TEA REVIEW: Ippodo Tea Co.’s Tancho-no-mukashi and Ummon-no-mukashi

Tea discounted for review

Ippodo Tea Co. Matcha Spoons

One brand that has been recommended to me a few times regarding matcha was Ippodo Tea Co.! However, since I am Canadian, and all products ship from Japan, they were rather costly. I was happy when I found out that a Canadian brand, Menos, partnered with Ippod and carried some of their items.

I reached out to Menos because their website said that they were sold out. Thankfully, the staff were able to find a few tins and also offered me a discount code. They only had two items, Tancho-no-mukashi and Ummon-no-mukashi, in stock at the time, so I bought one of each. Today when I checked the website, Menos seems to have more options. I counted six matchas from Ippodo (with one of them coming soon).

Ippodo Tea Co. Matcha Tins

While there was a price difference between the Tancho-no-mukashi and the Ummon-no-mukashi, Ippodo recommended preparing both matchas as a koicha, which is thicker and helps with appreciating the flavour and aroma better.

This required 2 teaspoons and 1 o.z of water at 80 c, compared to usucha, which is 1 teaspoon to 2 o.z of water. The motion of mixing was also different. While I am used to using a whisking in a vigorous ‘m’ pattern, koicha is done in a slow back and forth motion. I end up trying both methods!

Let’s go!

 

Tancho-no-mukashi

Ippodo Tea Co. Tancho no muashi Green Tea Matcha Cup

Description: “For those who prefer a slightly lighter taste, Tancho-no-mukashi is a good choice.”

Review: When I opened the bag of matcha (which is in the tin), the matcha was very finely milled, but there were some clumps. It had a nice sweet seaweed aroma and a bright green colour.

Koicha – Even as I was whisking it, I could tell that the liquor was much thicker than what I am used too. There were a few small bubbles on the surface of dark forest green liquor and a faint umami and seaweed aroma.

When I sipped on the liquor, since there was such a thick texture, it stuck to the mouth. The first flavour I tasted was an instant hit of strong umami and grassiness, followed by a fair bit of astringency. It does quickly dissipate but it lingered all around the mouth. The tasted was almost on the verge of bitterness. This was much stronger of a matcha than I am used to.

Usucha – There was a similar seaweed aroma after whisking. The liquor was more of an olive colour. The first notes I tasted were grassy and umami and then there was a quick shot of bitterness that disappeared and was replaced with sweetness. Despite it being thinner, it still lingered in the mouth and I found that the flavours evolved and end off being mildly grassy. It left the mouth slightly tingling.

I personally like this as a usucha better because I found that it cut down the bitterness. This would be great for someone who enjoys a nice “milder” grassy matcha (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Matcha
  • Company: Ippodo Tea Co.

 

Ummon-no-mukashi

Ippodo Tea Co. Ummon no mukashi Green Tea Matcha Cup

Description: “This matcha is especially recommended if you want to really experience the characteristic full-bodied yet mellow sweetness of matcha.”

Review: While the Tancho-no-mukashi was very finely milled, I was impressed that the Ummon-no-mukashi was milled so finely that it was almost hard to see the individual particles. The aroma was sweet and grassy, and was slightly more subtle than the Tancho-no-mukashi.

Koicha – The liquor was a dark olive colour and there were more bubbles on the surface after whisking. While the matcha tasted very grassy, there was a nice sweetness to it that paired well with the umami flavour. I found that it didn’t have the bitterness that I tasted with the Tancho-no-mukashi. There was some astringency, but it wasn’t that strong. I enjoyed the sweetness that this one had.

Usucha – This time, the liquor had more of a yellow-green olive colour and there was a nice ring of bubbles on the surface. It had a strong grassy aroma and taste. It didn’t have the bitterness that the Tancho-no-mukashi had, but I also wasn’t able to taste any of the sweetness I tasted when I made it as a koicha.

If you want a naturally sweeter matcha, I would recommend this one, as long as you make it a koicha. It had a very strong grassy taste, so you have to also enjoy that aspect (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Matcha
  • Company: Ippodo Tea Co.

 

Final Thoughts

Ippodo Tea Co. Cups

I am very glad that I was able to try Ippodo! I can see why some people love the brand so much. I enjoyed the fact that there was actually a difference in taste and experience when making it thinner or thicker. I was surprised I liked each one a different way. I know that Ippodo also has a sweetened matcha that I would love to try as well!

How do you make your matcha?

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “TEA REVIEW: Ippodo Tea Co.’s Tancho-no-mukashi and Ummon-no-mukashi

  1. theteacupoflife says:

    I always hear so many great things about Ippodo but have yet to try their matcha. I had no idea a Canadian brand carries them now. I’ll have to look into it next time my matcha stash gets a bit low. Thanks!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s