Ippodo Tea Co. in Kyoto

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Ippodo Tea Co.


At the beginning of 2009, we met a couple from Japan at Mara House in Luxor, Egypt. When we lived in Montreal, they visited and we showed them around... and when we went to Kyoto, they graciously drove us around the city and played tour guide.

One of the places they took us was Ippodo Tea Co. which is a shop for premium tea, like ceremonial matcha. There is also a tearoom attached where the aim is "to communicate a fuller appreciation of the charm and allure of Japanese green tea through tea classes and other activities".  

We were taught about the different kinds of matcha, about the ideal water temperature, and used a timer to make sure we got the perfect steep. Our friends kept calling the dark green drink "super matcha". The actual name is Koicha and it's the highest grade ceremonial matcha (it was quite strong). I'd say matcha can be an acquired taste, especially if you are used to having your tea sweetened. They kindly sent us home with some Uji-Shimizu, which I enjoyed with almond milk. I've since grown to appreciate matcha more, even without a sweetener. 

We're so thankful to our friends for this experience that we would have never thought to do on our own. I'm thoroughly embarrassed that our equivalent was taking them to La Banquise in Montreal where, in true Japanese fashion, they politely said they enjoyed cheese curds and gravy.  Perhaps poutine is an acquired taste, too? ;)

Social media is mostly a nuisance but it's amazing to me that we've been able to keep in touch with a couple we met over an evening tea in Africa because of it and that, so many years later, we were able to share a different kind of tea together again. - Mina


Ippodo Tea Co. in Kyoto

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2 comments

  1. I think it's so cool that you kept in contact with them and showed them around in Montreal and vice versa. It gives an extra memory to a place, one you won't forget. Even if you're not sure they liked it, I'm sure they look back at it and smile! And how cool that you now know all the things about matcha. I have to admit that I haven't drank (I hope I spelled it right) it yet. That's also because I read that outside of Japan it's so different and not really matcha anymore. So I hope that when I visit Japan (I really want to) I will drink the original :) XXX

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure we know all the things about matcha, but it was a good place to start. Hope you get to take that Japan trip soon! Thanks for your sweet comments, Karlijn.

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