Our Story

The scene: London 2012

Holly: “I want to move back to Japan so we can meet more tea farmers and develop Chiki Tea from the source…”

Alex: “OK!”

Two years later...

The first Chiki Tea store opens in Kyushu… 

At the end of our lease we decided to try the concept out in a bigger city, choosing Kobe, where we have now launched the first matcha bar, to be followed by a larger bakery and cafe ( coming 2019 )
chiki tea matcha bar muffins cheesecake




And of course, we're still shipping the finest Japanese Matcha and loose leaf tea straight to you, but now from our new base in Kobe.


Japanese green tea! It’s why we first moved from London to Kyushu, the heart of the action: where artisan tea farmers in Yame, Chiran and other places in Kyushu, produce some of the most exquisite teas you’ll ever taste.

For us, Japanese tea symbolises adventure and exploration as much as it does fabulous flavours. As a green tea café and website, our job is to deliver this adventure to you one cup at a time. A high grade Matcha or Sencha, when made right, can change the way you experience tea altogether. Or any food or drink for that matter. And that’s because of the range, complexity and depth of flavours these teas possess. How could such a drink come from anywhere other than some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and from a rich culture steeped in glorious craftsmanship and tradition? Welcome to the world of superior tea!

Chiki Review: A tea for the soul
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

Gina H


There’s also something cleansing about a good cup of Japanese green tea. It 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 a health brand....


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… no stigma or dogma attached. We've given it a modern twist to move Japanese tea away from stuffy rituals and stifling formality. At the café, we pair Matcha, Sencha, Kabusecha, Genmaicha and other teas with Western goodies like brownies, scones and cheesecakes. There isn't a red-bean dessert in sight!

Who's Holly?

Holly Helt, our founder, was raised in Nagoya and has been drinking Japanese green tea all of her life. With a burning desire to share this often complex and confusing beverage with the world, she wrote the book Green is the New Black – the glorious rise of Japanese green tea. It’s safe to say she’s a Japanophile as well as a teaophile!

That’s why you should at least consider her recommendations here. Every tea we carry has been personally sourced by Holly, who insists on visiting with every farmer we deal with. Calling them by first names, dining with them in their homes, and sharing in their children's school victories! Not only that, but these farmers have often been discovered by Holly. That’s right! Our Matcha is a perfect point in case.

We're NUTS!

One day Holly was driving through the Yame countryside with her dog Jazzy, having no particular agenda, and ended up deep in the mountains. Lo and behold, they came across a green tea producer who, it turns out, only happens to produce the most mind-blowing Matcha…EVER!

And now here it is, served in the café and matcha bar, and available on this website. But it wasn't that easy! In order to qualify as a seller, we had to build a cafe in Japan and operate it for a year under their watchful eye, to prove our knowledge that we knew how to handle their high-quality Matcha. And only then, did we qualify to export it. Check out our Kickstarter campaign, Best Matcha on the Planet, to see it bloom into reality. 

Yes, we created a Japanese subsidiary then built a cafe in Japan just to bring you this Matcha! That's how committed and passionate we are about it. Who else would do this?!

It’s only because Holly is nuts enough, and determined enough, to go where no other tea enthusiast dares to go!

Chiki Review: 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!


Our mission

We've discovered the world's healthiest and most delicious teas. We LOVE them! And we want to share them with everyone. That's why we do what we do. It's as simple as that. We want everyone to experience the joy and the calm and the creativity and inspiration that these teas give us. 

We do this by sourcing the best and making them available to you via our website. In Japan, we have created the Chiki Tea cafés. Over the coming years we will be opening new stores across Japan, and then our dream is to take the concept global but it's one step at a time. It's ambitious but fueled with passion and expertise! We hope you’ll join us along the way. 

If you are interested in becoming an investing partner in Chiki Tea Limited or Chiki Tea Japan KK, please get in touch via the contact page. You had better be Chiki!