Ippodo Ceremonial Matcha Review (2024)

Next up on our grand tour of ceremonial grade matcha on Amazon, we'll be conducting an Ippodo Ceremonial Matcha review to see how it compares to our top teas. For this review, we're highlighting their highest-ranked Sayaka matcha, although they do have several other ceremonial grade options, including Kanza (their most premium option) and Ummon (recommended for the ultimate matcha fans).

Unlike other Japanese matcha brands, Ippodo doesn't feel the need to differentiate their matcha as "ceremonial grade" and claims all of their matcha is high quality and can be used in a Japanese tea ceremony. However, for the purposes of our review, we'll be identifying their matcha as ceremonial grade. 

Amazon's Choice

Ippodo Tea (Kyoto Since 1717) Sayaka - Rich Matcha 

Our Rating 85/100
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Based in Kyoto, Ippodo Tea is famous for its high-quality matcha, including the beginner-friendly Horai Matcha known for its balanced taste with a hint of astringency and a unique umami character. The company procures its tea from the finest farms in Kyoto, guaranteeing a matcha with a rich flavor, smooth finish, and the perfect balance of sweetness and astringency, which makes it ideal for iced matcha. That’s a testament to their dedication to quality and the experience of enjoying matcha through Ippodo chakoshi!

 To this day they still uphold the tradition of aromatic, well-balanced tea that's carefully selected, blended, and crafted. The brand offers matcha as well as loose-leaf tea options such as Gyokuro, Sencha, and Bancha

The legacy of Ippodo Tea started back in 1717 by Rihei Watanabe, marking its journey of over 300 years in the art of tea-making. Throughout these centuries, the company has been committed to bringing top-notch Japanese teas to the world, with Horai Matcha being one of their flagships. A product with such a rich history? Now, that’s something we’re excited to put to the test.

Similar to Ujido, Ippodo offers an "organic collection" which excludes their more popular options. According to the FAQ section of their website, "The teas in [their] regular collection are grown using a combination of fertilizers and pesticides that are synthetic and derived from nature." Should you be concerned? Not really. They do mention that they continue to follow Japan's strict regulations in using pesticides and fertilizers.  


  • Family-run business since 1717
  • Rich in Japanese heritage
  • Nice, vibrant green color
  • Variety of matcha options


  • Flavor doesn't stand out amongst others
  • Recommend using a sifter to prevent any lumps
  • Not a lot of transparency about the growing process


With Ippodo being in the tea business for so long, we had high expectations for their matcha. Although not awful, nothing wowed us and we were a bit disappointed. The Sayaka matcha was on the sweeter side – and we're used to a much more rich, complex flavor profile when enjoying our ceremonial grade matcha. 

ippodo Matcha taste rating 80/100
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Color and Grind

One thing we love about (good) matcha is its bright, vibrant green color and Ippodo's Sayaka was nothing short of stunning. The earthy hue in contrast to the white tin packaging was a true sight to see and started our match-making experience on the right note. 

We tested our matcha two different ways – one using a sifter before whisking and one without. When using the sifter, you get a much smoother and delicate consistency whereas sans sifter, we still had some lumps despite our consistent whisking. 

ippodo Matcha Color & Grind 90/100
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Exploring Ippodo's Matcha Varieties

From the robust and full-bodied to the delicate and sweet, Ippodo's matcha range is thoughtfully curated. Here's a glimpse into some of their offerings:

  • Kan: A blend that strikes a delightful balance between sweetness and umami, perfect for those who enjoy a milder matcha experience.
  • Ummon: The pinnacle of Ippodo's matcha blends, offering the richest umami flavor, designed for the true matcha connoisseur.
  • Horai: A blend that is a step down from Ummon-no-mukashi, but still provides a deep umami taste, suitable for both traditional tea ceremonies and new matcha drinkers.
  • Sayaka-no-mukashi: Known for its vibrant color and a harmonious blend of sweetness and umami, it's a versatile option for both usucha (thin tea) and koicha (thick tea).

Seasonal and Limited Edition Blends

Ippodo also releases seasonal and limited edition blends that capture the essence of Japan's changing seasons:

  • Shincha Matcha: Celebrating the fresh first tea leaves of spring, this blend is characterized by its refreshing and invigorating taste.
  • Tsukikake: As mentioned earlier, this limited edition blend adds a distinctive twist to the traditional matcha, perfect for those looking to explore new flavor dimensions.

Packaging and Presentation

ippodo horai matcha
Ippodo matcha package

Ippodo’s packaging is reflective of its authenticity and commitment to quality. The moment you hold the gorgeous box of Horai Matcha, you can feel the legitimacy of the product. The craftsmanship is evident, and the hygienic packaging ensures the matcha remains fresh and safe.

The cream-colored traditionally-decorated Japanese box used for their Hatsu matcha green tea is a sight to behold, as is the ceramic tea bowl containing vibrant green sifted Hosen Sencha green tea with its rich green color. They also offer white packaging with bronze faux-painted details for their Hosen Sencha green tea. The traditional design and materials used in the packaging, including the ceramic tea bowl using traditional techniques and the chashaku bamboo tea ladle, truly reflect the brand’s dedication to its roots and the art of tea-making.

Nevertheless, the packaging merely forms one aspect of the whole experience. The real assessment comes from how the matcha is handled and, naturally, its taste

Preparing Your Ceremonial Grade Matcha

For a single serving, measure out 2 grams (approximately 1 teaspoon) of Ceremonial Grade Matcha. The intricacies matter here, especially the water temperature, which should be between 140°F - 175°F to unlock the full flavor potential.

Now, take up the chasen bamboo whisk. A brisk 15-second whisking in a 'W' or 'M' pattern will yield the frothy consistency that is the hallmark of a well-prepared matcha. Sifting the matcha through an Ippodo Chakoshi before whisking can further refine the texture. Now, you're ready to experience the true essence of matcha!

The Bottom Line

We always love supporting an authentic Japanese company and while Ippodo doesn't fall short on that end – their matcha is a middle-of-the-pack brand. Our favorite component of Ippodo's ceremonial matcha is actually their packaging. The clean, minimalist white tin not only makes an elegant countertop accessory, it also elevates the matcha consumption experience. Now if only they can match(a) that. Looking to see what our actual favorite matcha brands are? Check our best list here

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Encha Matcha

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Tenzo Matcha

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Pique Matcha

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  • Our Rating: 4.8 of 5 stars

Kenko Matcha

  • Kenko Matcha Organic Ceremonial Matcha
  • Gold Class Ceremonial Grade Matcha
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  • Our Rating: 4.8 of 5 stars
Our Score 4.6

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