Eliminating single-use plastics from our daily lives is a core part of Matchaful’s commitment to the environment. A simple yet impactful swap we made early on was replacing plastic straws with a sustainable alternative. Like many before us, we tried paper—and had a heavy crush on bamboo—only to fall in love with reed straws from s’wheat.
We met Arlindo and Misha, the two friends behind s’wheat, during the pandemic. At the time, many consumer goods supply chains were facing challenges never experienced before. In an effort to make ours more sustainable and crisis-proof, we’ve tried to reduce the steps between production and cafés whenever possible. Working with a small local business brings us closer to solutions—and is there anything better than a personal order drop-off every once in a while?
Arlindo and Misha met working in restaurants and connected over a shared desire to do something about the incredible amount of landfill waste the hospitality industry produces. In true sustainable fashion, they decided to start with one of the smallest common denominators: the drinking straw, often considered a gateway plastic. This means once you convince people to use sustainable alternatives, they are more receptive to consider alternatives for other single-use plastics.
The s’wheat process
The straws we use for our iced matcha drinks at our Matchaful cafés are made from reed, a tall grass that grows in marshy soils. Reed is extensively grown in Europe where it is a traditional thatching material. Straws made from the naturally hollow reed have medium thick walls, making them suitable for cleaning and personal reuse.
All s’wheat straws are byproducts of harvesting processes and sourced from small farms around the world during the seasonal harvest cycles. They are cleaned using minimal amounts of water and no added chemicals, cut to length, sterilized, and packaged using recycled materials and plant-based inks.
Learn more about our friends at s’wheat online. For an IRL experience, visit our three NYC cafés and order your next matcha latte iced—the straw’s on us.