Haagen-Dazs are celebrating their 35-year anniversary in Japan, and to show their gratitude for all the customers they’ve had over the years, they’ve taken one of their most popular Japanese flavours, green tea, and ramped the taste intensity up to eleven.

‘Koicha’ is an exceptionally dark matcha, one used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. This new intensely rich ice cream is inspired by koicha, and Haagen-Dazs have taken great care to make it an experience as luxurious and relaxing as an actual tea ceremony.

They have done so with three ‘commitment points’ which they pledge to keep in order to assure the high quality of the exceptionally rich green tea ice cream.

Firstly, green tea leaves are cultivated to be used just for this product. The leaves are stored strictly away from sunlight and with good air flow for over 35 days, rather than the usual 20, to ensure a mellow taste and round off the bitter edge that matcha can have.

They also only use leaves from the first pick so that the finest leaves are used, which were all fastidiously picked by hand. The flavoursome matcha is combined with creamy milk for a luxurious taste.

Pomp plays a big part in Japanese tea ceremonies, therefore the presentation of the ice cream has to match the deliciousness. The packaging theme is inspired by traditional Japanese motifs. Decorative cords, which are often used in celebrations, have been utilised in the design to portray the commemoration of the 35 year anniversary. The deep green of the ice cream itself also contrasts with the black interior of the packaging creating a striking image.

These three commitments are all very well and good, but is the matcha taste truly as rich as they say? Always up for eating ice cream, we tried it out for ourselves!

© Grape Japan

On first impressions, we think it’s safe to say they were right about the photogenic nature of the packaging and strikingly green ice cream.

© Grape Japan

The matcha is not overwhelmingly bitter although the taste intensity is still present. The creamy texture adds a luxurious smoothness which perfectly counterbalances the richness of the green tea.

© Grape Japan

For such a reasonable price (350 yen) we have to say that Haagen-Dazs have made a convincing attempt at bringing the tea ceremony koicha to the world of ice cream.

The 'Midori Koicha' ice cream will be available in stores all over Japan from 9th July and will be sold as a limited time only item.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.