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Matcha Cita, Chicago’s first matcha-focused café, is now open in the West Loop. After a popular pop-up stint in Lincoln Park in 2021, Matcha Cita’s permanent location is 1017 W Lake Street, steps from the Morgan ‘L’ station (green and pink lines). A play on and reference to the timeless coffee date, Matcha Cita roughly translates to “matcha date” in Spanish. Cultivating personal creativity and a balanced lifestyle, Matcha Cita aims to produce a lively, welcoming experience with everything from the innovative matcha menu to the visually stylish decor.
Founded by Bianca Pearson with co-owner Vincent Lujan, Matcha Cita was born out of Pearson’s love of matcha and stylish interior design. Serving as Director of Sales and Marketing for over a decade at trendy hotspots like Joy District and Flight Club Darts in Chicago, Pearson launched Pop and Props in 2019, a boutique balloon installation and event planning company.
“When I realized there was an opportunity to bring a trendy, fully matcha-focused café to Chicago, I began conceptualizing Matcha Cita. I wanted to create a photogenic space, and the menu, the decor, the music, everything was carefully curated to create an overall energetic, cheerful vibe,” said Pearson in a statement. “After our initial pop-up in Lincoln Park, I knew I wanted to open an all day café where guests could enjoy a delicious menu but also feel welcome to stay awhile.”
Bringing Pearson’s vision to life was East Interiors, who created the colorful 1600 square foot café that is retro and geometric in design with tropical vibes. The photo-worthy space is bold and bright with a palette of vibrant pastels, including light pink and light green walls set against a bubblegum pink ceiling with lavender lights that hang overhead. Vivid accent pieces adorn the café like the custom-made wall panels, greenery, flowers, disco balls, tropical print wallpaper, and bold, patterned encaustic floor tiles with colors of pink, greige and cream. Adding texture to the design is a blush pink terrazzo countertop and gold leaf trim throughout the space. Giving even more character to the space are the art installations like an interactive pink rotary phone and a neon sign that reads “Matcha Made in Heaven” on a backdrop of roses that hangs from the ceiling.
Matcha Cita offers seating for 20 guests in plush light corduroy pink and matcha green booths and at white marble café tables making it a perfect co-working space for patrons looking for a work from home alternative. In the warmer months, customers will enjoy a sidewalk patio outfitted with several tables and accented by a lavender door with green trim and an encaustic tiled wall outside. Guests will enjoy soothing tropical house music while enjoying Matcha Cita’s menu.
Utilizing matcha, a powder made from green tea leaves that’s high in antioxidants, and other superfood ingredients, the menu ranges in prices from $4.29 to $13.95 and features specialty matcha drinks, over 20 smoothies, juices, coffee from Lavazza, macarons, a selection of pastries from Vivian Hu of Chicago Desserts and more. Complementing the bright and colorful space, Matcha Cita’s menu items are just as playful, offering an overall Instagrammable experience.
Highlights include hot and iced drinks like a Matcha Horchata with cinnamon and vanilla almond milk, Purple Haze with matcha, lavender, CBD, and oat milk, Pineapple Mango Matcha with lemonade, and a Pink n’ Pitaya Smoothie with pitaya, strawberry, banana, peanut butter, and vanilla almond milk. Guests can customize their drinks with fun accessories ranging from $1.95 to $3.95 including Make Me Pretty (collagen), Make It Luck (Lucky Charms), Make Me Mellow (CBD), Make Me Strong (protein) and Make It Matcha (matcha).
Food items include smoothie bowls like a Pitaya Bowl with blended pitaya, strawberry, banana and vanilla almond milk; sweet and savory Toasts including The Lox, Nella Nutella, Bruschetta, and Pomegranate; three flavors of Matcha Bubble Waffles; and an assortment of baked goods including Lavender Matcha Macarons and rotating House Made Pop Tarts.
Matcha Cita will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Delivery will also be available.