How much would you pay for a scoop of ice cream?

Good morning everyone,

Today is going to start out cloudy, but we might see a typhoon pass through this afternoon and evening. That's right. A typhoon in the beginning of July. It could be a long typhoon season...the rain will continue Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and it'll be grey and overcast all week.

As such an integral part of Japan’s beverage culture, green tea usually isn’t prohibitively expensive. Grocery store cooler sections are stocked with plastic bottles of pre-made green tea that sell for 100 yen or less. However, if you’re looking to splurge, you can go to dedicated tea shops that offer high-end tea leaves, on a per-cup basis, cost a dozen times as much.

Likewise, in most cases, a scoop of matcha ice cream won’t set you back any more than a scoop of chocolate or vanilla. But one green tea ice cream specialist in Shizuoka Prefecture is about to roll out an ultra-premium green tea ice cream, pictured above, for 1,800 yen a scoop.

Tea producer Oyaizu Seiichi decided to diversify by opening a cafe in 2006. As you might expect, it offers a variety of tea-flavored ice creams, including matcha, hojicha, and jasmine and Darjeeling teas.

Single scoops are normally priced at 360 yen, but this month Oyaizu Seiichi is introducing its Daijinsho (“Minister’s Award”) Matcha. The special ice cream uses tencha, a type of green tea grown in the shade before the leaves are steamed, dried, and completely removed of stems, stalks, and veins before being stone-ground. Oyaizu Seiichi’s tencha was awarded the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister’s Award at the most recent iteration of the National Tea Products Awards, and the Daijinsho Matcha ice cream makes generous use of this up-market ingredient.

However, as you might guess from the exacting production process, tencha isn’t easy to produce in large quantities, and so availability of the Daijinsho Matcha ice cream will also be limited, with just 150 scoops (available in cones or cups) to be sold on July 15. Even at 1,800 yen, it’s likely to sell out quickly, but fans of luxurious desserts who show up too late can at last take solace in knowing that on July 15 and 16 Oyaizu Seiichi will be offering gold powder as a free topping on all of its ice cream flavors.

Or you could be like me and think about the fact that you could have 16 soft-serve ice cream cones at McDonald's for the same price...that's an English teacher's budget...ha ha! There's zero chance you'll ever see me pay that much for a scoop of ice cream.

Have a great day and be careful, the weather might turn bad later today.


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