Many years ago, Rachel Barnecut took a trip to Asia where she visited tea fields and explored the history, ceremony and benefits of tea. Her newfound love for matcha inspired her to open Matcha Magic, the newest business in Old Bellevue.
The shop is hard to miss being the only pink building on the block. Inside guests will find fun light
fixtures, patterned wallpaper and bright pink neon signs, offering the same calming energy as the drinks served. According to Barnecut, matcha is made by grinding green tea leaves containing healthy nutrients like L-Theanine, an amino acid that reduces stress and promotes relaxation. The drink is known to prevent a crash that is normally experienced from drinking coffee.
“The caffeine in matcha enters the system more slowly, leaving you with a feel-good energy that keeps you focused, calm and energized,” Barnecut said. “Matcha is considered one of the most antioxidant-dense foods in the world and plays a huge part in lowering inflammation, fighting cancer, lowering cholesterol, reducing stress, and slowing the aging process. ”
One of the reasons Barnecut opened Matcha Magic was introduce and educate the Eastside about matcha's benefits. Their menu resembles an ordinary coffee shop but with a matcha twist. Barnecut said while she understands people may be hesitant, she’ll do her best to recommend drinks based on what the customer already likes.
“If someone goes to a coffee shop and orders a white chocolate mocha, we will recommend our white chocolate matcha made with matcha, white chocolate and milk,” she said. “Our drinks often mirror familiar coffee items that are found everywhere. This helps ease people into it.”
The tea products sold are all organic and shipped from Shizuoka, Japan. While their focus is on tea drinks, Matcha Magic will also serve espresso and nutritious food items like açai bowls and loaded toasts. Barnecut said she looks forward to establishing her place in Downtown Bellevue.
“Our goal is not only to encourage others to reap the benefits of matcha, but to offer Downtown Bellevue something other than coffee,” she said.
Like thousands of people across the country, Barnecut spent her college and work life hopped up on coffee resulting in what she describes as feeling jittery and anxious. After her international trip, she returned to the United States and began playing with matcha recipes.
“It will be interesting to see what menu items become popular and to grow as a first-time business owner,” she said. “I’m looking forward to interacting with the community and establishing regulars. I can’t wait to begin seeing familiar faces in my shop.”
Stop in today and try out Barnecut’s drink recommendations:
A twist on the original caramel macchiato, this matcha drink is made with collagen, maca, reishi caramel sauce and milk.
Barnecut recommends tonic drinks when you really need a refreshing and non-caffeinated option. Their pineapple express tonic is a lemonade concoction mixed with house-made pineapple puree and butterfly pea flower.
Strawberry Matcha Latte
A strawberry matcha latte made with matcha, milk and house-made strawberry puree for a hint of sweetness.
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.