Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Higashiyama Charyo 東山茶寮

You might be familiar with the more popular names such as Tsujiri or Nakamura Tokichi but in fact, these are just few of the many excellent tea houses in Japan. Another good example is Higashiyama Charyo, one of the tea sweets merchant in Kyoto. 

Very little has been written about their shop in Kiyomizu Gojyou because online retail is its main business line. Moreover, it appears more frequently as temporary pop-up sweet station in department stores in Tokyo or other regions in Japan.

黒抹茶ロールケーキ
宇治茶の老舗 堀井七茗園の良質な抹茶を100%使用しました
Sporting a trendy cool look, the Black Matcha Roll cake (¥1390) made with charcoal powder and filled with bitter matcha cream using the premium matcha powder from 堀井七茗園 (Horii shichimeien). 

This tea farm holds a special position in the history of Uji tea development as it is managing 奥の山, the ONLY tea farm still standing out of the 7 plot of lands that were initiated by General Yoshimitsu in the Muromachi Era for growing Uji Tea. The rest of the farms have given way to urbanization. While this is not too sweet, the roll layer could be moister. I should have picked the original matcha roll with matcha cream.

In fact, all their sweets are made with matcha from Shichimeien. My favourite is the most recommended item, Mizu manju (¥200 each) As the name implies, this traditional summertime Wagashi boasts a refreshing gelatinous texture. Yet, they also called it Yogashi洋菓子 (western sweets) because Nama cream (fresh cream) is hidden within the "shiro-an" (white bean paste) 

These treats might look simple but actually way more superior than any molten cakes or buns in my opinion as they are superbly light and delicate. Accompanied with an exhilarating moment as the smooth filling flows and envelops the palate. Have the best of both worlds by choosing both matcha-an AND kinako-an. I'm sure you won't regret. 
Surprisingly, the folks are even more generous with their tea dosage in baked sweets such as baumkuchen and cookies as these turned out to be even more intense than the previous sweets. It's good sometimes that there is no cream or whatsoever to mess with the taste as it ascertains that this shop does not fool around with their tea.


Higashiyama Saryo  東山茶寮
4-448 Gojobashihigashi 6-chome Higashiyama-ku Kyoto Kyoto
京都府 京都市東山区 五条橋東 4-448
7 min walk from Kiyomizu Gojo Station
Shop: 10am-6pm 
Cafe: 11am-5pm 
Closed on Wed

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