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

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

A Chiki Little Matcha Bar Opens

It’s the next chapter at Chiki Tea.

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

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

Wacky Uses For 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

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?

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 living in Kyushu.

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...

Blending Japanese 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 for Japanese 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

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.

Keeping your 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

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

You are probably well aware that gyokuro sits atop the Japanese green tea hierarchical tree, right there next to matcha. Certainly the shading time, pre-harvest, is more or less the same (about four weeks), which means this is another tea packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and super powers typically associated with high-quality green tea.

Sencha with a TWIST

News from the frontline! Innovating with Sencha...

A 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?

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!

We're MOVING!!!

We're off to Kitakyushu! Thank you Nakatsu, it's been a blast, and we hope to see you all in Kitakyushu when the new store opens!

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!

The best kept secret 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...

On TV! : Foreigners open Japanese green tea café... in Japan!

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

It's time to CHILL!

How to survive the hottest summer with iced Matcha drinks

Shaken, not Stirred!

All about Shincha, and earthquakes!

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.

A healthy, Happy and Creative New Year folks!

Sharing with you the reason I founded Chiki Tea.

Just Building a Tea Shop

The story of how we began our cafe business.

Getting the grade on Matcha

A quick guide to the confusing world of Matcha grades.

The Race Against Bottled Teas

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