A couple of weeks ago, I attended a Japanese Tea Workshop at Ippodo Tea. Thanks to Lisa from Chambre de Sucre, I found out about it and went, and shared a table with her, Kathy, and Lisa’s friend Jeni.
The shop is in the front, as you walk in. In the back is a Japanese restaurant, Kajitsu, where the workshop was held.
Everything was laid out neatly in front of us. The staff from the Japanese Ippodo shop – who were all fluent in English – flew in and taught the workshop.
First up, preparing gyokuro. We steeped it in cold water for 15 minutes. Yes, 15!
While waiting for the gyokuro, we had a sencha and yanagi tasting. I learned there are four types of green tea: gyokuro, matcha, sencha, and bancha.
We did one steeping of the gyokuro and we had it with a jellied dessert made of sweetened red bean paste. Loved the pairing; they went perfectly together. The gyokuro was so savory with a slight sweet taste. I was surprised at the richness of the flavor.
Next up, matcha. We learned how to prep it properly by sifting a heaping teaspoon of matcha first, followed by some hot water.
Then comes the whisking. Just 10 flicks of the wrist is all that’s needed.
Sipping the matcha slowly between bites of a mochi treat.
The workshop was $30 and an hour and a half long. If you’re interested in learning more about Japanese tea, I would highly recommend the class. Not sure when the next one will be, but check out Ippodo Tea’s Facebook page to be updated. I really enjoyed it.
INFO: Ippodo Tea Co. | 125 East 39th Street | New York, NY 10016 | 212.370.0609