Ippodo Tea, Kaboku Tearoom – Maccha Koicha

Ippodo Tea, Kaboku Tearoom – Maccha Koicha

Ippodo Tea - preview

Ippodo, started in 1717, is one of the most well known tea companies in Japan, with shops in all the major department stores throughout the country. As big as it has become, the original main store is still small and friendly, located on a small street just south of Gosho.

Ippodo’s tea is from the region called Uji, south of Kyoto (宇治茶, Ujicha). Uji is one of the two principle tea producing regions of Japan (the other being Shizuoka).

Ippodo has many, many kinds of tea, from cheap to very expensive. They are all excellent. Ippodo supplies detailed instructions in English regarding how to brew each tea properly. The translations are professional and proper, understandable English. Ippodo even gives a free measuring spoon with all purchases in order to make sure that the customers are able to measure out the right amount of tea at home.

The Kaboku Tearoom, recently renovated serves a wonderful assortment of Ippodo’s teas. Kaboku Tearoom is accessed via the main door of Ippodo, to the back of the store and to the right.

K. F. PekoPeko has a personal favorite and that is the Koicha Maccha. Koi means thick or stong. Cha, of course is tea. Maccha is the powdered green tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

Koicha Maccha comes in two varieties, Unmon-no-mukashi and Seiun. I recommend the Unmon-no-mukashi.

The Ippodo Koicha Maccha is STRONG! Most Japanese have never even seen anything like it.

Koicha Maccha isn’t just strong, it isn’t just thick. It is unbelievable! It’s the thickness of yogurt! And, this IS tea.

If you like your coffee strong, and you like tea, I highly recommend that you give this a try when you are in Kyoto.

Despite the excessive thickness, it is not bitter or disagreeable in anyway. I always feel like I am drinking a cup of verdant, gorgeous green paint.

After ‘finishing’ it the staff takes away the cup, adds more hot water, whisks it and comes back with a normal strength maccha.

All teas at Kaboku are served with wagashi.

Ippodo is a great place to buy some tea to take back home, or just to drop in for a great tea, on your way to or back from Gosho. Ippodo is just a 15 minute walk up from the Sanjo area, on Teramachi Street (寺町通り, Teramachidori). The neighborhood (Teramachi Street between Oike Street and Marutamachi Street) has many interesting shops and galleries.

If you like green tea or are feeling daring, or want to remedy jet lag, Koicha Maccha is a must try!

Kaboku’s Koicha Maccha
Ippodo Tea Maccha Koicha - before
Koicha Maccha and wagashi — before

Ippodo Tea Maccha Koicha - after
Koicha Maccha and wagashi — after

Ippodo Tea Maccha Usucha - before
Koicha Maccha second time around — before

Ippodo Tea Maccha Usucha - after
Koicha Maccha second time around — after

Ippodo Tea Store Interior
Ippodo store interior (notice the antique storage pots on the shelf)

Ippodo Tea Contemporary Products
Ippodo store interior (contemporary product lineup)

Ippodo Tea Facade
Ippodo facade

Ippodo Tea Facade - Corner
Ippodo facade — corner

website: (English)
Ippodo has an excellent English language website and online store and ships abroad. If you find some teas that you like here on your trip, you can still order refills even after you return home.
Kaboku Tearoom

menu and staff: Ippodo has an excellent English menu and explanation of products and preparation methods. The staff speaks some English (or will try to).



View Larger Map

16 Responses to “Ippodo Tea, Kaboku Tearoom – Maccha Koicha”

  1. Kate says:

    Lovely blog, I’m enjoying it immensely!

  2. Kat says:

    that is very koi tea!

  3. kyotofoodie says:

    Hi Kate, Ah, sorry for missing your comment! Thank you much! Please come again and tell us what you like and what you would like to know more about!

    Hi Kat, VERY. I made some koi maccha at home just tonight, not even close to what they serve in Ippodo Tea, Kaboku Tearoom, but I feel like I will be wide awake for quite a few more hours tonight!

  4. Megan P says:

    That is Matcha?
    I’ve made Matcha numerous times, but I can’t imagine whisking it that thick? Do they use the common Matcha whisk?

  5. PekoPeko says:

    Hello Megan,

    That IS a good question! And, one that I do not know the answer to.

    I will investigate next time I am at Ippodo.


  6. Eva says:

    This matcha drink is really thick. How does it taste? The ice-cream I made has a very delicate matcha taste, only 1tsb of matcha powder was used.
    Greetings from Estonia.

  7. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Eva!

    Thanks for coming over all the way from Estonia.

    I LOVE Saku Porter!! Do you still have Saku Porter in Estonia? I had it there about 10 years ago and it was some of the best beer I have ever had, I thought. I even brought a few bottles back to Japan with me. I have an empty Saku Porter bottle sitting on a shelf in the dining room.

    Well, Ippodo’s Maccha Koicha is also VERY thick and rich. It isn’t particularly bitter, as you might expect. THICK is the feeling and the taste that remains in my mind.

  8. Eva says:

    I am not a beer drinker myself, but I found on the company’s website that they are still producing it indeed:
    I am sure you have lots of different variety of matchas. Unfortunately the choice is very limited here. Mine is brought from China.

  9. Alex says:

    This was an awesome post. Thank you very much for sharing it.

    In regards to Megan’s question, I have seen a chasen made for kiocha; it has far fewer and thicker tines, but I’ve on come across it once. It does not appear to be widely used, at least outside of Japan.

  10. […] I only prepare the thin matcha although the one I have right now can also be made as a koicha. Koicha is indeed very thick as can be seen here. […]

  11. Linda says:

    Please tell me does Ippodo tearoom use Wakamatsu no Mukashi matcha for the koicha? Do you know how many chashaku for such a thick tea? I thought it was the glaze on the bowl! It looks very interesting and matcha does end jet lag…I found that out!

  12. Peko Peko says:

    Hello Linda, Thank you for stopping by KyotoFoodie! I am not sure of the answers to your questions, so I will have to ask Ippodo. Please give me some time and I will check. P

  13. Miwa says:

    Hello Linda,

    Ippodo offers two kinds of maccha powder for koicha.
    雲門の昔(Unmon-no-mukashi) maccha for 1,103 yen and 青雲(Seiun) for 893 yen.

    They use 4 chashaku amount of maccha for a bowl of koicha at Kaboku tea room.

    I know, maccha really wakes you up! I always drink maccha when I need to stay up and concentrate.

  14. Linda says:

    Thank you very much for checking this out and for your information.
    I have never seen matcha spelled as you spell it…are you using a different romaji? Just curious. Going over to Ippodo now to check out these teas. I have ordered sencha from them recently and they are super helpful and really nice to deal with. Kyoto Foodie is really great, thank you!

  15. Kettles says:

    Hello I am so to finding your blog, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the great work. .

Leave a Reply

ContactCopyright © Kyoto Foodie: Where and what to eat in Kyoto, All Rights Reserved.