With the recently bitter cold days in Chicago, a warm glass of tea hits the spot. Wonderful Matcha in LaGrange is the perfect store to find the best tea flavors and items for tea connoisseurs.
After its opening on Oct. 31, 2020, I passed by this shop many times, unsure of what it was. Last weekend, I was finally able to visit and can say this new addition to LaGrange did not disappoint. When I first walked into the store, I was greeted by the soothing aroma of floral and earthy herbs. Tea cups and pots were displayed on tables in the middle of the room, while self-serve tea stations for sampling encompassed the sides of the store.
In the back of the room, honey jars and a candy wall neighbored each other, creating a pleasing visual to the eye. The focal point of the room, however, was the front counter, with the company’s name sprawled out in orange and lime letters on the front. A friendly staff member stood behind it and familiarized me with some of the company’s products. They have everything you could want for your ideal glass of tea from a variety of flavors, to tea kettles and cups, to honey jars for sweetening.
As a tea lover myself, I was delighted to see the free tea samples lined around the store. I was able to try all of the hot teas displayed that day, which allowed me to discover flavors I liked. A sign asked for customers to use hand sanitizer before and after each sample, which made the sampling process much more comfortable.
All of the teas I sampled were served at the perfect temperature that took the chill out of the snowy day. One of my favorite teas I sampled was called Minty Comfort. It had peppermint, orange and apple that married well with lemongrass and juniper to create flavorful spices in each sip.
Overall, I was impressed with the variety of different tea flavors they had. Some teas boasted immunity benefits like the Cha Cha, with chamomile flowers, lemongrass and peppermint leaves. Others, like Watermelon Cooler and Green Rooibos Blueberry, offered sweet and fruity elements that may suit less adventurous tea drinkers.
The real star of the show, however, was the matcha tea. You are able to order matcha lattes to go at the front counter of the store. I opted for the original matcha, but there were other matcha flavors, including a peach option. The barista who made the drink gave me a choice of almond or whole milk. I went for the almond milk, which she warmed and frothed to the perfect foamy consistency. She mixed the matcha powder with a special matcha whisk which allowed for a glorious silky smooth sip.
The latte itself came out to be around $6, which some may argue is a bit pricey. However, I think the matcha latte was well worth the price, as it came in a large cup and was higher quality matcha than chain restaurants with similar prices.
Even though Wonderful Matcha doesn’t have a lot to offer for non-tea drinkers, they had some candy and nuts along the wall for purchase. The real draw was their macaron wall, with a rainbow of colorful flavors. They had an offer of either one macaron for $2.95 or five for $12.
I got five macaron flavors: chocolate coffee, key lime, lemon blueberry, chocolate cherry and raspberry chocolate. All of the macarons were perfectly crunchy and flaky on the outside and creamy on the inside, which is how I knew they were fresh. The flavors were superb and true to their name, except for the chocolate cherry, which had a rather chemically taste. Overall, though, I would say the macarons were overpriced for what they were, due to their small size.
Wonderful Matcha is a great addition to LaGrange and is a destination stop for tea lovers to stock up on their favorite flavors, while sipping on a warm matcha latte. The store also has an online website, where you can order tea subscription boxes for $31 to $35 a month.
Wonderful Matcha is located at 4 W Burlington Ave., La Grange, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Wonderful Matcha Restaurant: 4/5 Paws