The Nodoka matcha from Ippodo Tea Co., named after the Japanese word for “peace” or “serenity,” is a special spring variety of matcha.

Spring, even before the release of shincha, is a time for celebration in Japan. And so, there are matcha for a picnic under the cherry blossoms…

The usual way traditional Japanese tea is released anew is as shincha, the “first flush” of sencha in the spring. Among matcha, it comes as tsubokiri matcha, the opening of the year’s newly “ripened” matcha in autumn.

Even traditions have their updates and modernizations, though, and even traditional matcha producers are at least that innovative…

The Presentation

As a celebratory kind of matcha, this tea comes in its own special packaging, a kawaii (cute) paper carton with something of a handle. It features a tea bloom design and the (Hiragana) name of the tea on a pink background.

(The same design, just with a fallen leaves-brown background, is also used on Ippodo Tea Co.’s special autumn matcha, Tsukikage.)

The matcha itself, inside, is in Ippodo Tea Co.’s usual protective plastic.

Tasting Notes for Nodoka Matcha

The Nodoka matcha is a subtle tea.

The aroma is fitting for Japanese ideas of spring as a time of peacefulness and a fleeting beauty; it has a fleeting, subtle aroma itself.

Once again, there is little of the punch of a cheap, bitter matcha (like Ippodo’s Aoyama-no-shiro), and little of the strongly umami, round aroma of a high-grade matcha.

Nodoka matcha is very comfortable to drink, very well suited for combining with other subtle, emerging flavors of spring. It can be prepared as “thin” usucha or as “thick” koicha.

As always, there is a greater intensity to the tea when prepared as koicha. Even like that, it is only slightly bitter, slightly “green.” The aroma overall gets stronger, but remains subtle.

Information (and the possibility to order, when the tea is in season) can be found on Ippodo Tea Co.’s website here.