First, have some tea. Kissako is a Zen concept. Don’t rush. Whatever you are doing, you can take the time to have some tea.
Located at Pioneer Center along Pioneer Street in Pasig, Kissako Uji Matcha Café is a a newly opened Japanese matcha, coffee and pastry shop joining the many restaurants in the surrounding Kapitolyo area.
Having a bit of time to kill one afternoon, I was able to sample a few of their offerings. As they just opened, the display case was only half full but they still had a good range of pastries to try. I opted for the matcha shortcake which I enjoyed very much.
They have a good range of tea drinks but what was recommended by the staff was the Jo Sencha so I went with that. There’s a bit of a show in the preparation of this. A pot of hot water, 2 cups, a teapot, a timer, and a thermometer come to you on a tray. The thermometer is to monitor the water temperature. When it cools down to a certain temperature, that’s the only time your server will pour it into the teapot to steep the tea leaves. The timer is then started as the leaves need to steep for 30 seconds before pouring. When the 30 seconds are up, the tea is poured a little at a time alternately into the two cups. You are also given a small thermos of hot water in case you would like to make more tea. As this is a higher grade of green tea, the flavor is a bit fuller and more complex. It also comes with a cookie. I chose a matcha cookie.
I also couldn’t resist trying their coffee. They use beans from Horiguchi coffee, which is a small, specialist Japanese coffee roaster. The coffee is prepared pour over style and they have 3 different blends to choose from. They have a light, citrussy blend, a medium blend and a more robust blend. They also have single origin coffee (at the time I was there, it was from Ethiopia) but I went with the French Roast Blend #7 which is the heaviest. I’m generally not a fan of pour over coffee as I find it rather acidic, especially the ones described as “bright” but the Blend #7 was quite good.
For fans of Japanese pastry and tea, I would certainly recommend Kissako. In the busy and bustling Pioneer/Kapitolyo area, it is a welcome addition and oasis of calm. Whatever you are doing, you can certainly take the time to have some tea.
Kissako Uji Matcha Cafe is located at Pioneer Center, Pioneer St, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.