Hope you don’t mind getting a little messy.

Some Japanese desserts this summer have been innovative and at times verging on weird, but tried and true Japanese flavor combinations still abound. Japanese café chain Komeda Coffee is serving up two limited-time desserts that combine earthy matcha with sweet, rich caramel. The Shiro Noir Matcha Caramel has a plain Danish pastry base and is topped with a mound of soft serve ice cream, caramel, and matcha chocolate, while the Kuro Neige Matcha Caramel has a cocoa base.

Our Japanese-language reporter and local Komeda Coffee menu expert Egawa Tasuku decided to try out both of the new desserts, so he stopped by his favorite branch to review them. He was especially curious about the Shiro Noir since some reviews said the portion size was “overflowing”.

Both arrived at the same time: the Shiro Noir on the left and the Kuro Neige on the right. The difference in size was clear enough, but even more surprising was the difference in plating. The Shiro Noir did look like it was on the verge of spilling over the plate. In fact…

…it did just that as Egawa prepared to take some photos. At least it’s only a little bit, he thought, wiping it away with a napkin. But that wasn’t the end of it.

More and more of the dish spilled out onto the table–matcha chocolate, caramel, melted ice cream, the whole shebang. Some of his napkins got completely soaked. There are times when Komeda gets a little overzealous with their dishes, so Egawa took it in stride.

But seriously, it wasn’t stopping. No chance at getting an Instagram-worthy photo here. It was clear that Komeda didn’t choose the right plate size for this (or perhaps they just didn’t want customers complaining that there wasn’t enough ice cream), but no more time for worrying about that. He quickly took a bite in hopes of stopping the sweet tide.

The caramel was rich and sweet, definitely not for the fainthearted. Its viscosity contrasted nicely with the slight crunch of the matcha chocolate bits. The plain Danish made it into a full-on meal without taking it overboard in the sweet department. All in all, a pretty delicious dish, but make sure you’re ready to eat it quickly!

Then, Egawa moved onto the much less intimidating dish, the Kuro Neige. The ice cream had already started melting at this point, but it was firmly supported by the spongy Baumkuchen cake base.

He took a big bite. It wasn’t as sweet as the Shiro Noir dish, likely due to the slight bitterness of the cocoa in the cake base. Egawa recommends both dishes, but which one you end up choosing will likely depend on your appetite and the amount of sweetness you’re looking for. By the way, the Shiro Noir is also available in a mini size!

These dishes will be around until the end of October, so stop by your local Komeda Coffee branch if you can. Perhaps it will be less of a melty fiasco when the summer heat is finally over. In any case, have a pile of napkins ready. And if you’re still craving more matcha? Try making your own yuzu green tea float!

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