Scotland’s first matcha inspired bar opened its doors in Edinburgh last week, selling a variety of hot and cold drinks that its owner says is a much healthier alternative to coffee.
Edinburgh entrepreneur, Zoe McKenna, first discovered the wonders of matcha a few years ago with plans to open a unique Matcha café being a ‘background thought’ for the last year. Now the mother of three is delighted to open her new shop in Portobello, with Matcha Mind selling a range of drinks – from a matcha spritzer and selection of iced matcha blends to wellness superfood lattes.
Zoe said: “When you drink matcha drinks you feel better and you can feel a sustained energy throughout the whole day whereas coffee gives you a bit of a buzz and then you crash. But matcha has L-theanine in it, so there is caffeine but it’s balanced out so you stay focused all day.”
She added: “There’s nothing really like that here and it’s really hard to get a matcha in Edinburgh. I’m surprised no one else has opened one before because its popularity has grown. And because it’s getting bigger on social media now and lots of celebrities are drinking matcha instead of coffee, more people are realising that it’s good for you.”
Zoe said the wonder drink is high in antioxidants, can help boost one’s metabolism, reduce anxiety, regulate blood sugar levels and support a healthy immune system. The Edinburgh businesswoman, who opened Beauty to Perfection salon in Musselburgh in 2014, said she was inspired to create her business after years of suffering from gut issues and found matcha to prove more effective than her prescribed medication.
Zoe said: “I’ve had gut problems for 15 years and when it was really bad I had a lot of brain fog, skin issues, memory loss and just felt rubbish all the time.” She said after several years of research and making changes to her diet, all of her health issues went away, allowing her to spend time on her children and business.
She explained Matcha Mind is not just a bar but also a wellness centre where visitors can book meditation sessions, massages, life coaching sessions and learn about their body’s relationship to food. In addition to therapeutic sessions and tasty nutritious drinks the bar will also stock healthy snacks including Minato Sushi, award winning kombucha and other snacks made with natural ingredients.
Zoe said: “We want to have a human connection where people can learn about their gut and mind as well as feel connected to each other. It’s good to be able to educate people about their diet because it’s quite a journey to heal your gut and so many people are suffering because of all the bad food out there and general stress. I’m passionate about helping people as well so it’s great to be to offer these services as well as Matcha products.”
You can find Matcha Mind at 19 Brighton Place in Portobello.