Where Is the Best Matcha at UCF?

About a year ago, I tried the cool green drink I'd seen people around campus drinking, and I fell in love. I switched out my daily cold brew for an iced matcha tea latte. In quarantine, my love became more of an obsession. I started making my own matcha lattes, and I'd drink one every single day. When fall started, I was happy to be reunited with my Foxtail matcha, but there are four other coffee shops on campus — all of them have matcha, but which one is the best? My new goal was to try every matcha and find out. 

To ensure my little experiment's integrity, I ordered my drink the same way at all locations: iced, with whole milk.

  1. 1. Dunkin'

    Dunkin’s matcha is exactly what you'd expect from a Dunkin drink. I love Dunkin, but Dunkin’s sweeteners are funky. I went in knowing I was going to get overly sweet matcha, and I got overly sweet matcha. That would have been okay, however, some of the matcha resting at the bottom of my drink got sucked up into my straw...and it was all sweetener. Even though I usually like my drinks on the sweeter end of things, this was too sweet for me. I think I'd rather order The Charli from Dunkin.

  2. 2. Starbucks

    I got the Starbucks matcha twice: once at the beginning of the week, and a second time as a refresher before I sat down to write this. The Starbucks matcha was the strongest out of the four on this list. The second time, I somehow ordered my drink with foam. Because the matcha flavor was so strong, the foam was somewhat bitter. And although it may technically have been my cup of tea, it was not my cup of tea. At $3.99, it was the cheapest matcha I drank this week. However, unless I were craving matcha specifically, I'd probably opt for another drink here. Also, if you don't do dairy, Starbucks offers the fewest alternative kinds of milk.

  3. 3. Foxtail Coffee Co.

    Drinks

    The Foxtail matcha has been my go-to order after class for MONTHS. After trying all the other matcha lattes on campus, I made sure to try this one again so I could honestly rank it. I didn't realize just how sweet this drink was. Unlike Dunkin, however, it’s not a slap-in-your-face kind of sweetness. This is the most expensive matcha on the list — that being said, I will continue to order this multiple times a week, but I don’t think it's the best matcha. However, Foxtail is very conveniently located, and the line is never as long as the Starbucks on campus.

  4. 4. Pop Parlour

    Every drink I’ve had from Pop Parlor in the past has been pretty bitter. I usually like my drinks on the sweeter side, so I didn't have high hopes for this matcha. However, I was pleasantly surprised; it wasn't overly bitter or sweet, but was that perfect in-between place. It tasted exactly like the matcha I made for myself at home, which I drink every day. The Pop Parlour offers a dine-in option, and since I chose this, my matcha was served in a mason jar with a biodegradable straw. So, they get extra points for being environmentally conscious as well as having the most aesthetically pleasing drink.

After my week of research, I think that the Pop Parlour has the best matcha on the UCF campus. Not only did it offer a good balance of sweetness and matcha flavor, but it also fell in the middle cost-wise. Add the opportunity for cute pictures, and that really makes it the matcha you have to try.