Tsuen tea is the oldest tea house in Japan. It’s also one of the easiest places to get to in Uji, seeing as it’s right across the road from the station. When you go through the door if you go left then you’re looking at tea to buy at various price points. Please also note that most of the cute bags of tea where you can’t see inside are the same types of tea. I bought two thinking one would be a fun gift only to realize it was exactly the same content as one of the bags without the cute paper design. This section also has free samples of matcha dango. (Dango is a dessert made out of rice flower similar to a dumpling, but it’s sweet). I hadn’t really had one before so having a free sample of one matcha flavored was quite nice. It reminded me of mochi but more bite sized.
I really wanted to sit and enjoy the air conditioning because it was too hot. I planned to get tea and rest, and if they had food I had a list of matcha flavored things I wanted to try.
Luckily I was able to hit two of those without going far.
The first thing I ordered was matcha soba.
I was absolutely delighted to see it was an option because I had been a bit concerned about where I’d find it and was low on energy. So the fact I found it at my first stop was quite a relief. Soba is a type of buckwheat noodle that can be served hot or cold. I usually really prefer it cold because I like dipping the noodles. In the cup to the upper left is the broth. On the white dish are green onions and a dollop of wasabi that can be used to add to the broth to flavor it to taste. I dumped all of it in. I can’t usually handle spicy but I was totally fine with that amount of wasabi. I was so shocked. The matcha noodles themselves didn’t have a strong matcha flavor which I appreciated, and they were like any normal soba, just green. It was fun and I was absolutely delighted.
The next thing I ordered was something I’d wanted to have on this trip to Japan, a parfait. Japanese parfaits are usually on another level and every time I’ve been to Japan I’ve walked past shops with their windows full of so many different flavors and types of parfaits. I thought if I could find a matcha parfait that’d be a nice way to enjoy one and stay out of the heat. But it turned out that Tsuen tea makes their own.
It came with matcha ice cream with sweet red beans and mochi (and a cookie) on top of whipped cream and matcha jelly then more whipped cream and at the bottom were coffee jellies. I loved every part of it…except for the coffee jellies which seemed to be flavorless semi-hard gelatin in a sweet coffee syrup. The syrup when mixed with leftover whipped cream wasn’t bad but I just couldn’t finish the coffee jellies. They offer at least one other iteration of their parfait with dango in it. And many people go just for the matcha parfait.
Tsuen teahouse is open from 9:30 am until 5:40pm.