent of their sales. While honoring the traditions of matcha, they understood the need to make it more accessible and appealing to Western customers.

Puyane, who was familiar with iSi whippers for whipped cream, first developed this technique when he thought about the pressure needed to extract a perfect shot of espresso. A well-executed shot is often characterized by the crema that forms on top. He wondered if he could create a similar effect using a pressurized whipper. After a little experimenting, Puyane discovered the significant benefits of using an iSi whipper, which include a “faster and more efficient execution of each matcha latté while still preserving the custom-made feel that customers want. The whipper creates an overall creamier mouth feel and allows for a better platform for latté art,” says Puyane. The creamier mouth feel is a significant plus for a drink with a tendency of being gritty when not mixed correctly.


16012 iSi Macha 0018Photography: Gregor Halenda


At Chalait, each matcha latté is made to order starting with a batch mixture of pure matcha powder suspended in water heated to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. The base is charged with nitrous oxide gas under pressure in an iSi Thermo Whip that creates an emulsion faster than the traditional method of mixing each serving by hand using a small bamboo whisk. “The thermally insulated whipper also keeps the mixture at a consistent temperature for service,” notes Puyane. When dispensed into a serving cup, the whipper produces “a matcha micro foam” similar to the crema on a shot of espresso. The creamier emulsion makes for a better conduit for steamed milk or milk alternative, which can then be transformed into a photo-worthy rosette, heart, or tulip by the barista.


16012 iSi Macha 0024Photography: Gregor Halenda


With more matcha items showing up on menus around the country and more consumers wanting to try alternatives to coffee, the matcha trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Just check your Instagram feed and the #matcha hashtag for more matcha inspiration.

Technique: Matcha Latté

Makes 24, 8-ounce matcha lattés

About 2 tablespoons matcha, adjust to taste
.5 liter water, heated to 175˚F
Steamed milk, or milk alternative

Pro Tip:
• The natural sweetness of almond milk is a nice compliment to the flavor of matcha. It also steams well for latté art.
• Use “everyday” grade matcha for milk-based drinks. Anything of lesser quality should be reserved for baking and other food preparations.

.5 liter iSi Thermo Whip or iSi Gourmet Whip
1 iSi Cream Charger

Combine hot water and matcha together and pour into iSi whipper. Charge with one cream charger and shake well. To serve, dispense matcha mixture into serving cup and top with steamed milk.

judiaannJudiaann Woo is the former VP of Culinary Development for iSi North America. During her time, with the company, she whipped, aerated, foamed and carbonated everything under the sun and had a whole lot of fun doing it. Today, she lives in Portland, Oregon and continues to share her passion for food with others willing to travel for the next great meal. See what she’s been eating recently @judiaann.