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Inside Nana’s Green Tea, the Japanese Chain Taking Seattle by Storm

Get a close look at the matcha lattes, hojicha roll cakes, and chicken katsu curries at Nana’s Green Tea, opening Thursday in Denny Triangle

Nana’s Green Tea serves sweet and savory dishes alongside an extensive list of tea drinks.

Seattle’s soon-to-be matcha obsession, Japanese chain Nana’s Green Tea, opens this week in Denny Triangle, with all its wondrous tea-infused sundaes, lattes, and pastries. Located at the base of a brand new Amazon building at 1007 Stewart St., the first Nana’s in the continental United States — there are already North American locations in Hawai’i and Vancouver, British Columbia — officially opens to the public Thursday, November 29, but the store is taking reservations for an early test drive with limited hours through Wednesday, November 28.

Nana’s has more than 80 locations in Japan and 16 around the world, each with its own unique interior design evocative of a modern Japanese tea house. At the Seattle shop, owned by Jessmin Lau, the tea bar rests upon a large, custom-made concrete counter, symbolizing the stone basin where guests typically wash their hands before entering a tea house. An even more obvious ode is the main seating area’s eye-catching wooden structure, meant to be a deconstructed tea house. Supporting beams have wood on one side and mirrors on the other to reflect the sun and make diners feel like they’re in nature. The high ceilings help complete the effect.

As its name suggests, Nana’s is all about green tea varieties, namely matcha grown and processed by the company and hojicha, a roasted green tea with notes of cocoa. The extensive drink menu offers them hot, cold, even sparkling or as floats. The drink specialty here, though, is the latte, the base of which is unsweetened but can be doctored with the likes of whipped cream and caramel sauce. There are eight different matcha lattes, four hojicha lattes, four red bean lattes, and even a number of matcha latte frappes.

Nana’s is also famous for its desserts and parfaits. Served in slender glasses, parfaits have a base of tea agar (jello) and soft serve. Toppings include sweet bean paste, a couple types of mochi, brown sugar syrup, and chocolate sauce, as well as ice cream flavors like hojicha, matcha, and black sesame, which is a lovely option reminiscent of peanut butter. Soft serve is available in an ice cream cone, too. And Seattle’s shop will have the most pastries baked on-site of any Nana’s, including tender matcha and hojicha roll cakes, chocolate gateau matcha cake, and yuzu cheesecake.

In addition to sweets and drinks, Nana’s also has a sizable food menu of Japanese comfort food, available to go only after the first week of business. Entrees, all served with miso soup, include three rice bowls (tuna avocado, salmon sashimi, chicken soboro), three rice plates (chicken nanban, salmon cutlet, tofu teriyaki), and two chicken curry options (katsu and karaage). There are also three salad options, including a creamy potato salad. Nana’s in Seattle will also be the first to feature savory breakfast options, like three pitas filled with salad and a choice of chicken karaage, tofu, or salmon cutlet.

Lau hopes that customers unfamiliar with or skeptical of matcha will love Nana’s proprietary blend, which has a mellow earthiness and little of the bitterness that sometimes comes through in other matchas. She also hopes diners will branch out to other tea varieties such as hojicha. She said in a test of first-time tea tasters, over half of her subjects preferred the roasty flavor of hojicha to matcha.

Starting November 29, Nana’s Green Tea plans to be open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Breakfast will be served until 11 a.m. As always, hours are subject to change.

Update: November 28, 2018, 9:00 a.m.
This article was updated to reflect Nana’s adjusted opening hours.

Nana's Green Tea (Seattle)

1007 Stewart St #103, Seattle, WA 98101 Visit Website