Tasting the Finest Matcha in Kyoto: 15 Should-Go to Outlets & Cafes for Tea Connoisseurs


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Are you a fan of matcha? In that case, then Kyoto is the place for you! 

Dwelling to a few of the world’s finest matcha tea outlets and cafes, Kyoto is certain to tantalize your style buds to enrich the Kyoto’s conventional kaiseki delicacies. Town is filled with must-visit locations for individuals who need to expertise genuine Japanese matcha flavours. 

matcha desserts best matcha in kyoto

On this article, we spotlight 15 outlets and cafes serving the most effective matcha in Kyoto—every providing one thing barely totally different when it comes to each environment and menu. Whether or not you’re searching for conventional matcha inexperienced tea choices or extra modernized matcha desserts, there’s positive to be one thing that may fulfill even the pickiest inexperienced tea connoisseur!

First time visiting Kyoto? These Kyoto journey assets will make your journey planning a breeze: 
eSIM: Keep linked in Japan by buying an eSIM. Airalo has inexpensive Japan information plans.
VPN: Increase your privateness and web safety with NordVPN.
Automotive rental: Uncover Automobiles is nice at discovering and evaluating the most effective automobile rental offers.
Japan Rail Go: Touring throughout Japan by trains? Save money and time with a JR Go!
Kyoto resorts: Discover our favorite boutique resorts on this Kyoto article.
Excursions: Listed here are a few of top-rated excursions…
Tour Hanamichi, watch meiko dance efficiency and luxuriate in a kaiseki lunch!
Take part in an genuine Kyoto tea ceremony wearing a kimono.
Study Geisha traditions & have an unique hour-long meet-and-greet with Maiko!
Go to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest & Iwatayama Monkey Park on this bike tour.
Uncover the sorts of matcha inexperienced tea, how it’s made, and style it in Uji!
Go on a sake tasting tour at one of many largest sake brewery in Fushimi district of Kyoto.

About Kyoto’s Matcha Tradition

Kyoto, Japan is legendary for its Uji matcha, a high-quality inexperienced tea that’s finely floor into powder. The colourful inexperienced color and earthy aroma of matcha inexperienced tea are a real reflection of the Kyoto prefecture’s wealthy tradition and custom. 

Kyoto’s matcha tradition is deeply rooted within the artwork of tea ceremonies and has been practiced for hundreds of years. Uji metropolis, positioned on the southeast border of Kyoto, is thought for producing a few of the highest quality matcha powder on the planet. 

tea field in uji kyoto known for green tea and matcha production

Uji’s geographic misty local weather and acidic soil present the right circumstances for the best grade matcha inexperienced tea leaves to flourish. With sizzling, sunny summers and chilly winters, Uji delivers the distinctive but delicate flavours tea lovers crave. 

From sipping on a sizzling cup of matcha inexperienced tea to experimenting with totally different recipes that contain matcha powder, Kyoto’s matcha tradition provides a singular expertise that’s actually unforgettable.

Finest Matcha Tea Outlets in Kyoto

Ippodo Tea Firm

Ippodo Tea Firm is *the* tea store in Kyoto with over 300 years of fascinating historical past! 

Their Japanese tea is produced within the mountainous areas bordering Kyoto, Nara, and Shiga prefectures, the place the temperature variations are excessive and the world’s altitude is excessive. These geographical components imbue the tea leaves with a gentle flavour and a chic aroma leading to a real delight for the senses!

ippodo tea company where to buy best matcha in kyoto

Not solely do they promote the most effective matcha tea in Kyoto, Ippodo Tea Firm additionally provides high-quality tea leaves like sensa. Its Kyoto most important retailer is housed in a superbly preserved historic constructing, complemented with a comfortable cafe the place you may take pleasure in brewed tea together with some conventional Japanese sweets.

You haven’t actually skilled Japanese inexperienced tea till you’ve tried the most sought-after and opulent kind: gyokuro (2,200 yen). With its wealthy, umami flavour, it’s positive to take your style buds to new heights! 

Tsujirihei Honten

Established in 1860, Tsujirihei stands as certainly one of Kyoto’s most famed tea outlets. Its most important retailer, only a five-minute sojourn from JR Uji Station, is a serene teahouse that gives a delicious assortment of Japanese sweets and tea (with matcha parfaits being a specific speciality).

tsujirihei honten where to find the best matcha in kyoto

A standout function of Tsujirihei’s treats is their subtlety; their sweets strike a harmonious stability with their delicate teas, by no means overpowering or excessively candy. Even their conventional Japanese confections exhibit a refined sweetness that enhances however doesn’t overwhelm the nuanced tastes of their Uji matcha tea.

Nakamura Tokichi Honten

Established in 1854, with a wealthy heritage spanning over 165 years, Nakamura Tokichi has earned a popularity for his or her beautiful matcha sweets. 

nakamura tokichi honten, places to buy the best matcha in kyoto

Positioned within the Kyoto Prefecture, three Nakamura Tokichi shops grace the area — however none can evaluate to the status of the Nakamura Tokichi Uji Honten, the flagship retailer born from humble beginnings. For these with a candy tooth, a go to to Uji Predominant Retailer is an absolute should.

Only a minute away from JR Uji Station, the shop constructing is a helpful cultural heritage website. Its gardens boast an impressive 200-year-old pine tree – the Horaifuna-matsu, certainly one of 100 celebrated bushes in Uji Metropolis. A deal with for eyes, guests can cherish the view whereas sipping their tea from the refurbished open terrace constructing that was as soon as a tea manufacturing unit. 

The must-try gadgets are, palms down, the tea and matcha sweets!

A well-liked alternative is the tea jelly, which is obtainable in two flavours- matcha and hojicha roasted tea. Made utilizing Nakamura Tokichi’s secret recipe, the tea jelly preserves the matcha essence, gratifying the style buds. It’s served in a photogenic bamboo cup that’s unique to the Uji most important retailer, coupled with matcha ice cream, Japanese white flour dumplings, and crimson bean paste. It’s an indulgent dessert appropriate for any event.

matcha tea jelly from nakamura tokichi honten kyoto cafe

Marukyu Koyamaen

If you happen to’re questioning the place to purchase matcha in Kyoto, the reply is crystal clear – Marukyu Koyamaen. Based in 1704, the Uji tea producer has been perfecting their craft for over 300 years.

Their motto is easy but putting – “Making Teas with High quality because the Highest Precedence”. This strategy is clear within the painstaking care and a spotlight they commit to each side of tea manufacturing, from the sphere to the desk.

They’re actually devoted to the flavour and security of their tea, taking part yearly in Japan’s Nationwide Tea Competitors to repeatedly increase their requirements. 

marukyu koyamaen where to buy best matcha in kyoto

Marukyu Koyamaen has three wonderful outlets tucked away within the metropolis of Kyoto! Their flagship retailer, “Nishinotoin Tea Store & MOTOAN Tea Home”, serves a wonderful menu. Prospects can savour the distinctive and scrumptious Kyoto Uji matcha teas and munch on conventional Japanese sweets, all whereas admiring a serene Japanese backyard. 

Gion Tsujiri

Gion Tsujiri, a tea specialty retailer in Kyoto that originated in 1860, is famend for its Uji tea. The shop provides a variety of Japanese teas fastidiously crafted from top-grade tea leaves, with Gion Tsujiri’s matcha being the most effective matcha in Japan.

gion tsujiri where to buy best matcha in kyoto

What units their matcha aside is using a stone mortar to artfully grind the tea leaves in a sluggish and scrupulous method. Though restricted to solely producing 40 grams per hour, the tactic yields superior high quality matcha with distinctive color and frothiness when whisked.

Fukujuen

Fukujuen, a tea store with over 200 years of wealthy historical past, provides an in depth vary of teas not simply in Kyoto however in shops throughout Japan. On this means, the model makes it not simply attainable but additionally handy to buy Kyoto tea with out travelling to Kyoto. 

To indulge within the true essence of Kyoto’s tea tradition, plan a go to to its flagship retailer located in downtown Kyoto. Together with premium Japanese tea leaves, you may discover Fukujyuen’s beautiful assortment of authentic tea utensils. 

fukujuen kyoto where to buy best matcha in kyoto

The constructing additionally homes a French restaurant that fuses French delicacies with Japanese tea leaves, making it a singular gastronomic expertise. 

In case you are an ardent tea fanatic, enjoyment of tea lectures and discover the tea room! 

There, you may style the finest matcha ice cream in Kyoto and evaluate three sorts of ice cream with various concentrations of matcha, every one complementing the opposite in a symphony of flavours. From the mild sweetness of “moegi,” to the wealthy matcha flavour of “senryoku,” and the pure style of matcha in “shinpeki,” each scoop is an opulent expertise of high-quality flavours.

Itohkyuemon

Based within the Edo interval, Itohkyuemon is a long-established conventional tea home. It’s famend for promoting the most effective inexperienced tea in Kyoto.

Past tea, their delectable sweets actually set them aside from different tea outlets. The primary department of Itohkyuemon within the metropolis provides the unique alternative to savour these memorable matcha desserts.

itohkyumon a popular shop to buy green tea in kyoto

Their best-selling matcha parfait is a pleasant combine of varied sweets distinctive to Uji, together with matcha roll muffins, tea dumplings and warabimochi, all served in beneficiant parts. Regardless of its richness, it’s not overly candy and has a light-weight texture, permitting you to savour every chunk till the final.

matcha parfait from itohkyuemon tea shop in kyoto

Along with the matcha parfait, Itohkyuemon additionally provides restricted version parfaits that includes seasonal fruits, together with an array of meal menus.

Finest Matcha Cafes in Kyoto

Shimizu Ippoen

Shimizu Ippoen is a conventional teahouse, cafe, and store based in Kyoto in 1945. It makes a speciality of Japanese matcha desserts crafted with recent matcha powder harvested and refined regionally in Kyoto Prefecture.

Matcha parfait is the signature dish. From the creamy matcha ice cream and inexperienced tea jelly to the crispy rice chocolate, every ingredient enhances the opposite completely. Even the Japanese mushrooms add an sudden depth to the dessert, working surprisingly properly with the kinako cream and occasional jelly.

matcha shaved ice from kyoto matcha cafe, shimizu ippoen

Matcha shaved ice is one other crowd pleaser, accompanied by dango and crimson bean paste. It’s particularly standard through the sizzling summer time!

Shimizu Ippoen’s matcha desserts transcend style – they’re an aesthetically pleasing expertise as properly. With textures and substances not seen in different cafes, Shimizu Ippoen’s conventional teahouse is actually an oasis of flavours in Kyoto.

Saryo Suisen

Saryo Suisen is a Kyoto-based cafe, teahouse and store specializing in conventional matcha desserts made utilizing solely the freshest tea harvested from town’s environment. From an array of inexperienced tea powder-based sweets, our prime choose is the Suisen Matcha Parfait.

matcha parfait from kyoto matcha cafe, saryo suisen

Created with a number of sorts of handmade Japanese sweets, the parfait is complemented with wealthy matcha for a very distinctive style. Its gorgeous presentation and the ample serving measurement will guarantee satisfaction for hours.

The parfait is topped with seven distinct conventional Japanese sweets, together with matcha ice cream, matcha wafer, matcha dorayaki, dango (glutinous rice dumplings), anko (candy crimson azuki bean paste), matcha warabimochi, and matcha Baumkuchen. The amalgamation of textures on this dessert – starting from the softness of warabimochi to the sponginess of baumkuchen, mixed with the stickiness of dango – is nothing wanting bliss for the tastebuds.

3D matcha lattes and inexperienced tea Mont Blanc are additionally extraordinarily standard. Each of those desserts present an unforgettable expertise that may maintain your style buds tantalized!

Ten Japanese Café

Nestled in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district, this charming cafe makes a speciality of matcha desserts and boasts a major location near the UNESCO World Heritage Web site of Kiyomizu-dera.

Amongst its candy treats, the standout is the matcha cheesecake. The wealthy, velvety cheesecake boasts a chic marbled design, with hues of white and inexperienced which might be each interesting to the attention and the palate. Served on a modern, black slate platter, it’s a dish that’s as pleasing to the senses as it’s to the soul.

matcha cheesecake from kyoto matcha cafe, ten japanese cafe

However, if cheesecake isn’t your fancy, worry not! Ten provides different attractive choices, just like the matcha and white chocolate terrine served with matcha ice cream, and a traditional matcha parfait. 

Vermillion Cafe

This cute cafe is just a 7-min stroll from the Fushimi Inari Station! An ideal spot to hit up after paying your respects on the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine. This space additionally hosts a number of Kyoto boutique resorts in case you are searching for a spot to remain close to the touristy spots.  

kyoto matcha cafe, vermillion cafe

The terrace seating boasts serene greenery, a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the vacationer sizzling spot. 

Deal with your self to freshly floor espresso, espresso, home made baked items, and matcha inexperienced tea sweets. Don’t miss the matcha ganache from their matcha menu: a gluten-free uji matcha and white chocolate terrine chilled to perfection with a miniature torii gate delicately positioned atop!

Inari Saryo

While you go to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, don’t overlook to take a look at the brand new, free resting space! Inside, you will discover Inari Saryo – a captivating little cafe that’s the newest enterprise of Tsubakido Tea Home. This longstanding tea store has been serving the Fushimi Inari Taisha because the Meiji period (that’s between 1868 and 1912!).

matcha parfait from kyoto matcha cafe, inari saryo

The “Inari Parfait” – adorned with cute decorations like a crimson torii gate, a fox, and ears of rice – is a sizzling favorite right here. Not solely is it made with Tsubakido’s matcha inexperienced tea, nevertheless it additionally options sweets produced from white rice balls and rice. Savour this pleasant Japanese candy whereas admiring the pond with its scenic views, and stress-free with the sound of birdsong and the mild murmur of the river flowing into Mount Inari.

This lush backyard has change into the most recent attraction of the Fushimi Inari Taisha, and insiders know that Inari Saryo is the best-kept secret in terms of having fun with this quaint space in all its glory!

Matcha Republic

Visiting Uji, the well-known tea city? Head over to Matcha Republic to expertise the last word matcha indulgence! 

This contemporary café provides an solely matcha-based menu, with the “Matcha ink” drink being the preferred and instagrammable alternative. 

matcha ink drink from kyoto matcha cafe, matcha republic

Sip on scrumptious drinks, every with a singular inexperienced hue, just like the wealthy “matcha latte” or refreshing “matcha shimizu”. 

Throughout sizzling summer time days, strive the matcha lemon soda for a refreshing deal with, or indulge within the rock salt cheese matcha latte, the place the salt completely blends with the matcha’s sweetness. 

Don’t overlook to deal with your self to a slice of heaven and indulge of their matcha tiramisu or matcha panna cotta! These matcha sweets are positive to fulfill your matcha cravings!

Jouvencelle

Jouvencelle, a well-known Kyoto confectionery, boasts a variety of Western-inspired muffins and confections imbued with distinctly Japanese, Kyoto flavours.

Among the many prime suggestions at Jouvencelle is their matcha fondue, solely served at Jouvencelle Gion Sweets Cafe. This lavish set consists of a wide range of muffins, mochi, and recent fruit paired with sizzling matcha chocolate sauce, crammed with crimson bean and rice flour dumplings. 

matcha fondue from kyoto matcha cafe, jouvencelle

The wealthy matcha sauce is crafted utilizing Kyoto’s highly-praised Uji matcha. Whereas the fruit soaks up the sauce, the matcha chocolate’s sweetness superbly intertwines with the fruit’s acidity, enhancing the flavour additional. 

When you’re completed with the fondue, take pleasure in the remainder of the matcha chocolate au lait with sizzling milk – the right completion to a rare expertise.

Jouvencelle has 4 different places all through Kyoto, together with one at each the Takashimaya and Isetan division retailer meals courts. Nonetheless, none of them supply sit-down eating choices.

Umezono Cafe & Gallery

Umezono is a longtime candy store positioned in a superbly renovated townhouse (machiya) in Kyoto. As you step inside, the scrumptious aroma of their signature mitarashi-dango dumplings and matcha sweets fills the air. The neat eating house is at all times bustling with patrons, principally feminine, searching for to bask in tasty matcha desserts.

The menu boasts sizeable servings, so we suggest occurring an empty abdomen to take pleasure in every thing to your coronary heart’s content material. The star dish is their delicious matcha pancakes served with brown sugar butter, crimson bean paste, and brown sugar syrup, retaining prospects coming again for extra.

matcha pancake from kyoto matcha cafe, umezono cafe and gallery

Past desserts, Umezono can also be dwelling to a small gallery on the second ground showcasing the works of varied artists. So, take your time, bask in sweets and artwork, and luxuriate in a very distinctive expertise in certainly one of Kyoto’s hidden gems!

High Should-Attempt Matcha Meals in Kyoto

Kyoto is undoubtedly the most effective place to expertise matcha meals in Japan, providing a wide range of traditional and one-of-a-kind choices. Listed here are a few of the standard matcha meals in Kyoto that may elevate your subsequent go to: 

  • Usucha is a traditional matcha drink made with finely grounded powder whisked in sizzling water.
  • Koicha represents a thicker model of usucha, made by utilizing double the quantity of powder and half the quantity of water; sometimes consumed throughout tea ceremonies.
  • Matcha latte combines milk and matcha for a milder flavour in comparison with conventional matcha drinks. 
  • Matcha tender serve may be discovered all through Kyoto, adorned with beneficiant dustings of matcha powder. Hold a watch out for the particular matcha tender serves embellished with 24K gold leaf for an additional aptitude of luxurious!
  • Matcha parfaits supply an indulgent mixture of matcha substances like jelly, cookies, cake and chocolate truffles. 
  • Matcha zenzai is a sizzling or chilly sweetened crimson bean soup paired with mochi, dango chestnuts, and, after all, matcha to stability out the sweetness. 
  • Matcha tiramisu is an Instagrammable matcha dessert, that includes layers of sponge cake and mascarpone, coated in a thick layer of matcha powder. 
  • Matcha nama dorayaki brings fluffy marshmallow-like matcha cream sandwiched between two mini pancakes. 
  • Crepes function recent cream, fruits and ice cream – usually with matcha-flavoured batter! 
  • Matcha kakigori is a shaved ice dessert that places velvety, fluffy shaved ice in a bowl, doused with flavoured syrup and, sometimes, condensed milk. This icy deal with may also function shiratama (chewy rice balls) and azuki (crimson bean paste).
  • Matcha baumkuchen is a hole cake produced from soy milk and prime quality matcha, which is dense but mild and has a nice candy scent. It may be bought entire or in smaller slices to take pleasure in with tender serve or smoothie.
  • Dango is an easy, chewy and subtly candy rice-based snack normally eaten on skewers and sometimes infused with matcha for flavour. It may be eaten by itself, roasted over charcoal so as to add smoky flavour, or drizzled with matcha glaze. 
  • Matcha buckwheat soba is a slurp-worthy dish that may be loved chilly with spring onions, wasabi and tsuyu dipping sauce, or sizzling with meat and greens.
  • Warabimochi. is a sort of mochi produced from bracken starch with a jelly-like texture. It’s coated in roasted soybean or matcha powder and may be eaten as it’s, or with black sugar syrup for further sweetness. 

Extra Suggestions for Exploring the Better of Kyoto’s Matcha Tradition

As you wrap up your exploration, don’t overlook to take a chunk of the tradition with you. You’ll be able to choose up matcha souvenirs equivalent to matcha powder, matcha sweets, and even matcha tea bowls and equipment! 

traditional green tea ceremony how to make matcha with whisk and bowl

Moreover, for those who’re searching for extra matcha-focused experiences, contemplate becoming a member of an genuine matcha tea ceremony the place you’ll study its wealthy that means and cultural significance, and grasp the artwork of creating your very personal matcha tea from scratch!

FAQs about Matcha Inexperienced Tea

Is there a distinction between matcha and inexperienced tea?

Though matcha and inexperienced tea come from the identical plant, they endure distinct processes of cultivation and processing that set them aside. By way of flavour, texture, color, and preparation strategies, they couldn’t be extra totally different. 

green tea vs matcha what is the difference

1 – Inexperienced tea is grown beneath the solar, however matcha tea is shade-grown for 3 weeks previous to harvesting. 

2 – Matcha has a really vivid inexperienced hue, whereas common inexperienced tea tends to look a contact boring with a brownish tone. It is because the shading course of throughout tea development heightens chlorophyll ranges within the leaves that give matcha its sensible shade.

3 – When harvested, inexperienced tea is reduce by machines and instantly despatched to the processing manufacturing unit the place it’s steamed to halt fermentation. The leaves are then blow-dried utilizing a whirling machine.

In distinction, matcha tea leaves are handpicked, choosing solely the most effective inexperienced tea leaves from the plant. The stems and veins are eliminated, and the leaves undergo a meticulous strategy of stone-grinding to show them into the coveted matcha powder.

Is matcha alleged to style bitter?

Completely not! Top quality matcha shouldn’t style bitter in any respect. 

The flavour of matcha varies dramatically by high quality. Ceremonial or tea ceremony grade matcha ought to exude a candy aroma whereas delivering solely the slightest bitterness to the tongue, if any. This exemplifies glorious high quality. Its vibrancy and delicate sweetness additionally replicate its spectacular dietary advantages that go hand in hand with its flavour.

Low grade, culinary, and mass-produced matcha usually depart a bitter aftertaste. Such matcha is normally produced with greater amount in thoughts, overlooking the standard of the powder and the well being advantages it gives. 

Top quality matcha emerges from delicate, labour-intensive processes, taking ample time to domesticate, leading to a value that displays its premium high quality.

The place does the most effective matcha tea come from?

Matcha inexperienced tea powder has been cultivated for hundreds of years in Japan, and is a big a part of the nation’s tradition and historical past. It’s usually loved with Kyoto kaiseki delicacies, a conventional multi-course meal originating in Kyoto.

The purest, ceremonial-grade matcha, comes from Uji, the birthplace of the best matcha on the planet. The best local weather and soil of Uji produce tea leaves which might be fastidiously picked and shade grown to perfection. 

the purest matcha powder from uji kyoto

Processes equivalent to hand-picking and stone grinding contribute to the distinctive high quality and flavour of conventional Uji matcha. Although labour-intensive and time-consuming, the strategies employed in Uji have enabled the manufacturing of matcha that’s unrivalled in high quality, flavour, and well being advantages. 

When shopping for matcha tea powder, choosing one that’s sourced from Uji ensures you’re getting nothing however the most effective!

The place to purchase matcha in Kyoto?

The most effective place to purchase matcha in Kyoto is at specialty tea outlets. As documented within the earlier part titled “Finest Matcha Tea Outlets in Kyoto,” many centuries-old shops come extremely advisable and most have a retailer in downtown Kyoto.

For these questioning the place to purchase uji matcha in Kyoto however are brief on time, shops are a handy possibility. 

What do you contemplate when shopping for matcha powder?

Excessive-quality matcha powder is a should purchase in Kyoto. In relation to shopping for matcha, listed below are some key components you need to have in mind:

  • High quality: Premium matcha ought to have a vibrant inexperienced color, a easy texture, and a robust aroma. 
  • Grade: Matcha is available in numerous grades, with the best referred to as ceremonial grade and the bottom as culinary grade. Think about how it will likely be used when choosing the correct grade.
  • Origin: High quality matcha comes from Japan’s Uji area. 
  • Testing: Ensure that the matcha you buy has been independently lab examined for security and high quality.
  • Packaging: Matcha must be saved in hermetic containers like resealable baggage or cans to take care of freshness and flavour.

What’s the finest time to drink matcha tea?

Matcha inexperienced tea is finest loved within the morning or earlier than meals.

Nonetheless, people who find themselves delicate to caffeine ought to keep away from having it after 2 p.m. Whereas matcha can increase power ranges and temper through the day, ingesting it at evening can disrupt sleep attributable to caffeine.

To maximise the advantages of this wholesome beverage, drink it earlier within the day.


If you happen to’re planning a visit to Kyoto alongside your indulgent Tokyo trip or Osaka foodie journey, be sure you carve out a while to expertise the wonders of matcha in Kyoto.

We hope this complete Kyoto matcha information has answered all of your questions and aid you embark on a private quest to find the most effective matcha in Kyoto!

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