The year is 1860 in Japan. Commodore Matthew Perry opened up the once-isolated nation to world trade five years before, ending the Tokugawa shogunate’s sakoku policy implemented two centuries prior. Conflict between the French-backed pro-shogunate forces and British-supported imperial loyalists was fomenting. The full-blown Boshin War eventually broke out between the two sides, with firearms playing an important role. Its aftermath would see the Meiji emperor be restored to the throne in 1869, and Japan becoming a major player in world politics during the early 20th century.
Amidst these conflicts however, a tea merchant named Riemon Tsuji would make a name for himself. Establishing the Tsujiri brand in Uji, Kyoto, he used his own wealth to bring about enhancements in the tea-making process. A particular method to enhance the flavor and taste of tea leaves and the tea cabinet that prolongs the freshness of leaves are among his contributions that shook up the world of tea. So influential was Tsuji that a bust of him was built in Kyoto’s Byodo-in temple—a world heritage temple. More than 150 years later, the Tsujiri brand maintains the philosophy upheld by the founder. It wasn’t a surprise, then, that a Tsujiri branch would open up in Philippine shores.
Tsujiri Matcha’s first branch was located at S Maison at Conrad, near the Mall of Asia complex. I first heard of Tsujiri after CJ and her family visited the S Maison location. She told me that the matcha treats there were the best she tried out so far, but I wasn’t convinced. Surely the matcha is popular, but I wouldn’t go that far just to try it out. The management must have found out this predicament, leading them to open two branches up north: one at Vertis North Mall beside Trinoma, and the other one at The Podium in Ortigas. (Today’s post focuses on the latter.) I would not have found out about The Podium’s renovation, and consequently Tsujiri’s new branch, until a colleague told me. I would usually park my car here when CJ and I visit the Ortigas area as they offer a flat parking rate on weekends.
Tsujiri Matcha is located at the second level of The Podium. The actual space is rather small, but they set up a few tables and chairs outside to accommodate more diners. Patrons can check out their signature cakes displayed at the freezer. You won’t see actual matcha leaves here, and the only sign that they serve matcha is a Japanese tea ceremony set on display. I’ll stop here and let the rest of the pictures showcase what Tsujiri Matcha has to offer.
Quality backed by more than 150 years of heritage in a cup; this is what Tsujiri Matcha stands for. Do check out Tsujiri’s Facebook page, Instagram profile, and the Tsujiri Matcha global website to know more about this legendary Japanese matcha purveyor.
Until the next post, bon appetit.
2/F The Podium Mall,
18 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center
Mandaluyong City 1555