HiP Paris Blog: Umami Matcha Café

Tucked away in a quiet street behind the hustle and bustle of the busy Place de la République, Umami Matcha is the first café in Paris to be entirely devoted to matcha, the bitter, grassy-hued powdered tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Yet there’s nothing ceremonial about this bright, zen-like modern space that doubles as an upmarket épicerie selling artisanal ingredients from Japan.

HiP Paris Blog: Umami Matcha Café

Co-founder Laure Béguin, a Japanese food importer whose grandmother introduced ikebana – the Japanese art of flower arrangement — to France, wanted a place that could make the tea culture from the land of the rising sun more accessible to a younger French public.

HiP Paris Blog: Umami Matcha Café

Organic matcha from Uji, near Kyoto, is the house specialty, taking the spotlight with quirky chartreuse-colored versions of coffeehouse favorites like cortado, cappuccino and latte, as well as in modern concoctions like matcha milkshakes and matcha hot chocolate that wouldn’t look out of place in a trendy Tokyo café.

HiP Paris Blog: Umami Matcha Café

The tea leaves used to produce matcha come from bushes that are covered to prevent direct sunlight. This in turn encourages the production of chlorophyll and amino acids like theanine, which help confer the characteristic creamy, bittersweet flavor once the leaves are milled into a feather-light powder. Because of this meticulous production process, matcha tea commands a premium price, with some artisan ceremonial-grade types fetching as much as €150 for just one ounce.

Umami also offers a more traditional selection of Japanese leaf teas including sencha, genmaicha (green tea combined with roasted brown rice) and nutty hojicha, which gets its distinctive flavor from roasting the leaves over charcoal.

HiP Paris Blog: Umami Matcha Café

Despite a drinks selection skewed toward tea, caffeine addicts are catered with beans roasted by Coutume Café, a firm favorite in the Parisian café scene.

HiP Paris Blog, Umami Matcha, Facebook Umami Matcha, Montage 4

Those with a sweet tooth will find breakfast-time happiness in moreish cookies with matcha and white chocolate and superb matcha croissants. But more adventurous types can opt for matcha porridge made with quinoa flakes, or tuck into Umami’s homemade granola, scented with aromatic yuzu peels, the yellow citrus fruit popular in Japan, Korea and China.

HiP Paris Blog: Umami Matcha Café

Lunchtime options include traditional Japanese fare like somen and donburi, in addition to on-trend dishes such as poke bowl, the marinated raw fish salad from Hawaii, which closely resemble Japan’s chirashi sushi. There is also the option to attend workshops to recreate Umami’s poke bowls at home using the ingredients on sale in the grocery corner.

HiP Paris Blog, Umami Matchi, Facebook Umami Matchi 7

Unlike many competitors on the Parisian coffee scene. Umami accepts telephone reservations for lunch and brunch at weekends – a nice zen touch.

HiP Paris Blog, Umami Matcha, Facebook Umami Matcha, Montage 3

Umami Matcha Café- 22 rue Béranger 75003. Métro: République (ligne 3,5,8,9,11). +33 (0) 1 48 04 06 02. Open Tuesday-Friday, 9h-19h, Saturday-Sunday, 10h-19h.

Related Links

Written by Elena Berton for HiP Paris. All photos courtesy of Umami Matcha. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven In.



Elena Berton

Born in Italy, Elena Berton swapped her native Venice for life in the United States and England before making Paris her home, where she can indulge in cooking, lurking in boulangeries and walking around in high heels. She has written for Dow Jones Newswires, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, Time Out London, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian.


  1. Enjoying your page so much !! I love Paris and spend my vacation every year.
    Love to get to know more about my beloved city !!

  2. y beautiful daughter in law is Japanese and every time she puts food out, even for the baby, it is cut perfectly into small little cubes or slices and pretty little containers .. Pretty food 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *