and the Providence Journal bring you Small Bites: Easy-to-Digest Recipes. Every so often, an "it" ingredient takes the food world by storm. Recently, matcha has become one of them. The Japanese green tea powder, heralded for its health benefits, is now found all over the U.S., incorporated into drinks such as lattes and foods such as cakes and ice cream. 

Michelle Cheng has quickly established herself as Rhode Island's go-to source for matcha and other high-quality teas, sold through her company, Leafy Green.

There are many ways to enjoy antioxidant-rich matcha beyond the popular latte version. During a recent cooking demonstration for Small Bites, Cheng mixed up her Matcha Sparkler beverage and Matcha Affogato dessert. The latter is inspired by the popular Italian treat made with espresso coffee. Check out the full recipe and demo below.

Matcha Sparkler

Matcha Sparkler

- Ice

- Sparkling water

- 1 teaspoon of matcha

- 2 1/2 ounces hot water

- Fresh lemon or lime wedge, optional

Add a desired amount of ice to a glass. Fill about 2/3 of the glass with sparkling water. In a bowl, add matcha. Add hot water. Whisk or stir rapidly in a "W" or "M" shape until the tea becomes frothy. Pour the matcha over sparkling water. If desired, add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice.


Matcha Affogato

Matcha Affogato

- One large scoop vanilla ice cream, or more if desired

- 2 teaspoons matcha 

- 1 3/4 ounces of hot water (176 degrees F)

Scoop ice cream into a bowl. In a separate bowl, add matcha. Add the hot water. Stir slowly to dissolve the matcha until it resembles a pudding-like texture. Pour the matcha over ice cream and serve.

Serves: 1