"Matcha is the king of superfoods."

"Matcha is the king of superfoods."

Life House features Yōko Matcha on our menus for its holistic health benefits, energizing qualities, and smooth flavor. We spoke with the tea brand’s founder, Chié Dambara, about the superfood, culture, and maintaining a grounded and balanced life.

The Setting: What inspired you to create and open Yoko Matcha?

I moved to Miami in 2016 and immediately discovered that matcha was non-existent in the area. I created Yōko Matcha to introduce this supercharged and delicious green powder to the Miami locals. Since I am half Spanish, I figured it would be more fun and authentic to create a brand that fused both my Spanish and Japanese cultures.

Iced Yōko Matcha Latte at Wildflower, Life House Lower Highlands

The Plot: What are the benefits of matcha for the mind, body, and soul?

Matcha is the king of superfoods. It boosts your immune system, detoxes, burns fat, fights cancer, and it’s caffeinated, so it gives you that boost of energy and zen-like feeling without the crash. I’ve tested matcha from all over Japan and chose the farm we source from because it has the smoothest flavor. Just the right amount of bitterness. I also chose to work with them because they are family friends with someone I grew up with. They are three generations of tea farmers and environmentally conscious.

Chie’s handmade matcha heart bowls

The Characters: Are there any fellow entrepreneurs or local Miami restaurants that inspire you right now?

I’m obsessed with everything Itamae does - a Peruvian Japanese restaurant in the Design District. They have the perfect fusion, and everything they create is art.

Photo via Itamae

The Conflict: How do you integrate wellness in your life to stay balanced?

Having been raised in Japan and Spain, my diet has always been healthy and balanced, so I try to maintain that by cooking at home 90% of the time. I also enjoy exercising, boxing, horseback riding, and pottery. I love DIY projects in my free time and I’m constantly making art.

The Theme: What inspired the name “Yoko Matcha?”

My grandmother was a tea ceremony master, and she raised me in Japan, so I wanted to honor her by naming my company after her. She was the OG fierce Matcha queen, so it felt right.

Point of View: What would your ideal culture-inspired wellness day look like in Miami?

Enjoying nature is a big part of my wellness routine—such as a day at the beach and going on walks in different neighborhoods. There’s a stigma of Miami being a party town, but there are so many different areas to enjoy such as Wynwood, Design District, Calle Ocho, and Upper Buena Vista. All of those areas have incredible restaurants, so food hopping would also be a great idea!

See Yōko Matcha on Instagram at @yokomatcha.

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