Nev Schulman, the star of MTV’s Catfish and wife, Laura Perlongo, on how their Matcha/Art gallery, MaMaCha, is educating their customers on the benefits of CBD.
How did matcha become a staple ingredient for the café?
It has always been a staple menu item, but I think the reason it’s become popular is it’s simply a better feeling than the caffeine you get from coffee or sugary soda. The amino acid L-Theanine is really who to thank. It helps matcha promote a sense of relaxation and well-being alongside caffeine which then gives you a nice even boost without jitters.
Have you both tried the CBD drinks on the menu? Is there a favorite?
Yes. We both love the CBD matcha latte. Days with two kids and two careers are BUSY. This drink gives us the perfect combo of CBD and that extra boost of jitter-free caffeine. Our daughter Cleo likes the ‘Beauty Potion’ latte because it’s pink (and caffeine-free!).
Coffee culture in America has evolved to be centered around bringing people together and sharing an experience. How has the integration of art, matcha and CBD offered a new way for customers to be inspired and connect with each other?
Yes! Art and coffee isn’t anything new. Art inspires conversation and coffee gives us the energy to talk! Matcha does the same only it’s a much more exciting product with more health benefits—a conversation starter in itself. And even more so with CBD products. EVERYONE has questions about CBD. Where it comes from, how it will make them feel…because ultimately people want to talk about how they’re feeling. MaMaCha gives them a ton of opportunity to do exactly that.
Although MaMaCha initially seems to cater to millennials seeking a unique and vibrant atmosphere, how has it also been a place that your family can enjoy time together?
Surprisingly most of the regular customers aren’t millennials! They are older people looking to relax in a modern environment with chemical-free stress relievers. But the art truly makes it a great local hang and a lot of millennials DO stop by for a fun IG pic. The playfulness and color of the shop keeps Cleo entertained for hours. A great place for family bonding over a rainbow cookie, for sure.
What are your favorite ways to take your own morning brew? Have your preferences changed over the years?
Nev: Matcha latte with CBD, 100%. For seasons 1 & 2 of Catfish I used to drink 5 hour energy. I’m glad I kicked that habit.
Laura: I think I had the standard caffeine trajectory…Frappuccino’s in high school, black coffee and Red Bull in college, artisanal quality coffee in my 20s, now I’m all tea. I like to mix matcha and mother’s milk tea (I’m breastfeeding so ANYTHING to help boost production!).
Where did the initial idea behind MAMACHA come from and what are your hopes for it’s future?
The initial idea was for it to be a matcha and Art café. Simple as that. A hang space that inspired us and those around us. But now we’ve begun to pivot for the underserved CBD market. We opened in April and for 4/20 we did CBD lattes for fun. We saw a HUGE demand for it. So we’ve begun to research how to incorporate this plant into everyday use. Now we have retail space inside of the café for products and will have our own very soon!