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A Guide on Where To Enjoy Matcha in Tokyo

A Guide on Where To Enjoy Matcha in Tokyo

Tokyo is a city where tradition meets innovation, and nowhere is this blend more deliciously evident than in its matcha offerings. Matcha, a finely ground powder made of specially grown and processed green tea leaves, has deep roots in Japanese culture. Originating from China during the Tang Dynasty and introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks in the 12th century, matcha quickly became a staple in Japanese tea ceremonies. These ceremonies, known as chanoyu or sado, are a meditative practice that highlights the art of preparing, serving, and drinking matcha.

Unlike regular green tea, where leaves are steeped and then discarded, matcha involves consuming the entire leaf, providing a more concentrated source of antioxidants and nutrients. The unique growing process, where tea plants are shaded before harvest to boost chlorophyll levels, gives matcha its vibrant green color and distinctive flavor profile — the perfect blend of sweetness and umami.

Today, matcha is not only a symbol of Japanese heritage but also a versatile ingredient enjoyed worldwide in various forms. In Tokyo, you can find matcha infused into everything from traditional straight brews to lattes, parfaits and pastries. Whether you’re a connoisseur seeking the pure, unadulterated flavors of straight matcha, a latte lover craving a creamy green pick-me-up or a dessert aficionado hunting for the ultimate matcha sweet treat, Tokyo has it all. Here’s your guide to some spots in the city to indulge in this vibrant green tea in all its glorious forms.

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Ippuku & Matcha

Located in the heart of Tokyo, Ippuku & Matcha is a must-visit for matcha enthusiasts. This establishment takes pride in offering non-blended matcha sourced from single tea estates, allowing customers to appreciate the unique taste and aroma of each cultivar. Their dedication to tradition is evident in their methods, as they shade the tea plants with reed and straw and hand-pick the leaves, resulting in limited quantities of exceptional matcha. 

One of the highlights at Ippuku & Matcha is their selection of matcha lattes, including the distinctive double matcha latte and triple matcha latte, which offer twice and three times the richness of matcha, respectively. The creamy texture blends perfectly with the robust, earthy flavor of the matcha, creating a harmonious and satisfying beverage.

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Nestled beneath the historic Fukutoku Shrine in Nihonbashi, Suigian offers an extraordinary blend of traditional Japanese culture and culinary excellence. This hidden gem features an immersive dining experience where you can enjoy traditional performing arts on a Noh stage while savoring exquisite seasonal dishes. Sip on high-quality straight matcha, or indulge in a seasonal tea and sweets set in their beautifully designed tea room. The serene ambiance and meticulous attention to detail make Suigian a perfect spot to immerse yourself in the rich flavors and cultural heritage of matcha. Whether you’re enjoying a traditional matcha brew or a creative dessert, Suigian promises a memorable and culturally enriching experience.

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Tsuruya Yoshinobu

With over 200 years of history, Tsuruya Yoshinobu is a renowned traditional confectionery store from Kyoto. Famous for its signature sweets like yuzu mochi and Kyo-kanze, featuring designs inspired by water patterns from Noh costumes, this storied establishment has brought its rich heritage to Tokyo. 

At the Tokyo location, visitors can watch skilled confectioners perform their craft right before their eyes while enjoying matcha and freshly made wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets. The cafe offers a variety of matcha treats, including the cream anmitsu, a delightful blend of agar jelly, fruits and sweet red bean paste topped with a scoop of creamy matcha ice cream, and matcha parfait, with layers of matcha ice cream, jelly and sweet beans creating a perfect harmony of textures and flavors. Be it to witness the artistry of wagashi making or simply to indulge in delicious matcha sweets, Tsuruya Yoshinobu provides a serene and delightful escape into the world of traditional Japanese confections.

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Funabashiya, established in 1805 during the Edo period, is a revered confectionery shop known for its exquisite kuzumochi, a clear jelly made from kuzu root starch. This unique dessert, boasting an impeccable texture, is the only fermented Japanese confection made by steaming wheat starch that has been fermented with lactic acid for 15 months. 

Today, Funabashiya continues to uphold its dedication to hospitality by meticulously selecting ingredients and preserving its traditional methods. A must-try at Funabashiya is the matcha kuzumochi set. The matcha kuzumochi, with its delicate and smooth texture, pairs perfectly with a cup of matcha, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that highlight the unique characteristics of both the dessert and the tea. 

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The Matcha Tokyo

Located in the heart of Shibuya, The Matcha Tokyo is a haven for those who appreciate fine matcha. This cafe excels in delivering top-quality organic matcha in a laid-back atmosphere. Patrons can enjoy a wide range of matcha creations, including matcha smoothies, matcha coffees, and delectable matcha sweets such as castella and dorayaki. Among their unique offerings, the matcha coconut float stands out — an unexpected combination that pairs the deep, earthy notes of matcha with the light, tropical hint of coconut, creating a refreshingly novel flavor combination.

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