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How Matcha ice cream was born

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Haven’t tried green tea ice cream yet? Well, you can’t leave Japan until you try some in its birthplace! But first, some interesting factoids: In 1958, the first matcha ice cream was successfully sold in Wakayama, Japan because the owner of a tea shop, Kimihiko Hayashi, Gyokurin-En realized people didn’t want to drink green tea in the summer. In order to increase green tea sales, Mr. Hayashi experimented with tea leaves and colors to create the first green tea flavored soft cone called Green Soft. It was a big hit! He said keeping the beautiful green color was a challenge at first, but he clearly succeeded. Today his shop in Wakayama offers two types of matcha: soft and ice cream, which can now be purchased online. In total, more than 1600 000 green tea ice creams are sold each year.


Nowadays, you can find Matcha ice cream and soft cones everywhere you go in Japan. My favorite place is Kyoto Tsujiri. While some Matcha ice cream lacks a little on the flavor side to me, Tsujiri being a tea house, uses only the highest tea leaves, which makes it really taste like green tea in all the best ways. For fun, try both green Matcha and brown Roasted tea flavor.

Check out my Food section to learn more about Japanese sweets.

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