2017 Apr 8
- Visited: Saturday 5 PM
- Wait: 5 minutes
- Ordered: Kanro gyokuro
- Price: JPY 1944 (~ USD 17)
- Link: Tripadvisor, Official website
There were two different locations of Ippodo tea company in Tokyo, one in marunouchi and another in ginza. I actually couldn’t find the one in ginza so I went to the one in marunouchi.
The store looked quite similar to the one in Kyoto, but the price was 1.5 times to twice as expensive.
I really wanted to try gyokuro which is apparently one of the best green tea. I received a large water bottle, soft confectionery, tea leaves, timer, and other teawares.
The staff spoke English and she taught me step by step on how to brew the tea, which actually took a while. Gyokuro was brewed with 60 C water so the hot water had to be cooled down a bit. The water was poured into the tea pot filled with leaves, and after 90 seconds it was ready. It can be brewed up to 3 times.
It was very different from both matcha and other lower quality green teas. It tasted very umami and nutty, and tasted almost as rich as some meat broth. Even the raw tea leaves tasted very umami.
I forgot to take a picture of the actual tea but the colour was very light green.
The pink mochi was good but so hard to cut apart! I wished I had a fork instead of tiny stick.
I actually enjoyed gyokuro much more than matcha and would highly recommend it to tea lovers. However, you only brew the tea 3 times after you’ve paid close to 20 USD, so it is definitely expensive. If I go back I may just buy the tea leaves without tasting part or go for a cheaper tea. I think they had some inexpensive specials in store as well.