One of Kyoto’s best confectioners delivers a whole new way to enjoy green tea sweets.

Along with onigiri rice balls and bottles of green tea, steamed buns are one of the most popular items at Japanese convenience stores. During the colder half of the year, every branch of every chain has a steamer case set up next to the register, with meat buns and sweet bean buns waiting for anyone who wants a quick, hot snack.

But while you can get steamed buns at any chain, right now we’d recommend going to a Lawson branch, because that’s where you’ll find the brand-new matcha green tea bun.

In crafting this tempting treat, Lawson teamed up with Tsujiri, the confectioner from the Kyoto town of Uji, which produces the most highly prized matcha in all of Japan. Tsujiri has been consistently making us cry tears of joy with its delicious sweets, and this time the highly coveted taste-test duties went to SoraNews24’s Japanese-language correspondent Meg, who’d just finished digesting Subway Japan’s ridiculously large Giant Sub.

First up, though, was the smell test, and the Uji Matcha Bun gets full marks for its fragrant aroma of green tea and doughy outer layer. But Meg wasn’t about to leave it sitting on her desk like an edible air freshener, and so after taking in a deep breath of its fragrance, she took a bite…and it was pretty much everything she could have hoped for.

Inside the bun is a core of anko, Japanese sweet bean paste, flavored with matcha. There’s an elegant bitterness followed by a pleasantly strong sweetness, and the two contrasting flavors go together extremely well, with a clean finish free of any cloying sensation that had her immediately ready for another bite.

This is a fantastic hand-held matcha dessert, and entirely keeping with the high standards we’ve come to expect from Tusjiri. Even better, it doesn’t come with the high cost we’ve come to expect, as unlike Tsujiri’s ordinarily premium-priced offerings, the Uji Matcha Bun is just 140 yen (US$1.30), and in addition to being easy on the budget, it’s easy on the waist, at just 181 calories. Wash it down with a cup of green tea-infused Kyoto coffee, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic after-dinner indulgence.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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