The Obsession: Glaze's Matcha Tea Latte

January 2013

Walk through the doors of Glaze: the Baum Cake Shoppe, the three-day old spot in Congress Park, and you'll know this isn't your average bakery. There are gleaming cases of specialty cakes called baumkuchen and a glassed-in, seriously high-tech oven. There's also the decor, which is more high-end sushi bar than treacly-sweet cupcake shop. More proof: the matcha tea latte (pictured, above).

Although not the only spot to serve the drink (I was first introduced to it at Wystone's World Teas in Lakewood), Glaze's presentation is stunning. The barista measures out the tea with a Japanese tablespoon (top image, left) and hand-froths the milk with the bamboo whisk (top image, right) that comes alongside as a functional design element (you can further froth if you wish). And then there are the delicious bites of baum cake—in this case, matcha tea cake glazed with Callebaut chocolate and with Cointreau, respectively.

I've been waiting for Glaze to open since I first wrote about it in October. This bakery is like no other in North America: It specializes in the German-meets-Japanese cake that's baked, layer after superfine layer, on a rotating spindle. (A cross-section of the cake, which is delicate and not overly sweet, looks like rings of a tree.) The oven (pictured, right) in which the cakes bake is affectionately named "the Red Dragon," and it's the only Japanese-built and certified baumkuchen oven on the continent.

Tip: Sip your matcha tea latte (soy milk is most traditional and, in my opinion, the creamiest and most satisfying) at the back bar and watch pastry chef Abby Fernandez (pictured, left) chop blocks of chocolate, crack farm-fresh eggs, and measure out almond flour for the cakes' batter. If you're lucky, Fernandez—who flew to Kobe, Japan, to be certified to operate the oven—will be manning the Red Dragon. 

1160 Madison St., 720-308-2420

Follow Amanda M. Faison on Twitter at @5280Eats and on Pinterest.