A Chiki Little Matcha Bar Opens in Kobe
- Holly Helt
It’s the next chapter at Chiki Tea.
Two years ago we closed our Japanese green tea café in sleepy Nakatsu on Kyushu island, with a plan to move to the mainland and set up shop again.
Well, here we are! This weekend our little pop-up Matcha bar will open for a two-day soft launch in Sannomiya, Kobe (central Japan).
Although we are based a stone’s throw away from what could be called the hub of matcha production—Kyoto and Uji—we will be serving matcha from Yame, Kyushu, simply because we think it’s the best matcha on the planet!
The city of Kobe offers an enthusiastic and educated demographic, and the feedback from our teaser sessions at various events has been enormously encouraging.
Why are we doing this?
We just LOVE good quality Japanese green tea.
Here’s the problem though: it is becoming less and less accessible due to the influx of bottled green tea from convenience stores and of course… coffee. People too often associate matcha with the tea ceremony—hardly compatible with the pace of modern-day life. But they still love green tea.
So our concept is to strip back all the ceremony around Japanese green tea and serve up this delicious elixir without the fuss and confusion: amazing matcha and sencha served over the counter. With a smile! And a delicious slice of cheesecake (or a brownie)!
That’s not to say that the matcha isn’t prepared properly with a whisk. We will still be using the sado technique in order to get the best possible creamy texture and inch-thick foam. See here for the how-to-video:
About Holly Helt
Holly is American and grew up in Japan drinking Japanese tea from age-three. She has studied two methods of tea ceremony, Urasenke and the lesser-known Yabunouchi, which has a direct lineage to Sen-no Rikyu (known as the father of the tea ceremony) ; it's also the school of practice for samurai. In 2012 she founded Chiki Tea - an online retailer of Japanese green teas, all sourced directly from small farms in Japan. Splitting her time between Japan and her home in Texas, Holly strives to bring the best teas from Japan to as many people as she can find to share in her life's passion.