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.
Ippodo Tea (Kyoto Since 1717) Sayaka - Rich Matcha
Ippodo is a family-run Japanese tea company founded in 1717, in the heart of Kyoto (AKA the matcha capital of Japan). 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.
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.
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.
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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