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.
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.
Kinrin is a flavorful matcha that can be used for making Usucha (thin tea) or Koicha (thick tea). The Kinrin whisks to a velvety-smooth bowl of 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!
Currently all of our ceremonial grade 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.
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.
Both of our ceremonial grade 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.
This is the perfect everyday green tea. Fresh spring growth picked in the mountains surrounding Simao and lightly baked. The twisted leaves are light green with plenty of silver downy tips. The tea is fresh and light with a distinct aroma of asparagus. Steeped, the leaves offer a soft yellow infusion that is both toasty and vegetal but not bitter, and leaves the palate feeling refreshed.
Origin: Pu'er, Yunnan
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.
Origin: Nantou, Taiwan
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!
Origin: Uji, Japan
If you or someone you know is just beginning their journey into the world of green tea, this is a good place to start. Two green teas, each with an added bonus! The Jasmine offers an alluring flowery aroma while the Genmaicha adds notes of toasty rice. These teas are very popular and easy to make!
This set includes 2 oz. each of the Jasmine Flower Green and the Genmaicha packed in the gift box shown. Every part of the packaging is compostable. Discounts are automatic when you buy multiples, and don't forget you can easily ship these to multiple friends at checkout!
$ 8.75 $ 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.
This is the sister tea to the Tamaryokucha, grown in Ureshino. Both these teas are shade grown and harvested in the spring, when the leaves are still young and approximately 1/2"-3.4" long. The difference lies in the processing. While the Tamaryokucha is steamed, typical of Japanese senchas, the Kamairicha is pan-fired in a large wok, similar to certain Chinese teas. This method was adopted from mainland China in an area just north of Nagasaki, which is known for it's melting pot of international cultures.
The result of processing this robust Japanese tea with traditional Chinese methods is a completely unique experience. The aroma is both sweet and vegetal with notes of hazelnut and soft to. The mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied has just enough viscosity to linger long past the tea is gone. Steeping to a soft yellow-green, the soup is both bright and grounding. The vegetal depth and umami characteristics balance perfectly with the warming toasty notes the pan-firing imparts.
This tea is made by a third generation tea producer and only a limited quantity is available this year.
Harvest: Spring 2020
Origin: Saga, Japan
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!
Region: Zhejiang, China
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 :(
$ 60.00 $ 76.00
Everything you need to make A+ matcha at home. This kit comes with a beautiful deep green 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!
It comes all packed safely in a compact box and basic instructions are included if you need a little guidance. *The wooden tray is not included*
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.
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.
Region: Kagoshima, Japan
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.
For all of you Japanese green tea lovers I am so happy to finally offer this tea! This is a tea I was first introduced to a few years ago while visiting Kagoshima in October. Not only are the brothers who make this tea crafting extraordinary teas, they are also avid motorcycle enthusiasts, so we have a lot in common.
This is an award winning tea that is unusual in that it is harvested as a shincha in the spring, but not finished until the fall. The leaves are harvested from first flush Saemidori cultivars and roughly processed in April. They are then stored under refrigeration until October, where they are brought back out and undergo another round of heating and sorting. This resting period allows the tea to soften some of the tannins and also develop a deeper flavor.
The aroma of the dry leaf is intoxicating and refreshing. Steeped, the tea slides into your mouth coating it with a rich, brothy soup that intensifies as it reaches your throat. The flavor notes fill the spectrum between earthy and astringent without touching either. A thick umami lays the base with tones of kombu and a soft hint of sea mist. The flavor lingers and cools the palate and throat with each breath.
This tea can be steeped 4-5 times. The second and third steeps should only be 10 seconds, and after that can go up to 30 seconds. After steeping 5 times you can pour dashi or soy sauce on the leaves and eat them
Origin: Kagoshima, Japan
This set is for the true green tea lover. Two exceptional quality teas in two very different styles. From sweet and floral Soft Branch to steamed seaweed, umami Sencha, the flavors these teas offer are robust and expertly crafted. Each tea is a stellar representation of the variety green teas can offer. Whether you are looking to expand your horizons, or wanting to enlighten someone you care about, this is a good place to start.
This set includes 2 oz. each of the Sencha Organic and the Soft Branch Green packed in the gift box shown. Every part of the packaging is compostable. Discounts are automatic when you buy multiples, and don't forget you can easily ship these to multiple friends at checkout!
$ 8.50 $ 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.
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