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Our Story     

Our CEO Holly Helt had her first sip of Japanese Green Tea in 1967, when she was a child living in Japan, and has been enjoying it ever since.

With a burning desire to share this often complex and confusing beverage with the world, Holly started the CHIKI TEA business in 2012 and wrote her first book, Green is the New Black – the glorious rise of Japanese green tea, in which she explains every aspect of Japanese tea, so readers can become familiar with this enchanting world. 

Every tea in our online store has been personally sourced by Holly, who insists on visiting each producer we deal with, many of whom have become firm friends over the years. 

We only carry teas made with love and integrity, and which we know first hand. 

Our Own Way of Tea

As enthusiastic Japanese green tea hunters, we are always making the very finest teas available to you and fellow sippers around the world. Many of the teas we hunt down are rarely sold outside of Japan, and sometimes our supply is limited to just a few kilos.

Chiki Tea is not like the countless number of tea and matcha drop-shippers and private-labelers, who don't inspect or handle the matcha and tea they sell. We have spent years on the ground in Japan, talking to farmers and tea masters, sometimes collaborating on creating unique blends, available only to Chiki Tea.

All of our product photos are of our actual teas. We do not use stock photography, like so many others. What you see on our site is what you will receive when you order!

By ordering our tea only in small batches, we guarantee that the tea you receive is at its maximum freshness.  All of our customer orders are packed personally by us at the Chiki Tea Halls of Fulfillment to ensure it arrives safely, securely, and ready for you to make that perfect brew. 

Some of the matcha and teas available in our online store are regional and national award-winners and have spent years in the top position in Japan. Not just any company can be granted the right to represent these incredible, rare teas, even in Japan. So as an international company it is a rare honour to be granted such privilege.

We have spent countless hours working with our specialized producers to brand-target their award-winning matcha and teas for an international audience, allowing us exclusive agreements to market and distribute via our website, in such a way that we don't disrupt or harm their existing domestic distribution or brand awareness. This gives us the opportunity to present some of the most outstanding teas normally only available in Japan. So, when we say our Silk Matcha is the best matcha on the planet, we do really believe that it is the best one that can be found outside of very exclusive tea-circles in Japan.

 

our book called green is the new black

 

 

holly hunting for new teas at a tea auction in kyushu 

Why we love Japanese tea

There is something cleansing about a good cup of Japanese green tea, not only for your body but for your mind and soul. Due to the abundance of antioxidants and a super amino acid called Theanine, Japanese green tea delivers caffeine smoothly and elegantly, providing a calm alertness rather than an acidic jolt of energy, oftentimes associated with coffee. As you probably know, there have been many studies proclaiming the health benefits of green tea, but we're not here to give you a health lecture....

cup of green tea

Our passion comes from the flavours, textures, and the pure joy of consuming this incredible elixir! We think it should be fun and easy as well as delicious with no stigma or dogma attached. To make tea more approachable for the mainstream, we've given it a modern twist, moving away from the perceived stuffy rituals and stifling formality. At the former Chiki Tea Cafe and Matcha Bar, we paired Matcha and the finest loose leaf Japanese green teas with Western treats like brownies, scones and cheesecakes. There isn't a red-bean dessert in sight! This is how we have always enjoyed Japanese tea and we want you to find this simple pleasure in your daily life too. 

 

This is the most amazing Matcha I have ever tried
I am an avid tea drinker, and I LOVE all Japanese teas! Especially Gyokuro, Kabusecha and Matcha. And Matcha was always my least favourite out of these three, and I was joking that I drink it only because it looks good on photos because of its green colour. But this was only until I tried this SILK MATCHA from CHIKITEA! At that point I realised that I never ever drank a REAL MATCHA. And believe me, I tried a lot. Different suppliers, all claiming that their matcha is the ceremonial, premium and most perfect grades. It just never tasted good. But SILK MATCHA made me change my view of matcha. It is so perfect, silky, smooth, milky. It smells like a chocolate, like cream, like flowers. And the aftertaste stays for an hour in your mouth at least! And the effect is amazing. It will lift you up if you are tired, it will relax you if you need to go to bed. This Matcha is an ultimate experience, and I now recommend it to every single matcha lover!

Lera

I have just received my first packet of Kaori and enjoyed my first pot in the UK Spring sunshine. What luxury! A delicate light touch to the palette, perfect for this time of year. Like a feather dusting the air, I really felt like my body just got cleaned from the inside, out. The smell is wonderful. Not too overpowering and with a slightly sweet background note. This blend is an every day tea which can be enjoyed on the go or while sitting reading. I simply adore Japanese tea of this quality. It's an essential luxury moment in a mad fast Western world where we need more of this exquisite experience. Thank you Chiki Tea and the Kitigawa farmers. We are blessed!

Gina x

The Chiki Tea Café...

To qualify for exporting the award-winning Silk, Lush and Muse matcha, we first needed to demonstrate to the producer that we had sufficient matcha knowledge and expertise. So we set up a Japanese subsidiary company and then built and operated a green tea cafe nearby. That's how committed and passionate we are about it!

In January 2014, we launched our Chiki Tea Green Tea Cafe in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, which ran for two years using our producer's matcha and building an understanding of their business practices. It was a lot of fun, and very challenging to also maintain our online business which was growing all the time too!

chiki tea cafe in nakatsu oita 2015  outside chiki tea cafe nakatsu oita  chiki tea cafe nakatsu inside service counter  chiki tea cafe inside    staff preparing tea and cakes in nakatsu chiki tea cafe  staff making matcha latte in nakatsu chiki tea cafe  staff serving customers in nakatsu chiki tea cafe

Read more about the cafe, and watch us featured on local TV news!

Show Me

The Chiki Tea Matcha Bar...

When our lease expired in Nakatsu, we decided to relocate from the countryside to the big city of Kobe, where we opened a pop-up matcha bar in busy Sannomiya.  We only had about 6 months, as the whole building was due for renovation, but it was an ideal timeframe to explore a new concept.

kobe sannomiya matcha bar   matcha-bar-in-Sannomiya-kobe  chiki tea matcha bar in kobe  kobe city first matcha bar  kobe sannomiya matcha bar happy customers  chiki tea matcha bar sannomiya kobe city  more happy customers at chiki tea matcha bar sannomiys kone

 

Through these experiences, we learned the nitty-gritty of the Japanese tea industry, how tea suppliers in Japan work, and exactly what type of teas taste best when blended with western style baked goods and confectionery. 

We hope to revisit the Matcha Bar and Green Tea Cafe concept sometime in the future and establish cafes elsewhere, but for now, we are focused on the main business of making some of the most amazing Japanese teas available to you and everyone who wants to try it!

We never stop looking for new teas to bring to you, but if you have any requests or teas you'd love to try, don't be shy, just get in touch: info@chikitea.com

While you're at it, why not get Chiki and subscribe to our newsletter below, so we can keep you properly in the know!

 

nakatsu chiki tea cafe signboard 

And of course, we're still shipping the finest Japanese Matcha and loose leaf tea straight to you from Japan.

 

Visit Our Store

silk ultra premium ceremonial matcha 100g

SILK CEREMONIAL MATCHA

Our premium ceremonial grade matcha. Simply the best matcha on the planet! 40g, 100g

From £39.95 GBP

lush premium ceremonial matcha 100g

LUSH CEREMONIAL MATCHA

Our second ceremonial grade matcha: smooth and ideal for straight-sipping or combining with milk in lattés. 40g, 100g

From £19.95 GBP

Powered By Matcha
NOW +HALO !

THE BEST MATCHA CLUB

Join now to get a regular order of matcha at a 20% discount. Now includes HALO ORGANIC MATCHA!

£30.00 GBP

free chasen tate with matcha starter kit
LIMITED

MATCHA STARTER KIT

The full matcha kit to get you whisking like a pro - it's perfect for a gift! NOW WITH FREE CHASEN TATE (whisk stand)!!

£74.95 GBP

tachibana fukamushi sencha

TACHIBANA SENCHA

A sencha with the perfect balance of umami and sweetness. The true taste of Yame!

From £19.95 GBP

mineko-kabusecha-100g-pack-label

MINEKO KABUSECHA

A high-quality kabusecha from the Okumidori cultivar.

£11.95 GBP

outrageous super sencha label

OUTRAGEOUS SUPER SENCHA

A mind-blowing 100% Yame Super Sencha from the Tsuyuhikari cultivar

£29.95 GBP

fushigi fukamushi sencha label

FUSHIGI FUKAMUSHI SENCHA

A fukamushi sencha loose leaf Japanese Green Tea from the Asatsuyu cultivar.

From £15.95 GBP