Shanghai's 9 Most Intense Matcha Desserts

By Betty Richardson, August 18, 2017

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Green tea has been around since the Chinese discovered its 'awakening' effects helped them meditate back in the Tang dynasty (609-705), but it was the Zen Buddist sect of 12th Century Japan who refined it into the bright green powder you see today. They did this by growing it in the shade to produce a theanine-rich, caffeinated tea and then powdering it. 

Along the way, Japanese patissiers and confectioners discovered it tastes delicious in cakes, ice cream, mochi, Swiss rolls, Napoleons – the list goes on. Here's a list of the most matcha-y desserts you'll find in Shanghai.

1. Tea Funny's Matcha Cookie Cups

With Yongkang Lu thoroughly sobered up following the Xuhui Mayor's intervention last year, the street has cleaned up its act with a host of cafés and dessert shops. Tea Funny is one of them, owned by a cha loving local who apparently studied the art of tea ceremony in Japan, something you'll notice from the assortment of porcelain and brewing paraphernalia scattered about. 

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Playful cookie cups are the thing to get here, a riff on the trend started by Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC. Tea Funny's are bigger than the original, and lined with dark chocolate to stop leakages. The matcha used in the green tea version is hefty enough to temper the cookie, and topped with a fat layer of cream. 

Matcha rating: 7.5/10

See a listing for Tea Funny

2. Pâte's Kyoto matcha gelato

This recently opened patisserie shop near Xintiandi has a selection of matcha-ful desserts and drinks up for grabs. The light matcha latte and sweet matcha tart are a good place to start. However, hardcore matchaphiles should train their sights on the gelato, made with green tea sourced from an artisanal producer in Kyoto. 

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Rich enough to constitute the most intense hit we've found so far, eating this gelato has all the deep, chocolatey and faintly grassy flavors you could want from matcha. The extra sprinkling of matcha on top doesn't hurt, either. 

Matcha rating: 8.5/10

See a listing for Pâte

3. EGG's Matcha Latte

There's a reason we keep coming back for EGG's no-nonsense matcha latte: when you ask for it without sugar, the response is an "Of course." Available both hot and iced, we love that they whisk the milk up into a frothy topping, and that sweetness doesn't intrude on the matcha and fresh milk love-in. 

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Matcha rating: 7/10

See a listing for EGG

4. Wuxie's Matcha Melon

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We trekked all the way to Super Brand Mall in Pudong for this matcha café. Somewhat surprisingly, the combination of sweet, ripe melon and cool, creamy soft serve in this oddball dessert are conducive to one another. In fact we ended up finishing the whole thing. 

Being a dedicated matcha café, you'll find a full menu of other green tea treats including cheesecake, mochi, tiramisu, sundaes, and soft serve covered in gold leaf. What a time to be alive! (Provided you like matcha.) 

Matcha rating: 6.5/10

See a listing for Wuxie

5. Chez Shibata's Matcha Éclaires

Japanese pâtissier Takeshi Shibata has maintained a store in Shanghai since 2009, during which time he's become known for such signature desserts as salted caramel éclaires topped with cubes of Maldon salted butter (sadly, not as good as they sound). 

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The matcha éclairs here are the most popular item, filled with an uncompromisingly strong matcha crème pâtissiere (pastry cream), glazed with matcha icing and two matcha cookies. 

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It's worth going early in the day or calling ahead if you're coming to Chez Shibata just for these, as they were sold out on one occasion. 

Matcha rating: 7/10

See listings for Chez Shibata

6. Royce's Fresh 'Nama' Matcha Chocolates

Let it be said that literally everything that comes out of this upmarket Japanese chocolate brand from Hokkaido is awesome and worth spending upwards of RMB100 on. Nutty Bars: brazenly delicious. Chocolate-dipped potato chips: better than sex. Chocolate strawberry wafers: almost as good as hot shengjian bao on a cold winter's day. 

However, Royce's 'Nama' truffle fresh cream chocolates are the jewel in the crown. 

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Available in a range of flavors (including white, dark chocolate, Champagne), the 'Maccha Nama' is our favorite, delivering a luxurious fudgy experience in each mouthful. They come packaged in a sort of space suit bag to protect them from the elements, and to conceal them from scavenging co-worker/roommate eyes. 

Matcha rating: 8/10

See listings for Royce

7. Prēe's Uji Matcha Ice Cream

Impossibly smooth and creamy, it's no secret that Prēe's ice cream is one of Shanghai's most refined (and ludicrously expensive), starting at RMB42 a cup. State of the art Pacojet chef gadgets, otherwise known as the USD5,000 ice cream maker, make this possible, churning the made-to-order ice cream at a rate of 2,000RPM. The speed meants that ice crystals formed are smaller, resulting in a supremely velvety texture. 

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Prēe's classic matcha ice cream is made with Uji matcha from Kyoto, topped with crunchy toasted rice kernels to add texture. It's not the strongest matcha flavor, but decent quality ingredients and restrained sugar dosage make it a worthwhile occasional indulgence. 

Matcha rating: 5.5/10

See a listing for Prēe

8. Chikalicious' Mille Crêpe Cake

This matcha we know: the dessert masters over at this New York export know a thing or two about hitting the sweet spot, and their mille crêpe cake is testament. What is a mille crêpe? It's literally 20 thin pancakes stacked on top of each other, sandwiched with flavored cream and cut into a slice. 

matcha-desserts-in-shanghai.jpgThe matcha version of this is surprisingly light and melts in the mouth within seconds, its creaminess tempered by an earthy but subtle kick of Uji matcha. This isn't a very intense matcha dose, but it still hits the spot. 

Matcha rating: 6/10

See a listing for Chikalicious

9. Tsujiri's Matcha Soft Serve

This dedicated matcha cafe chain is a good option if you need a green tea fix on the go, and we recommend their soft serve and shaved ice combo cup (RMB36) as the most intense delivery of green tea flavor.

Best Matcha Desserts ShanghaiThe Global Harbor branch of Tsujiri has a more expansive menu, and is worth visiting for fans of kakigori (Japanese shaved ice dessert). Theirs is drenched in a dark matcha syrup.  

Matcha rating: 6/10

See listings for Tsujiri


Didn't meet your matcha yet? Take a look at our other Shanghai Dining Guides

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