Think you know matcha? Think again. Matcha Dive, a new matcha brand started by former fashion models Madison and Daniel Liu, is bringing the best-tasting, 100 per cent organic ceremonial-grade matcha from the volcanic farmlands of Shizuoka, Japan, to Canada. The goal: creating a product that’s approachable, accessible and loaded with personality. We chatted with the couple to learn matcha more! —Noa Nichol
Hi Madison and Daniel! Please tell us a bit about yourselves to start.
We’re Madison and Daniel and we met in New York City while waiting for a subway train during fashion week. We chatted for two Subway stops and reconnected about two weeks later on a date / not a date, and we’ve been together ever since. Daniel was working as a model and photographer when we met, and Madison was travelling the world modelling and enjoying life. Wanting to save some money and to secure his catch, Daniel quickly moved in with Madison after two months of dating and she became his unscrupulous landlord.
When and why did you launch Matcha Dive? What niche were/are you aiming to fill?
Matcha Dive developed pretty organically and we started working on the creative in Spring of 2019 before launching officially in May of 2022 during AAPI month. We found rather quickly when we started dating that we both shared a passion for wellness, natural health, beauty, and optimizing our lives. We also both believed that food is incredible medicine, and that consuming the highest quality ingredients that are right for your body is an intuitive way to increase energy and maintain health over the long term. Working in the fashion industry and travelling often for work meant we were always drinking coffee and riding the ups and downs of caffeine crashes and feeling jittery. Then we discovered matcha, and it was like unlocking a cheat code. We weren’t sure if it was a temporary boost, but we definitely got used to the clean energy and mood and confidence boosts, and started to feel ourselves becoming happier, more productive, and more functional. Then we decided to move to Toronto to start a family, and we cut ourselves off from our usual ceremonial matcha supply. We thought, with Toronto being as international and as metropolitan as it was, that we’d be able to find high-quality matcha easily, so we started buying good-looking matcha off grocery store shelves and from high-end boutiques and online. What we drank In the following months left us feeling disappointed, and we never saw that vibrant green powder or instant lift to our energy and moods that we noticed before, and we weren’t about to pay a million dollars per gram of matcha just to get something equivalent. We knew there had to be better options out there, from farms that cared about sustainability and ethical treatment of their farmers, and so we decided one evening during a twilight car ride conversation to start our own Matcha company. Daniel feels like he can remember making a left turn onto Annette from Keele Street when the revelation hit him. It was a perfect blend of our passions and sensibilities, and Madison would be able to really explore her creative visions and art direction, and Daniel would do what he does best, which is optimizing business operations and making an impact at a grassroots level, Canadian owned, locally distributed and community focused.
What products do you currently offer, and what makes them unique (i.e., approachable, accessible and loaded with personality)?
So far, we only offer one product in three various sizes for convenience, and that’s because we wanted to make sure that what we put out initially was the absolute best that you could find, and would offer the best value to our customers. We wanted to make sure it ticked off all of the boxes that were important to us, and this took a lot of time to ensure. We feel that when it comes to wellness, that it’s important to put only the highest quality products onto our skin, or into our mouths to eat and drink. We meticulously vetted every single step of our process to ensure that no compromises are being made in terms of growing, harvesting, drying, milling, and more. One of the things we love about our ceremonial matcha is that it’s grown in volcanic soil and fed by fresh rivers in Shizuoka, one of Japan’s greatest hidden gems in terms of matcha production. This is an area where the next generation of ethical farmers are making a name for themselves in terms of innovative farming and farmland regeneration. Our master harvesters, producers, and sommeliers in this area ensure that every part of our process is optimized by controlling temperature, humidity, and sunlight in our state-of-the-art facility, in a process that’s been refined over 800 years. We still stone-mill our matcha, an extremely slow and tedious process, because that ensures your matcha remains cool and retains its incredible nutrient profile. Our matcha is organic, high-grade ceremonial, and delicious, because our sommeliers make sure of that! Finally, we work our hardest to ensure that everyone is paid fairly while keeping our offerings as approachable and as accessible as possible, so that as many people who are interested in our matcha offerings can enjoy it consistently and as often as possible.
Sacrilege, we know, but in what ways is matcha superior to coffee? (Perhaps a less-controversial question to ask is, what are matcha’s superpowers?)
We both love coffee and matcha, but one thing we try to do is drink matcha first before we have our lattes. The reason is that matcha contains L-Theanine, a powerful adaptogen that fights stress and regulates the absorption of caffeine in your system. This means that you can drink a great deal of matcha before feeling jitters and without riding waves and crashes. Additionally, matcha is the superfood with the most amount of antioxidants, bar none. It has 16x more antioxidants than blueberries, 60x more antioxidants than spinach, and 7x more antioxidants than dark chocolate. It contains EGCGs, (believed to be the most powerful cancer chemo-preventative polyphenol) and chlorophyll, and helps fight inflammation, stress and redness in the skin and body.
Top tips on how to enjoy matcha, daily?
Drinking matcha daily can be easy. Many of our customers report that they actually look forward to their mornings now, because of their morning matcha! Daniel’s favourite way is to shake his up with ice in his favourite travel tumbler (only do this with cold matcha, not hot) before adding oat milk and running out the door. This easily removes clumps from his drink for a nice texture and gets it nice and creamy by introducing oxygen to the tea, and gets him into his day quickly and effectively. Not sure how much time he saves though, because he often returns for a second serving shortly after! Madison loves to use her whisk to indulge in her morning and to purposefully develop the most delicious crema, before pouring it over a steaming cup of oat milk. Both ways get you feeling great and we don’t believe there’s any wrong way to drink something so delicious!
Win! A $164 Matcha Dive Prize Pack!
One lucky Canadian winner will receive a $164 Matcha Dive prize pack! To enter, follow @matchadive and @vitadaily.ca on Instagram and follow the entry rules on our corresponding post. Contest opens June 8, 2022, and closes June 15, 2022. Rules and regulations here. Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.