Muzi is a downtown Vancouver “tea bar” with impressive design, including a railing with a tea leaf pattern. The concept sprouted in 2001, while Brian Takeda and Mars Koo were attending Queen’s School of Business. They submitted a tea-centric business plan for their 4th year thesis. Post graduation, their vision gained form when their parents bankrolled INFUZE in downtown Vancouver. Tea purists, they didn’t serve coffee or tea in bags. They did introduce North America to the therapeutic green tea powder known as “matcha.” INFUZE’s astounding matcha sales captured the imagination of Aiya, a Japanese matcha manufacturer. Takeda and Koo partnered with Aiya and rebranded as Muzi in 2005.
Muzi imports their green tea powder from the 800-year-old tea plantations in Nishio, Japan. According to a Muzi pamphlet, matcha holds myriad health benefits; it boosts energy, works an an antibiotic, calms nerves, boosts metabolism, and lowers cholesterol. The powder also holds 70 times the antioxidants of orange juice. Okay, enough pamphlet quotes.
The Muzi manager called their matcha the “best in North America” I don’t know enough about matcha to agree or disagree, but it was a good experience.
I didn’t know you could milk a vanilla bean, and the drink was strangely chalky, but I couldn’t stop drinking my Matcha Lattea.
Muzi doesn’t just sell matcha; there are also iced teas, latteas, and frappes, plus matcha poppy seed bread and matcha chocolates. There is even a collection of tea pouches and tins for home brewing, stylishly displayed.