Thursday, April 5, 2012

京都宇治の伊藤久右衛門 : Making Pilgrimage to the Land of Matcha

Kyoto 宇治 "伊藤久右衛門" is a old green tea shop that has been established since the late edo period. Since this is such a popular/familiar green tea brand, how can we not pay pilgrimage to this shop when we are in Kyoto? 
Not only is it famous for its green tea, it has 2 shops in Uji, Kyoto that allows customers to savour their matcha noodles and sweets. Their products can only be found in Uji and I did not spot any of them in Kyoto station or any other souvenir shops. Therefore, one must really grab the chance to savour their matcha tea and buy some omiyage from their shops if one managed to travel all the way to their shops.
this is at their main shop
Matcha Warm Soba (577 Yen) 
This is a bowl of really tasty al-dente handmade matcha noodles. The broth is seasoned just right and it is not oily at all.

Matcha Cappucino Set (577 Yen)
Ordered this because this is the first time I've come across Matcha Cappucino rather than Matcha Latte. 
Just like a good cup of cappucino, they managed to create matcha foam on top. It is not sweet at all and has a really nice matcha aroma. However, it has no taste of any coffee at all.
And the biscuit that came along with the set is packaged like a nice present. Very exquisite presentation that one can't bear to open it.

Matcha Sable sandwiched with matcha buttercream and raisins
I am not sure if this applies to everyone but drinking matcha or enjoying any matcha food always seem to calm one's nerves and remind one to slow down their pace in life. Well, so don't forget to appreciate the cup like any other tea ceremony after you have finished the drink.
Besides their main shop, we went to their branch which is also in Uji, located within walking distance from the famous 平等院. According to their website, this branch that is smaller than the main branch, was also the place where the shop first started.
A showcase of their matcha harvesting process at their branch shop.
Some products are not available at this shop but the selection is still quite substantial.
Matcha Yokan (somewhat like a sweet dense jelly)
Matcha Chocolate Bar ( New product) resembles Matcha Chocolate crunch Bar 
Matcha Kuzu Soup
Like the very sweet and dense red bean soup, this is the matcha version with a few small balls of plain mochi.
How can one not feel peaceful and satisfied with life after enjoying a good cuppa of matcha?
(the Zen display of flower taken in the main shop)
It is easy to mix up this company with another beverage/food company called Itoen. They are actually 2 very different companies. 

京都宇治の伊藤久右衛門
For more information or online shopping : visit 
www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/site/index2.html 

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