Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kaboku Tearoom (Ippodo)

The KABOKU Tearoom/喫茶室嘉木 is located at Ippodo Tea Co.'s main store in Kyoto, a short walk from Kyoto Imperial Park.

The entrance to the tearoom is located at the back of the tea shop where you'll also have a nice view of Ippodo's carefully tended tea garden. Seating is at tables and at the tea bar where you'll find a chagama for traditional matcha preparation.

The tearoom offers matcha, gyokuro, sencha, and bancha tea service. My hostess, Rei, recommended Ippodo's limited seasonal Special Sencha served with kinna mochi.

Tea service at the KABOKU Tearoom is a hands-on experience. Sencha service comes with tea leaves in a kyusu teapot, two tea cups, a hot water kettle, a timer, and wagashi (tea sweet).

Water is served boiling hot at 100°C (212°F). Following Rei's guidance, the water should be poured into a teacup to warm the cup and lower the temperature by 10°C. Pour the water from one cup to another to lower the temperature by another 10°C which should bring the temperature down to an ideal 80°C (176°C). At this temperature, you should be able to comfortably hold the teacup for 5 seconds and pour the water from the teacup into the teapot, allowing it to steep for 40 seconds before serving. Second and third infusions should have no steeping time before pouring the tea.

The KABOKU Tearoom is popular and wait time for seating can fluctuate from immediate service to a one hour wait. Allow for extra time to enjoy a stress-free visit.

Address: 〒604-0915 京都府京都市中京区常盤木町, 中京区常盤木町52
Teramachi-dori Nijo, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0915

10:00 am to 6:00pm

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