A whole new sensation for green tea lovers.

For the past eight years, the “Misdo Meets Gion Tsujiri” series of doughnuts at Mister Donut, Japan’s premier doughnut chain, has become an annual spring tradition. As one of the country’s most longstanding and respectable green tea purveyors, Kyoto-based Gion Tsujiri brings nothing but quality to its goods, so we’re always assured the collection will be tasty, but this year they’ve truly outdone themselves, with a range that includes its strongest matcha doughnuts ever.

The five new doughnuts went on sale on 27 March, and our matcha-loving reporter Egawa Tasuku was one of the first in line to buy them all, in the “Misdo Meets Gion Tsujiri First Release Set“, which retails for 1,143 yen (US$7.55).

The collection contains three Pon-de Ring doughnuts and two “Okoi” doughnuts, so-called as as they’re “okoi”, the word used to describe something with a rich colour or deep flavour.

Let’s begin the proceedings by trying the Pon-de Ring doughnuts, starting with the Pon de Double Uji Matcha, which can also be purchased on its own for 205 yen for takeout or 209 yen for eat-in.

This one isn’t too much of a departure from the chain’s usual Pon de Ring doughnuts, which use this same shape and have the coating on the top portion of the doughnut. However, the taste of the high-quality Uji-sourced matcha in the chocolate coating elevates this variety above all the other Pon-de-Rings on the regular menu.

▼ Next up, we have the Pon de Uji Matcha Crispy Arare (216 yen for takeout; 220 yen for eat-in).

The tiny pieces of arare (literally “hail” but also the name for rice crackers made with glutinous rice) provide an intense crunch that’s totally off the scale. Egawa says he’s never had a doughnut with such an amazingly crunchy texture, describing it as a “new sensation” for his taste buds.

The Final Pon de Ring in this series is the Pon de Uji Matcha Wasanbon Warabimochi (226 yen for takeout; 231 yen for eat-in).

Unlike the previous two, this doughnut has a sandwich-like structure, with a dusting of kinako (roasted soybean flour) on the outside…

…and a filling that contains matcha whipped cream and wasanbon warabi mochi (wasanbon is a fine-grained Japanese sugar, while warabi mochi is a jelly-like bracken starch flour rice cake).

With a moist texture, fresh sweetness, and delicious, Japanese-style flavour, this was one of Egawa’s favourites in the collection, and one he highly recommends trying.

Now we move on to the chain’s strongest-ever matcha doughnuts, which are so special they’re packed in cardboard boxes.

▼ First up is the Okoi Doughnut Fluffy Matcha Whip (248 yen for takeout and 253 for eat-in).

With a matcha chocolate drizzle and dusting of icing sugar, this was a beautiful-looking doughnut.

However, the true beauty can be found inside, where a very Japanese combination awaits.

The moreishness of the adzuki red bean paste and the soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the rich matcha whipped cream pair beautifully with the sweet marron glacé, which is subtly mixed in with the red bean paste. Combined with the extra-rich matcha dough, this one imparts an intense green tea flavour, which is dialled down only slightly by the other ingredients.

The final doughnut in the collection is also its most impressive.

▼ The Okoi Doughnut with Thick Matcha Cream (248 yen for takeout; 253 yen for eat-in).

Another beautiful-looking doughnut, this time with a dark green matcha chocolate coating and milk chocolate embellishment.

The bottom of the doughnut is kept free of accoutrements, which led Egawa to wonder how intense the matcha might be.

Tearing it apart for a look at what it concealed inside, Egawa’s eyes were bathed in the glow of green, which was evident in the dough, the chocolate, and the cream.

The placement of the cream was a sight to behold, having been piped around the top of the doughnut, before being covered in matcha chocolate. This green-on-green-on-green doughnut provided an explosion of texture and flavours, dialling up the matcha intensity on Egawa’s taste buds to a level he never thought possible.

This was another doughnut that Egawa described as a “new sensation”, having never seen, let alone eaten, anything like it before. It was his favourite of the lot, and if you’re going to try one doughnut in the collection, Egawa says it has to be this one.

While Egawa certainly had his favourites, he had high praise for all the doughnuts in the collection, and after eating his way through all five of them he now feels as if the matcha has entrenched itself deep within his system, binding with his DNA.

As a matcha lover, he’s okay with being part man part matcha, and with the chain releasing a second, yet-to-be-revealed series of matcha doughnuts from 24 April, he can’t wait to do it all again in less than a month’s time. For now, though, this range of doughnuts will be on the menu to satisfy all your matcha cravings until late May.

Related: Mister Donut
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