In second episode we talked about the transversal approach to the literature of Gogol & Company. From there we move towards a new way of understanding the culture and tasting of matcha tea, increasingly popular and loved drink in Italy. They tell us about it Tunde and Cecilia, immersed in the warm atmosphere of Macha Cafe in the Moscova area, in the third appointment with Metamorphosis.
First of all, how and why was Macha Cafè born?
Macha Cafè was born in July 2016 following our desire to transmit a philosophy that promotes healthy eating and drinking. We were the first matcha bar in Italy. Consider that the phenomenon of matcha bars began about two years before we opened ... the great European and American capitals were beginning to perceive the spread of this culture focused on well-being and health linked also and above all to food, and had discovered the matcha as an ideal ingredient to convey a certain lifestyle. New York, London, Paris, Melbourne were the first centers to welcome this type of venue, then we arrived in Milan. It was a bet, made together with my partner Antonio, which at the moment I can say won, even if new challenges and critical issues are always around the corner.
The founding members of Macha Cafè, Tunde and Antonio
Why exactly matcha tea and not something else?
We have chosen to promote matcha for two reasons: the first is closely related to the product itself, you must know that matcha contains ten times the antioxidants of regular tea, all thanks to the particular cultivation method which, in addition to not requiring the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers, ensures that the tea leaves are never exposed to sunlight. For about 20 days these are grown out of the sun so that they can develop a considerable amount of chlorophyll and other nutrients, including catechin, powerful antioxidant indeed.
The second reason derives from the fact that for over ten years we have managed a Japanese restaurant in Corso Garibaldi, and with the passage of time we have become increasingly fond of Japanese culinary culture, conversing daily with experienced suppliers, able to guarantee us quality products, the same that we propose today here at Macha. When we decided to throw ourselves into this adventure we had, how to say, a know-how not indifferent that it proved to be essential to get to where we are today, with 5 active stores and more on the way. It may seem obvious to you, but believe me that being able to find ripe avocados at the right point 365 days a year is not easy, and from that point of view we already had a certain expertise, given by the relationship established over the years with various suppliers. . An aspect not to be underestimated, especially if you consider that at the time the matcha café market was to be considered emerging.
A know-how that has led you to experiment with the use of matcha in various dishes
That's right, as you can see from our menu we prepare almost everything with matcha: cheesecake, tiramisu, ice cream, caprese, vegan cakes ... we also include matcha in cocktails, our barmen have managed to elaborate three matcha-based ones.
Speaking of vegan food, were you born as a vegan restaurant or was this feature added later?
We were not born as a vegan restaurant, simply vegan cuisine has been added to our menu to meet the needs of every customer interested in trying the Macha experience. We don't use meat in our dishes, yes, but we use a lot of fish. Our most loved dish remains there sushi bowl: we were one of the first places to offer it here in Milan and now, as you have surely noticed, the dish has exploded throughout the city. Our prerogative is not to satisfy a vegan or vegetarian customer or anything else ... as I told you before: we are born to promote dishes healthy and quality, and this regardless of the diet of our customers, whose requests must always be satisfied.
I see a wall with many photos of your customers… do you by chance take them?
Right observation, this aspect is directly linked to our way of making the customer experience the "Macha" experience ... the ones you see in these slides are all boys and girls who frequent our stores around Milan. This initiative, which we call "Macha people", was created to pay homage to and thank them for shared value they create for us. Our products are 100% Instagrammable, and this facilitates the creation of content by our customers: they themselves take the shots you see, inspired by the environment in a spontaneous and genuine. So our community takes shape, and not only on a digital level but on a physical, tangible level: just visit our stores to see who is part of it and why not, become part of it, sharing a shot that is actually much more, an important moment of relaxation and well-being during the day.
What are your sustainability policies?
We care a lot about the protection of the planet, so we try to use gods food containers that are sustainable, both with regard to meals consumed on site and for delivery. The smoothie you are drinking is in a cardboard cup, just like the straw is made of cardboard, while for delivery we are experimenting with the use of containers made in PLA, 100% recyclable and compostable plastic. Even our lamps are made of cardboard ... we want our values not to remain a simple slogan but to become an integral part of our way of being pervading the atmosphere you breathe here, starting with the small pieces of furniture.
What do these t-shirts and mugs represent?
Every year we create small gadgets to express our philosophy made of well-being, simplicity and positive vibes. We think of a number of phrases we like to share and print them on t-shirts and mugs: the idea is to create little ones collectibles that can express a certain way of being. The goal is to make the customer perceive to be at home and be able to get comfortable. The furniture, the cushions, the tables, the snack area, inside the Macha stores everything wants to reconstruct that heat is that feeling of well-being typical of domestic context. The basic idea is that the "Macha mood experience" is a simple concept, where everyone can immerse themselves.
Do you have particular plans for the future?
The sixth Macha in will soon open Via Savona, more or less towards the end of May and the beginning of June. To date, our development plan includes an expansion beyond Milan. We'll see how it goes, for now I feel pretty confident.
And I can't help but wish you the best. Thank you so much for the chat, and see you soon… maybe over a Macha mojito!
Imagine, the pleasure was ours!