TOKYO | Ippodo Tea was founded in Kyoto in 1717, and over that time has built and maintained a reputation for producing some of the finest green tea and matcha in Japan. In 2010, Ippodo opened their first street-front store outside of Kyoto, in Tokyo’s Maranouchi neighbourhood. The Maranouchi store operates as both a shop from which customers can purchase green tea, matcha, confectionery, and tea making equipment, and as a tea room to experience and enjoy some tea.
When we visited we simply had to experience the tea room, and recommend the experience to anyone with a passing interest in tea. Not only do you get to enjoy your matcha, gyokuro, sencha, or bancha prepared the way it’s supposed to be, along with included confectionery, you also receive instruction on how to prepare it yourself from the highly knowledgeable staff. The temperature of the water, the amount of the tea leaves, and exactly how to pour the tea to extract the perfect taste are all covered. It’s an informative, relaxing, and enjoyable experience.
For those looking for an even deeper tea experience, classes are available for learning how to prepare and fully enjoy Japanese green tea. Simply ask the staff for details on when the next class is that day. If you don’t have time for any of this, a hot or cold matcha to go is also a great idea.
If you want to buy some matcha to take home, you might get confused by the different grades. The more expensive matcha is obviously higher in quality, but this doesn’t mean that the cheaper matcha isn’t good. For drinking simply with water, the highest grade matcha yields the best result. For a milky matcha drink, a medium grade will suffice, and for use in cooking, the lowest grade matcha does the trick. Also do make sure you invest in a matcha whisk. It might seem like an necessary accessory but, if you do plan on making matcha at home, it makes combining the matcha with water a lot easier – trust us, we’re talking from experience.
Mon – Sun: 11:00am to 7:00pm