Japan: Kyoto – Tea Anyone?

Tea is a big thing in Japan, especially matcha tea, and while we were in Kyoto we went to Ippodo, one of the oldest tea shops in the world, and to a traditional tea ceremony.

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Firstly Ippodo. Until Sister and I walked inside the sheer cost of tea was only something I knew theoretically – I am not a tea drinker and I rarely ever buy tea. When I walked in and looked at some of the prices I realised just how valued and expensive tea was. We decided to pay a visit to their café and treat ourselves to some of the finest tea in Japan.

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I ordered traditional matcha while sister went for something new, hojicha, a tea which is low in caffeine and rich in flavour and aroma. I definitely agree with that. The smell was delicious and the preparation interesting.

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The tea pot is incredible isn’t it? I had never seen anything like that before.

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The sweet good given with the tea was also delicious and very unusual in its texture – it resembled a slightly hard jelly but so much tastier.

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As sister enjoyed it, I wished I had ordered something similar until I actually got mine. Mine was frothy and green and heavenly.

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A few days later we went to En and their traditional tea ceremony. This was a whole new world of culture and ritual.

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The bamboo whisk was amazing – each one unique and hand crafted. At Ippodo I wondered what made my tea so frothy and only later did I realise that it was this.

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Now that I am back home I am so glad I experienced both these places as from both we bought tea. Without knowing some of the Japanese history behind tea it wouldn’t nearly be as exciting.

2 Comments

  1. dimshum 27th August 2014 / 1:29 pm

    This looks amazing! I wish I could go and experience a tea ceremony like this!

    • Rosh 27th August 2014 / 1:38 pm

      If you ever have the opportunity to then I say take it with both hands! It’s very much like looking into another world and experiencing something very old.

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