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Masu Shines in Matcha Tira “Masu” at Cha-An Teahouse

Fluffy and creamy with the fresh, green taste of matcha––once you taste a mouthful of Matcha Tira “Masu” at Cha-An Teahouse, you will be in heaven. But wait, should it be called Matcha Tiramisu? Is that a typo? No. Cha-An Teahouse is serious about masu, traditional Japanese measuring boxes. 

Masu were originally used centuries ago to measure rice when taxing farmers in Japan. Later on, masu became popular as sake vessels, which is still the main way of using them today. But people are now using masu in many other ways. A couple of years ago, the British designer Paul Smith released his version of multi-use masu boxes. Today, we see more and more restaurants using masu for serving food, such as bento, sushi, and desserts, including this Japanese take on the beloved Italian dessert at Cha-an Teahouse. 

The masu that Cha-An uses for its Matcha Tira “Masu” is big but shallow. Why did Cha-An choose that particular shape? “Because Cha-An is a desserterie, not a restaurant also serving desserts, we chose a bigger masu than the standard size. And the shape simply looked beautiful to us,” says Tomoko Yagi, wagashi expert and VP of the Research & Development Dept. in TIC Group. Cha-An also cares about other details. The surface of the masu should be coated so it doesn't absorb the moisture of the dessert, and the shape of the spoon must nicely fit into the corner of the masu. 

We are just talking about masu here, but Cha-An's artisanal approach to utsuwa reflects how excellent its desserts are. If you would like to try these desserts in a more casual setting, you can drop by Cha-An BONBON, the to-go store of Cha-An Teahouse. Since it’s take-out only there, the dessert is served in a plastic utsuwa, which is still adorable. At Cha-An BONBON, masu is also a part of the interior decoration. Take a careful look at the lights on the ceiling. 

Cha-An Teahouse

230 E. 9th St., 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10003


238 E. 9th St., New York, NY 10003


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