Hello Tea Friends! As you may know, we had to temporarily close the our brick-and-mortar shop. As a result all of our amazing co-workers are out of work and relying on unemployment, which just doesn't cut it.
If you can, will you please consider adding a tip to your order? The funds collected will go directly to Lili, Joanna, Kevin, Dakota, Ellie, and Niko. You can contribute in as many increments of $5 as you wish :)
I sincerely hope you are safe and healthy in the midst of these uncertain times. Thank you for being a part of our little tea family.
Our top grade sencha from Kirishima. This tea is from the Asatsuyu cultivar of tea and has earned the nickname of "Natural Gyokuro" for good reasons. Although it is not shade-grown, it has a vivid green liquor and deep umami characteristic that is typically associated with gyokuros. The farm it is grown on is completely self-contained, bio-dynamic and the oldest tea farm in the region. The aroma of the dry leaves is compelling and rich and only grows as it is steamed. The resulting tea is out of this world and a gift to any sencha-lover.
Harvest: Spring 2020
Note: Due to closures of international shipping avenues during the COVID-19 crisis, we had to use alternative shipping methods this year. Unfortunately this has resulted in a substantial cost increase for us and we have had to increase our prices accordingly.
Here's a tea you won't find anywhere else. Awa Bancha is only made in one small prefecture in Japan, and is barely known even in Japan. It goes through a unique lacto-fermentation process that yields a tea like no other.
The uniqueness of this tea starts at the plucking, which takes place in the summer, when the leaves have grown large and hardened. Every leaf is stripped from the branches, so each year the whole plant re-grows and there is only one harvest each year. From there, the leaves are boiled to soften them and make them more pliable. They are then rolled, similar to an oolong, but then packed into fermentation jars, and covered with banana leaves and heavy rocks to soak in their own juices. Because the tea is harvested so late, the leaves have a higher sugar content, which increases the fermenation that occurs. About a month later, the leaves are removed and air-dried.
The result is a drink that is slightly sour, sweet, and tangy depending on how you steep it. It is incredibly versatile and can be boiled over a fire to get the medicinal properties, or steeped more delicately to extract the sweeter notes. Awa Bancha's nickname used to be "peasant's tea" because it was typically boiled and every leaf was used, unlike other teas.
The flavor is best suited for those who love pickles, sauerkraut and all things probiotic. It is great for the gut and the more you drink it, the more your body will crave its effects.
2019 leaf plucked from 2000 meter elevation trees on Ai Lao Mountain. The leaf composition is a perfect blend of expertly plucked tips and larger leaves with very little breakage in the processing. The result is a smooth, well-rounded tea with notes of apricot and sweet hay. These cakes can be broken up and enjoyed now, or stock op on a bamboo-wrapped tong and age it!
Here is an intriguing offer for the adventurous oolong lover. This oolong is made in Kagoshima, Japan from the second flush benifuki cultivar. Known for its astringency and bold flavor, benifuki softens a bit in the summer, and makes an interesting starting point for producing an oolong. Best flash-steeped in a gaiwan, this oolong has similar characteristics as a baozhong, but with more umph. Sweet and floral at the start, with a lingering dryness that keeps you wanting more.
We have two types of ceremonial-grade matcha. Shohaku is best for making Usucha, (thin tea) while Kinrin is even smoother and can be used for Koicha (thich tea) or Usucha.
Shohaku is a great everyday matcha that is excellent prepared traditionally and still has a slight tannin characteristic so it won't get lost if you add it to a latte or smoothie. The color is vivid green with a deep seaweed-like base and bright grassy finish.
The Kinrin is a velvety-smooth matcha with robust umami flavor and offers rich notes of steamed kombu and a light sweetness. To prepare this as Koicha, use three times as much tea with less water and whisk with a chasen at least 200 times!
Both of our matcha offerings are produced and stone-ground by Marukyu Koyamaen, a family tea business that has been growing and producing tea in Uji for over 300 years.
For those who like to add a little green in their cooking. This is a premium food grade matcha, produced by the same folks as our ceremonial grades. It is a vibrant green with intense umami flavor and grassy notes. But it also has an astringent kick to it, which is helpful when using it to cook or bake (or even make lattes and smoothies). When combined with other ingredients, the tannins are canceled out and the flavor of the matcha isn't drowned out. If the matcha is too smooth, it will get pushed into the background with the addition of other ingredients.
Add this to cookies, smoothies, make ice cream, salad dressing, you name it. Not only will it taste great, but you'll also be getting the elevated health benefits like catechins, chlorophyll, vitamins and antioxidants. It's a win-win!
This is NOT the type of matcha you get in the bulk aisle at the grocery store. It is processed in Uji, Japan by a family that has been making matcha for over 300 years.
These sheng (raw puerh) pearls are hand rolled into 7g servings from the mao cha we used to press our cakes in 2018. If you aren't ready to commit to a whole cake, or like the ease of having pre-weighed portions, this is a great option.
These pearls comprise first-flush, pre-rain tips which were plucked in 2018 from strictly old growth, wild trees and have a lot going on. Best when flash steeped repeatedly, this tea is like a slow drip of energy, and really can steep all day. The aroma is fresh, bright and incredibly floral. When sipped, the tea leads with an intense burst that is at once dry and silky, leaving a cooling sensation in your throat. The flavor is verdant with notes of dried apricot, and the astringency is beginning to smooth out and embrace it's inner earthiness in the years it's been aging.
These pearls will only get better over time and supplies are limited.
This classic, wok-fired green tea has a delicate, decidedly sweet flavor and steeps to a lovely, yellow-green color with fresh scent. The taste is both green and slightly nutty with a slight astringency in the finish. The overall cup is refreshing and soothing and is reputed to help keep the mind stimulated yet clear.
One of the most popular teas in Japan, Genmaicha blends green tea and toasted brown rice, some of which is popped. This blend is visually exciting and produces a sweet, vegetal flavor with a brothy mouth-fee, complimented by the toasty addition of rice. This green tea already naturally lower in caffeine content than black teas, has even less due to the presence of the brown rice. Enjoy this tea at any time of day clear and pure without any additions.
If you're a fan of Japanese green teas and haven't tried Tamaryokucha yet, you're missing out. This tea has some of the most robust flavors out there. Grown in Ureshino, it is produced in a way that is a cross between Gyokuro and Sencha. The tea plants are shade grown similar to Tencha (for making Matcha) or Gyokuro. This step increases the chlorophyll and decrease the bitterness. Then the leaves are plucked, but much younger than even a Sencha. The result is an incredible tea with vivid green liquor and an flavor that excites the senses. The aroma is like seaweed and fresh cut grass and the flavor saturates your whole mouth with umami.
To get the most out of this tea steep it lower than usual (around 140°-150°) for 1 minute. When resteeping, pour after 10 seconds. This tea is great for over 4 steeps and the leaves can be eaten afterwards with the addition of a little salt, dashi or soy sauce.
This is a truly lovely oolong, high-grown in Taiwan, and very lightly oxidized. The bright green leaves unfurl, showing the slightest outline of amber around the edges and radiate an incredibly sweet jasmine-like aroma. The leaves are not scented or flavored, but are masterfully crafted to bring out the natrual floral element within the leaves themselves. The flavor is fresh and uplifting with no astringency and a lingering embrace of sweet nectar.
This attractive tea is made up of large uniform yellow-green leaves. The aroma is soft and honeyed with a clean bouquet. The infusion is mellow, copper-colored, and fragrant with a pleasant progression from softly sweet to slightly nutty, with a round body and pleasant, toasty finish. “Green Tara” (or Dolma) is an invocation of compassion in Tibetan Buddhism.
This tea is one of the highest quality teas being grown in Japan. Grown in shaded small gardens in Uji, by Koyamaen, a tea grower that has been in the Koyama family for over 300 years, this tea is truly special. The tea is grown the same way as tencha and matcha; The shading of the plants before harvest causes the leaves stretch and grow very thin and delicate and produces higher levels of chlorophyll. This process also increases the catechin antioxidants and decreases the tannins, making this tea less bitter and extremely high in health benefits.
The deep green needle-like leaves infuse into a bright green liquor with a hearty flavor. Fresh and full of life, this tea has medium body and a lingering sweetness. Don’t pass this extraordinary tea up, limited supplies are available only at certain times of the year!
Sold Out $ 16.50
This is a gorgeous tea and is fast becoming a Blue Willow favorite. Each leaf is blanketed in downy hairs with a new bud peeping out. Grown on the heights of Ai Lao Mountain in Yunnan, the dry leaf invokes memories of sweet dried fruit. The steeped tea is mild in tannins and has a soft sweet-grass note with substantial body and a smooth mouth feel. Good for several steeps, this tea will keep blossoming with each infusion.
$ 7.75 $ 8.50
This tea provides the perfect marriage of the best qualities of jasmine blossom and green tea. Harvesters pluck the green tea in spring and store it in chests until early fall when night-blooming jasmine is picked and layered with the tea. Overnight the essential oils of the blossoms permeate the tea, after which they are removed. The process of layering is repeated up to five times to achieve a truly harmonious pairing of flavors.
Top-quality green tea combines with jasmine to yield a tea with lush fragrance and silky mouth feel. These rare pearls are made of tender, young green tea leaves which are plucked and rolled into perfect pearls with beautiful downy strips. They are then stored until the jasmine is plucked in the summer. The fresh jasmine blooms are then layered with the pearls overnight and removed after imparting their fragrance; the process of layering can be repeated up to seven times.
This tea makes a wonderfully generous gift on special occasions, not only because of its delicate fragrance and taste, but also because of the magic unfurling of the pearls as the tea steeps. Each pearl is rolled with two young leaf and bud tips. Inhaling the jasmine-sweet aroma and taking the first sip of the infusion draws you into the warmth of a calm oasis: time stops and nothing matters but the seductive flavors of each sip. This tea can be re-steeped several times.
The green teas of Japan are unexcelled for vegetal freshness and sweetness. The dark green leaf of this tea yields a light-bodied, pleasing taste with clean and sweet aroma. An everyday “house tea” of the Japanese countryside, Blue Willow Bancha is appealing to those who are looking for a mellow pick-me-up that you can be enjoy with a variety of foods. 30% of leaf weight consists of polyphenols, a key component in Ayurvedic medicine.
This high-grade, pan-fired tea is a delicacy. Each tip is perfectly flattened in the wok by expert hands and the leaf integrity is undamaged as a result. The flavor is sweet, fresh, crisp and soothing. It's silky mouthfeel coats your mouth and throat and has a lingering flavor of asparagus and buttery artichoke. This tea is plucked in the early spring and is available for a limited time. Once we run out, it's gone until next year!
Everyone loves tea, but figuring out exactly what kind someone wants can be a puzzle.
Enter: Magical Gift Card!
Whether you have a sick friend who needs a pick me up, a boss who has it out for you, a partner who banished you to the dog house, completely forgot your mother's birthday, or don't know what to get someone for your first Valentine's Day together...
The Magical Gift Card can cure all these problems and more*
*these statements have not been approved by the FDA
PLEASE NOTE: Gift cards issued online can only be used on the website. Unfortunately, they can not be redeemed in the store :(
$ 65.00 $ 76.00
Everything you need to make A+ matcha at home. This kit comes with a beautiful black ceramic chawan (tea bowl), chasen (whisk) and chashaku (scoop). You can either get just the set or include some of our Ceremonial Grade Matcha at a discount. Each of these items separately add up, so get them together to save on everything!
Basic instructions are included if you need a little guidance.
Minty Green is an all-organic blend inspired by Moroccan methods of preparing tea. It comprises high-quality green tea and fresh peppermint leaves, creating a snappy combination of light vegital sweetness and cooling mint. This tea is one of the best for icing, has half the caffeine of regular green tea, and is a great treat after meals to help aid digestion.
These are the second cakes Blue Willow commissioned. The first-flush, pre-rain tips were plucked in 2018 from strictly old growth, wild trees and have a lot going on. Best when flash steeped repeatedly, this tea is like a slow drip of energy, and really can steep all day. The aroma is fresh, bright and incredibly floral. When sipped, the tea leads with an intense burst that is at once dry and silky, leaving a cooling sensation in your throat. The flavor is verdant with notes of dried apricot, and the fresh astringency is beginning to smooth out and embrace it's earthiness in the years it's been aging.
These cakes will only get better over time and supplies are limited.
Sold Out $ 8.00
Grown in the foggy hills of Kirishima, this tea is made by two brothers who are producing some exceptional quality teas. The moisture of the air and fertile soil from the nearby volcano create a perfect environment for growing complex teas. This Hojicha is plucked from a single farm that is completely self-contained and bio-dynamic. The tea itself has an incredible union of flavors that rise above the toasty base. The roasted leaves are not burnt, but instead embody wonderful nutty quality that softens to a light nectar-like sweetness which lingers long after you sip. The bouquet of soothing aromas and flavors will leave you relaxed and the relatively low caffeine content makes this an excellent dessert tea.
Grown in the foggy hills of Kirishima, this tea is made by two brothers who are producing some exceptional quality teas. The moisture of the air and fertile soil from the nearby volcano create a perfect environment for growing complex teas. This Sencha is plucked from a single farm that is completely self-sustaining and bio-dynamic. This is one of the most full bodied and balanced senchas I've had the pleasure of cupping. Part of that is because the tea plants are nearly 100 years old with gnarled trunks and roots reaching deep into the earth to pull up all the minerals the volcanic soil holds. The aroma of the leaves is invigorating and fresh and steeps to an amazingly smooth tea. The mouthfeel is silky with a deep umami character and a bright finish. This is an asamushi tea so the leaves are not as broken as the Asatsuyu, creating a softer tea that is often more approachable for people new to Japanese greens.
**This limited offering is available for pre-sale now. The 2020 harvest will be arriving in May and you will be first in line to receive your tea the week it arrives**
For the tea lover who appreciates a little sweetness in their cup. This tea is a high-grown jin xuan from Anxi, Fujian. The tea is expertly picked by hand and lightly roasted to bring out the creaminess of the Taiwanese cultivar. It is then steamed with milk to further accentuate the sweet cream flavor and floral aroma found naturally within the leaves. The light oxidation and roast of this tea, paired with the nuanced nectar, create a prefect melange of fresh, sweet and uplifting.
$ 7.50 $ 8.50
In Japan, farms harvest green teas at exact times to produce a range of tastes and flavor balances. Sencha Hanase, a very popular steamed green tea in Japan, is plucked in mid spring for a medium astringency and light taste. The intensely deep green leaves resemble pine needles and produce a fresh flavor with hints of newly mown grass and sea mists.
Try making this as a cold-brew iced tea by steeping the leaves in the fridge for a few hours.
**We are currently only making small amounts of this tea available while we wait for the larger shipment to arrive from the farm. Larger quantities will be made available as soon as more arrives.**
This highly unusual tea is plucked from Ai Lao Mountain in Pu-er. The family who tends to these plants operates a small organic farm and grow mostly Taiwanese cultivars. This tea is exclusively from the Ruanzhi (or Soft Branch) bushes, which are native to Taiwan and grown for making oolongs.
The leaves are hand picked in the spring from 30 year old plants growing in rich, mountain soil and processed as a Yunnan green tea. The result is guaranteed to intrigue even the most well-versed tea lover, while remaining accessible to newcomers.
The leaves are sweet with a magnolia blossom aroma, full body and silky mouth feel, notes of buttered asparagus with a lingering toasty finish. Good for many steeps, this tea is quickly growing in popularity.
Origin: Pu'er, Yunnan
Grown at the base of the Huangshan Mountains, this is an authentic Taiping, picked and processed completely by hand in Houkeng. The long leaves of the Shi Da Cha plants are unique in that they can grow to be quite large while still remaining soft and pliable. Once the leaves are plucked and withered they are pressed flat between two layers of canvas and baked into their final form. When steeped, the result is a smooth and clear soup with very little bitterness and notes of fresh cut grass, asparagus and a lingering hint of sweetness. This tea is very forgiving and can be steeped a variety of styles, without the worry of bringing out unfavorable characteristics. My personal favorite way to drink this tea is "grandpa style", leaving the leaves in a tall glass in hot water and drinking it slowly. This way, the tea is soft and delicate at the beginning and gradually develops more body and vegetal undertones. Re-steeping is encouraged.
Region: Huangshan, China