Chalait - New York City, U.S.A.

Chalait New York City

Nestled in the heart of West Village at the intersection of bustling Christopher Street, West 4th Street, and 7th Avenue is a sunny matcha-focused café that also boasts incredibly good food. Locals come and go, stopping on the way to the office for a foamy green matcha latte or a quick shot of espresso at the narrow bar.

Chalait was imagined by husband-and-wife team Ramon Puyane and Michelle Gardner, and opened its doors to Manhattan’s matcha-lovers last winter. The young couple found their inspiration for Chalait in a trip across Japan, during which they came to love the calming ritual of the traditional tea ceremony and expertly whipped matcha tea.

Deciding that New Yorkers could use a space to refocus and discover the tradition of matcha, they envisioned Chalait as a place where eastern tea rituals could be presented in a thoroughly western setting. The name for their concept is a combination of the Japanese word for tea, “cha,” with the French word for milk, “lait.” Representing a convergence of cultures and identities, the re-imagined teahouse has become a successful community space in its own right.

Strong sunlights filters through two entirely glass walls, heating the minimalist café to a toasty glow in wintertime. Seating is limited to high stools along the wooden bar and a couple of short marble tables and chairs for those lucky enough to grab them.  

The menu highlights Chalait's signature line of matcha tea, sourced directly from Uji, Japan’s rural tea-growing region. From high-grade matcha shots to sweet and frothy matcha lattes to an original matcha hot chocolate, there’s a creativity and whimsy displayed in the drinks, which are expertly whipped with a flick of the wrist by young baristas. Espresso drinks are also available.

Light breakfast and lunch items include a mind-blowingly good “Miso Butter Toast,” which combines the perfect amount of nutty, tangy umami flavour topped with soft-boiled eggs and sesame seeds. The popular “Avocado Sunrise” is an original take on avocado toast that layers sliced tomatoes, arugula, half an avocado, poached egg, and roasted pepitas. A fun and whimsical “Muesli Toast” essentially dollops a bowl of Greek yogurt, nuts, fruits, and honey onto a piece of toast. Chalait also keeps the menu interesting by introducing rotating seasonal specials like a “Cauliflower and Quinoa Bowl” with fried egg, avocado, and seasonal squash smothered in a spicy tahini sriracha sauce.

Our advice: come for the matcha, stay for the miso butter toast.

Chalait | Matcha - Tea - Espresso | 224 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014 (between 7th and christopher) | Mon - Fri 7am to 7pm / Sat - Sun 8am to 7pm | Tlf: (212) 929 - 0266 | info@chalait.com | www.chalait.com | #chalaitmatcha 

Images © Emma Stencil

A few years ago Emma was traveling around Europe, when in early 2015 she traded Parisian cafés and marchés for the New York dollar-slice. 2016 has set Emma on another venture in Europe. Emma works in travel PR and writes about food, wine and destinations. Find her brunch recommendations at www.goodbrunch.wordpress.com

Chalait New York City
Chalait New York City
Chalait New York City
Chalait New York City