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What is Umami?

You've heard the word UMAMI but what is this fifth taste sensation?

It’s time for ICE BREW Hon Gyokuro!!

How to ICE BREW gyokuro, or any green tea, for a taste so rich and delicious, you will want to do it every time!

WILD Organic Tamaryokucha (3)

Discover the final two remarkable WILD Organic tamaryokucha teas from Shikoku...the last one has a big surprise ending!!

A Simple Trick to Test Tea Quality

Have you ever wondered how to tell if a tea is really of the highest quality? We have a simple trick to help you tell!

WILD Organic Tamaryokucha (2)

A small tea farm in Shikoku hunts wild tea! Learn about Mori no naka no ocha, or “tea from the middle of the forest”!

WILD Organic Tamaryokucha (1)

Learn about new kind of tamaryokucha (guricha or curly tea) from Shikoku, that's literally WILD!

GREEN TEA 101 : Health Benefits Made Simple

Many studies have shown health benefits of drinking green tea. In this blog article, we examine the claims and science behind them. Some of the conclusions may shock you!

MCT Your Matcha Latte!

Have you ever been to a foreign country and felt completely out of your comfort zone? Well, that was me in Austin, Texas; standing in front of the milk aisle at Sprouts Market!

The five myths about matcha and why it's misunderstood

Matcha is often misunderstood by people who aren’t familiar with it, and there seem to be five misconceptions, so let’s set the record straight!

Taking the Dirt Out of Matcha Green Tea

If there’s one thing the Japanese are, it’s traditional. Almost everything in Japan seems to have a specific way in which it’s done and it’s all steeped in history. One way to dress in Kimono, one way to take a bath, one way to cook rice, and one way to make matcha.

A Glimpse Into the Tea Ceremony (Part 3)

The third and concluding article in our series about the Japanese tea ceremony. An honest take on what it's like and few things which might surprise you!

A Glimpse Into the Tea Ceremony (Part 2)

What most foreigners experience is a short tea “session” or tea time (chakai). You might hear it called cha-no-yu. The matcha tea is usually made “thin” (usucha) and you get to drink the entire bowl... all three sips!

A Glimpse Into the Tea Ceremony (Part 1)

Sadou, chadou or even cha-no-yu--as it is often called--is the beautiful, meditative, and serene Japanese ritual of ceremonial tea. It’s also a life’s work for those attempting to master it.

Kyobancha, the Winter Warmer Japanese Green Tea

There’s nothing like the smell of a wood-burning open fire in the dead of winter to make you feel warm and cozy. But if you don’t have a real fireplace, there’s another way to snuggle up!

The Black Belt Chazutsu Masters

Maturity, proficiency, dedication, accuracy, determination, sweat, skill, reward: this is what a black belt in martial arts signifies. I’ve seen these same characteristics in a tea caddy maker in Kyoto.

Meet the Master Chef of Shampoo!

When foreigners move to Japan a peculiar thing happens. No matter how much we fuss, nearly every day is a bad hair day. Silky smooth Japanese hair envy is almost a given when you move here.

Baking with Matcha 101 - making Green Monster Muffins

Over the weekend I held a Matcha Masterclass for baking with matcha.

The Bamboo Whisk With a 500-Year History

To enjoy matcha the way Sen no Rikyu made it almost 500 years ago, you would need to whisk it with a bamboo chasen (whisk), intricately carved by hand from one piece of aged bamboo.

Shining the Spotlight on Great Japanese Cultivars

When I was young and living in Nagoya, drinking literally gallons of Japanese green tea, I didn’t know there was a difference in green teas and the word cultivar certainly wasn’t in my vocabulary. It wasn’t until later in my tea-drinking life that this topic became almost an obsession.

The Caffeine Issue : Why Green Tea is not harmful

OMG! Green tea has way too much caffeine in it! I’m not drinking that.

Wacky Uses For Leftover Green Tea Leaves

As the escalating temperatures remind us that summer is around the corner, I’m beginning to prep my house for the dreaded humid season in Japan. And what better way to guard against stink and mildew than tea leaves!

Wild Organic Yuzu-cha : Flavored Japanese Green Tea

When you scan the grocery tea isles in the West, one thing that stands out is the growing trend in flavored green teas.

10 years, 2 weeks and 10 days to make one teacup

I’m sure you would agree that a drink tastes better when it’s served in an appropriate cup or glass. Would you even think of drinking Dom Perignon from a plastic cup?!

What Number Is Your Tea? How Japanese Green Tea is ranked

As the season changes here in Japan, you never quite know whether to bring an umbrella or pull out the sunscreen. But one thing is for sure... it’s time to prepare the tea plants for the winter. That means giving them the last cut of the season, trimming them back so the new leaves in spring will yield nicely.

How does a tea hunter hunt for tea?

I’m a Tea Hunter and I'd like to tell you about my adventures finding new teas in the back roads of Kyushu where Google maps fears to tread!

A beautiful moment with Japanese green tea

Holly introduced me to Japanese green tea ten years ago, almost to this day. It was a sencha, and such was the uniqueness of the mouthfeel and sequence of flavours that I have been intrigued by it ever since...

How To Blend Japanese Green Tea

It’s typhoon time in Japan, which I actually don’t mind, because it gives us some relief from the suffocating heat! So for the next several weeks, green tea addicts over here will be toggling between putting on the kettle and getting their cold brew on.

Newbie Tips : How to enter the world of Japanese Green Tea

Everyone loves an acronym, so at Chiki Tea, we decided to get in on the game too: WATT. It’s a helpful way for beginners to remember the vital points of making potentially fussy Japanese green tea.

The Easiest Way to Brew Tea – the three step!

Cold brew tea is as common to the Japanese as Pimms is to the English and Lemonade is to us Yanks. Everyone here has green tea cold brew in the fridge. It provides a never-ending constant stream of refreshment during the most challenging season weather-wise.

Shincha Flash : All about New Japanese Grean Tea

I was going to write a bit more about Shincha, literally “new tea”, but the weather has been very unusual this year, making harvesting times quite unpredictable, especially in Kyushu.

How to keep all of your green tea FRESH!

If you are concerned about the freshness of your Matcha, transfer it to an über airtight container, used only for Matcha.

Tea Steeping Innovation : Tea-bags revisited

I have bashed the tea bag for years. “Let your leaves dance,” I say…but I may have just met my match.

Houjicha: roasted Japanese green tea

Houjicha (also spelled hojicha – but when you say it, stretch the oooo!) is roasted green tea. It needs hot water to help the leaves release the flavors, similar to Chinese oolongs which have been pan fired as part of the processing.

Hon Gyokuro, the Pinnacle of Japanese Green Tea

You are probably well aware that gyokuro sits atop the Japanese green tea hierarchical tree. But do you know why hon gyokuro is so special?

Sencha with a TWIST : Japanese Green Tea innovation

News from the frontline! Innovating with Sencha...

A very special visit from Mr Gyokuro

One of the many rewards of running a foreign tea shop out here, deep in the Kyushu countryside, is that farmers get wind , and bring us their tea to try.

Shiraore or Karigane? what's the difference here?

WILD GEESE in your green tea? Alex walks you through the lowdown on whether you should be calling it Shiraore or Karigane...

Behind the Scenes at the Tea Auction

Holly takes an exclusive tour around a tea auction in Oita and uncovers a couple of Japanese green tea GEMS!

Add Funmatsucha to culinary grade Matcha!

Master Kitagawa showed us how to boost the Matcha flavour in your ICE CREAM!

Who Else Wants Shiraore Kabusecha!?

Just recently, Holly visited the tea auction in Oita city and found the Shiraore she's been on a long search for!

Boosting inferior Japanese green tea leaves!

If your leaves have been sitting around for a while, why not give them a boost with some carefully selected fresh tea...

Our green tea café on TV!

Check out our five minute featurette courtesy of Fukuoka TV (RKB)!

It's time to CHILL! - How to prepare iced green tea

How to survive the hottest summer with iced Matcha drinks in 5 easy steps

Shaken, not Stirred... Japanese Green Tea and Earthquakes

Read all about Shincha, and the responses and resilience of tea farmers in Kyushu to all the recent earthquakes. Oh, and a rare tea cultivar you'll never have heard of - we hadn't!

What's That Black Thing in Your Water?

The importance of purified water in making green tea.

Tips for a Frothier Matcha Top

Key pointers for getting that perfect matcha froth. 9 Easy steps to the perfect frothy matcha latte!

A healthy, Happy and Creative New Year folks!

Sharing with you the reason I founded Chiki Tea, and what Japanese green tea really means to me.

We're Just Building a Tea Shop

The story of how we began our cafe business in Japan, in the small town of Nakatsu in Oita, Kyushu

How to Understand the Various Grades of Matcha

This is a quick guide to the confusing world of Matcha grades.

The Race Against Bottled Teas : How can loose leaf tea fight back?

How the rapidly growing market for convenient ready-to-drink green tea is leading loose-leaf tea consumption into decline.