Matcha Cafe Maiko opened its doors just a few weeks ago in Japantown and has already taken the SF insta-scene by storm.
But judging from the hordes of people lining up for a peep, that doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. We got the chance to chat with owner Chris Chin to see just what the actual heck is going on.
Originally from Malaysia, owner Chris Chin grew up in the Bay Area (total third culture kid himself)—Chin brought the Japanese matcha brand over to the mainland from Hawaii after falling in love with the matcha cafe himself. He knew he had to do something when he found himself returning to the cafe every day while living in Hawaii. So, when he moved back to the Bay Area, he brought the matcha and aloha spirit with him.
Now the product—The Maiko Special (their most popular menu item) was insane. It's their matcha soft serve layered and topped with red beans, agar jelly, black honey syrup, corn flakes, matcha sponge cake, a simmered Japanese chestnut, and a handmade mochi ball. Every aspect and flavor worked so well together, we just couldn't get enough. The Hojicha Float was also quite a winner. A cold hojicha latte with matcha soft serve dusted with hojicha powder. Like, what? Okay. We were confused by the concept at first, but now we are obsessed.
What's next for Cafe Maiko? He said to keep eyes open for new matcha teas and creations coming out soon. Shops will be opening in Las Vegas, Houston, Vancouver, and more locations in the near future as well.
// 1581 Webster St #175, Japantown, matchacafe-maiko.com, photography by Anthony Rogers.
Co-founder of Third Culture Bakery in Berkeley, CA. // Matcha connoisseur and Mochi conquerer.