Matcha, in all its vibrant green glory, has been whisked into a delicate frothy beverage for hundreds of years. While its original form is enjoyed by tea enthusiasts here in America as well, as evidenced by the opening of new matcha shops and the hundreds and hundreds of words spilled onto magazine pages about it, matcha as an ingredient has been the story. But in Japan, a tea seller might have just introduced one we’ve missed.
Recipes abound for creative ways to incorporate matcha into foods. It is incorporated into broth for a rich soup base. It shows up in rubs for meats and mixed into rice. Most often it makes its way into desserts — brownies, ice creams, cakes and cookies.
Itohkyueon, a tea purveyor in Kyoto, Japan since 1832, has introduced new ideas for tea-infused beverages, including matcha wine. The wine, known as “vina au thé vert,” is white wine combined with matcha. Rocket News 24 described the beverage as having “the faint bitterness of matcha with the soft acidity and sweetness of grapes.” The company have also developed a green-tea infused sake, green tea chocolate liqueur, and a plum wine with matcha. The match is a natural since Itohkyueon is located in Uji, the one of the best known tea-producing regions. The entire range of beverages is known as “Yokan no Midori” or Midnight Green.
Itohkyueon worked with the Tamba Wine company in Kyoto to create the blend. It has an APV of 12% and retails for the equivalent of $11.50 USD. They are sold online in Japan and in the three Itohkyuemon stores.