Topic: Ippodo's Matcha's

Just thought I would create a post where we can discuss Ippoodo's matcha's I have tried a handful of their grades, and think they are all quite nice in general.  A goal for 2011 is to try and taste each of their seasonal matcha's.  That being said, thoughts and discussion on Ippodo's matcha.

One major question to start off the discussion is: Has anyone ever done a side by side comparison of two matcha's of the same grade one in the 40 gram container while the other in the 20 gram container, and were they very similar possibly even identical?   This stems from the following Teachat topic .

That being said I have tried to make Koicha with a few Ippodo matchas and even some of the mid grade ones held up to it quite well, which is interesting as Ippodo seems to offer matcha at the best prices with the additional claim that it can be used for either koicha or usacha.

2 (edited by brandon 2011-03-14 12:26:07)

Re: Ippodo's Matcha's

Well, I have had both Seiun and Wakamatsu no Mukashi, but not side to side. I would totally buy that they were the same, and the product description reads that way for me now.
A few things... Ippodo is one of a handful of very old tea blenders, blending tea is their business. The different schools of Chanoyu are one, but not the only, group of folks interested in these products.

I am pretty sure that 40g can used to also be labeled Wakamatsu no Mukashi, and that the description text referred to it something prepared for thin tea that could stand up to casual use as koicha. Since then I learned that "no Mukashi" means something akin to "for old style" - eg, for koicha and related ceremonies. So it seems Ippodo may just not be the best at writing these things, or translating. So I do not know when this tea was given the name Seiun by the Urasenke, but it could have been recently given the name change on the site and that my local Chanoyu instructors served it to me a few months ago stating it was new (to them I presumed, but perhaps newly named? - I will check into this).

Bottom line - "no mukashi" is (suitable) for thick tea, no matter what the English description on Ippodo says.

Edit: seems like 'Seiun' has been there for at least a few years.
Interesting tidbit from Joel on the TC thread - "According to their literature, their 20g Matcha are used by the Omotosenke school, and the 40g containers are used by the Urasenke school."
For most functions, the local Urasenke buys much larger containers from Matcha and More, as 40g would not go very far in classes. But I will check into this detail as well.