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.
There is a 2 week ship time for the Shohaku currently due to an increased in demand. We get our matcha ground and shipped fresh each month and have had to place additional orders to keep up with orders. Thank you for being patient.
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.
Sri Lankans, for over 150 years, have grown this first flush Ceylon tea on the magical misty hillsides of Dimbula province. The long, dark, wiry leaves create a rich, fruity and satisfying cup strong enough to take milk and also excellent when steeped more briefly and sipped alone. The tea growers pluck only the delicate tips of the tea plants, circulating along the rows of tea bushes frequently to catch the golden tips at their peak. These leaves offer the best of Dimbula, carrying the fragrance of fog-shrouded mornings and the warmth of the sunny afternoons into your cup. Ceylon Golden is unblended and opens a clear window into the characteristics of the growing region. We recommend Blue Willow Ceylon for both mornings and afternoons, to be enjoyed by itself or with a variety of foods. We also find it particularly refreshing served iced during the hot summer months.
While it seems everyone has been familiar with the calming characteristics of chamomile since childhood, it is surprisingly difficult to find a quality chamomile with favorable flavor qualities. We are proud to offer a certified organic chamomile which has such a delicate sweetness and completely clean flavor which is sure to relax the mind and please the taste buds. Our chamomile is a whole-bud variety grown in Egypt.
Picked and processed by hand in the small village of Xi Ping in Anxi, this expertly-crafted Tieguanyin is a perfect representation of the depth and complexity this tea can offer. Plucked in the spring and roasted over hot charcoal in bamboo baskets the dried leaf gives off hints of toasted biscuits and soft magnolia blossoms. Once steeped, it exudes enticing aromas of fresh baked goods while preserving the underlying freshness of the green leaf. The mouthfeel is full bodied and silky and the flavor is crisp, sweet and warming with an herbaceous note reminiscent of squash blossoms. The warming sensation stays in your mouth and throat urges you to take another sip.
The leaf itself is medium-oxidized and plucked from old Tieguanyin plants that have been in the family for generations. The soil it grows in is rich with minerals which add to the depth and roundness of the flavor. Only a small quantity is available.
Origin: Anxi, China
Iwachu, located in Morioka, is known for making skillfully crafted iron ware. This tetsubin, or cast iron pot, is a perfect marriage of classic form and function and modern deign and simplicity. The two-tone finish is achieved by first applying a gold coat, followed by a black coat which is then carefully brushed to reveal the underlying color. Unlike traditional tetsubin, this pot has an enamel coat inside, making it easy to clean and not susceptible to rust. Because of this coating, it is ideal for steeping a multitude of teas without the potential of seasoning the metal. This pot can hold 22oz. of tea but it is not recommended to heat it over an open flame, as it can crack the enamel coating. Each pot has a large mesh strainer that can be left in or removed, depending on your preferred steeping style.
*The wooden tray is not included*
These tiny Yunwu tea tips curl into perfect little spirals, resembling floating clouds. The aroma is soft, sweet and fresh like morning dew. Steeped, the leaf buds unfurl to reveal mild vegetal notes accented with a buttery smoothness and slightly dry finish. Plucked in the early spring, these Pre-Ming harvested leaves are forgiving and easy to steep. They can handle short, rich gongfu steeps or longer, western-style infusions without becoming astringent.
Origin: Jiangxi, China
We are so happy to have a small amount of this spectacular tea to share with you. Hand-crafted by Yong Hao, who has been producing award-winning tea on Chi Lai Mountain for many years. This Qing Xin cultivar is expertly roasted over charcoal and rolled several times to achieve its shape. The aroma offers notes of baked yams and burnt sugar, with essences of warm cedar. Steeped, the tea is soft but complex. The toasty notes of the firing are at the forefront and give way to a sweetly satisfying cup with honeysuckle hints. Over time, the roast flavor will settle and reveal more flavors, which we are so excited to witness. This tea is grown with organic fertilizers and tested to assure cleanliness.
Harvest: Spring, 2023
Origin: Nantou, Taiwan
Named after our beloved Corrine, the magical transcendent creature who we are lucky enough to call a friend and coworker. This hand crafted gaiwan is encircled by whimsical paintings of flowers, leaves and vines. The curved lid makes the lid cling to the walls when pouring and the extra fluted edges make it easy to handle, even with hot water. There is a slight crackle to the outer glaze which will become more pronounced as it gets tea stained. The gaiwan holds 140ml.
We partnered with Ozben Felek of Felek Acupuncture, to create this herbal blend for her clinic. Cozy Belly is a gentle herbal blend that makes a wonderful beverage to sip after a large meal, or any time you need a little extra warmth. The warming and moving mixture of Organic Cinnamon, Licorice Root, Ginger and Fennel helps boost digestion and keeps everything moving along. It doubles as a nice herbal chai option as well.
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.
Da Hong Pao is one of the better known Wuyi rock oolongs and we are so happy to have found this unique version. Large, medium oxidized leaves are perfectly roasted without losing any flavor in the process. Each steep brings more color to the leaves, revealing the darker oxidized edges and deep green centers. The aroma is toasty and fruity, like a fresh baked pie, and the flavors center around ripe fruit with warm wood and burnt sugar. Many Da Hong Paos have a deeply roasted finish, but this one is so balanced no one flavor overtakes the rest.
Harvest: Spring, 2022
Origin: Fujian, China
The Darjeeling district in West Bengal has been producing famed teas since the nineteenth century. This autumn harvested tea comes from an estate that provides us with an organic and fairly-traded Darjeeling tea. A bit stronger than earlier plucked teas, this tea has a slightly more robust body while retaining its soft floral accents. The steeped leaves provide a wonderful delicacy and flexibility to be appreciated from breakfast to dessert. During the day, Blue Willow Darjeeling provides a wonderful, light lift with a muscatel sweetness and clean finish. The full, fresh flavor and delicate floral hints create a truly pleasurable sipping experience on its own, with a sturdiness that can handle the addition of sugar and milk.
For those who like their tea drinking to have a minimal impact on their hoarding tendencies, this is the strainer that checks all the boxes. No need for a pot, no need for different clays, no need for a various sized vessels. This stainless steel mesh is fine enough to hold even small cut leaves and has a lid wide enough to fit nearly any cup or mug. The strainer sits deep and allows maximum space for the tea to move around freely, increasing the quality of your steep. Plus, it will fit into many teapots if you're looking for an easy way to keep the leaves under control. It's easily washable so you can re-use it for any of your teas without imparting flavors from the previous cup.
If you're looking for an all-around simple way to make tea at a beginner-level, or if you just want to downsize, this is a great tool to have.
This pot is a big larger than our other Yixing pots, holding 8oz., or 250ml. The egg shape is nicknamed "Dragon Egg", an auspicious symbol of trust and good wishes.
Yixing pots are iconic and are known as being the first teapots in the world. The clay is uniquely porous and will "drink" the tea that is made with it, allowing the consecutive steeps to absorb into the clay and enhance future steeps. For this reason, it is recommended that each pot be dedicated to one type of tea to prevent the crossover of other flavors. Over time, your pot will become more seasoned and make each pot of tea more aromatic and flavorful.
To care for your pot, rinse with hot water immediately after each use and allow it to dry completely before applying the lid. Never use soap or abrasives.
It is important to properly care for your pot to ensure it's longevity. When you first bring it home, rinse it with hot water and then cold water. This should wash away the clay smell.
It is then important to season the tea before steeping with it. Gently lower the teapot into a clean pot of boiling water. Keep the lid separate and do not let it touch the bottom, as the bubbles might jiggle it too much. Allow it to sit in the boiling water a few minutes, then remove and let it cool completely. You will need to decide which type of tea you would like to dedicate your pot to.
To season, add tea to the pot and steep. Pour the tea into a small bowl after about 30 seconds and steep the leaves again. Repeat this process until the bowl is full. You can then remove the leaves and soak the pot and lid separately in the brewed tea. Let it soak until it has cooled.
Always let the pot and lid dry completely before putting the lid on. Over time, your pot will develop more color and aroma, but it will not be unpleasant. When properly cared for the clay will prevent any bacteria from forming.
Don't worry, it's not what you think. This tea is famous is the oolong world, but can sound a little off-putting if you don't know the history. The leaves are large and soft and go through a multi-step oxidation process to enhance the honey-like aroma. Steamed, the leaves have an irresistibly full, creamy, toasty, floral-sweet aroma. The first steep is buttery smooth and rich with notes of sweet cream and fruit. Each steep opens new notes in the leaf and the tea gets progressively more floral and green as the toasty fire notes recede. This tea will go for many steeps and is best enjoyed with an aroma cup to fully enjoy all the of aromatics it can offer.
Dan Cong oolongs are plucked form Phoenix Mountain in Guangdong, China. The term "Dan Cong" translates to Single Bush, which historically meant that the tea was all plucked from the same tea tree. More commonly it is used to describe teas from Phoenix Mountain which have been plucked from the same cultivar and are allowed to grow into large trees. They are famous for adopting various aromas and this tea is no different.
According to legend, the farmers who made this tea plucked the leaves from tea trees growing in soil that was a yellowish-brown color. The tea was so exceptional, they called it Ya Shi Xiang (Duck Shit Aroma), hoping to prevent people from stealing their tea or taking cuttings from their trees. Think of it like the old Greenland/Iceland switcharoo. It didn't take long before word got out about how good the tea was, though, so here we are!
Harvest: Spring, 2023
Origin: Guangdong, China
Sometimes, you need a comforting cup of nostalgia, and we've got you covered. If you loved our old Earl Grey, we have re-created it with organic ingredients so you can sip happily and healthily.
Our blend uses fresh oil of bergamot, derived from the Mediterranean bergamot plant, a variety of citrus. We blend premium Chinese and Indian black teas, with just the right amount of bergamot oil. Our method creates a perfect balance of the robust citrus aroma of the Mediterranean orange and the warm, oaky, fruity flavors of the tea leaves themselves. Our blend is accented with the addition of blue cornflowers, which liven up the appearance of the tea and add an extra floral hint to the flavor. Never soapy, or perfumy, this blend is a favorite for even non-Earl lovers.
Every tea merchant tends to create their own proprietary blend to reflect a certain flavor profile and represent a good “house” tea at a good value. While some companies try to hide inferior teas in a muddled blend, Blue Willow took an extra step to formulate our English Breakfast blend. We use our finest quality Estate teas from Darjeeling, Ceylon, and China’s Anhui and Yunnan provinces. Every component adds a unique note to this tea, creating a brisk, aromatic and very full-bodied blend, excellent with or without cream and superb iced.
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.
Origin: Zhejiang, China
We are so pleased to offer Blue Willow private label matcha! After spending years traveling Japan and searching for a high quality, organic, ceremonial grade matcha, up to our standards, we finally sourced an exceptional organic Matcha, which we now use for lattes in our shop.
Introducing Forest Dew: a robust, yet smooth ceremonial grade matcha stone ground from five cultivars in Kirishima, Kyushu. This matcha can be made into usucha for a lively, grassy matcha bowl, or can be made into a latte. The flavor is strong enough to stand up to the addition of milk and/or sweeteners without getting overpowered, and has very little astringency.
We switched to this for matcha lattes in our shop and were just featured on the cover of the SF Chronicle Food and Drink newspaper for best Bay Area Matcha!
We recommend this matcha for usucha (thin tea) or lattes. You can experiment with the thickness you desire as well.
Region: Kagoshima, Japan
This unusual style of kyusu was completely handmade in Aichi prefecture, home of the historic Tokoname kilns. The muted olive green is accented by hand-drawn pin stripes, accentuating the tall sides of the pot. The clay is naturally unglazed and develops its green color inside the kiln as layers of ash melt to the teapot, called shizen-yuyaku. The pot is as pleasing to pour as it is to hold, filtering the tea through a handmade clay mesh screen. The lid fits snugly and doesn't leak, and the pour is so smooth it looks like pouring silk. The walls of the pot are relatively thin and slightly porous, so it is recommended to dedicate this pot to cooler temperature teas like senchas.
Please be mindful of caring for this tea pot. Rinse it well after use and never put it in the dishwasher.
**We have a very limited quantity of this tea available. Once it is gone, we won't be able to get more until next year**
Large, rolled winter harvested leaves from Xi Lai Mountain in Taiwan. The Hao family are third generation tea farmers, caring for tea gardens around 6000' elevation. The aroma of the warm leaves is unique and visceral, soaking deep into the senses. Steeped, the leaves unfurl into large, intact tea tips. The flavor fills the entirety of your mouth, leaving a buttery smoothness towards the back of the throat. Notes of soft, warm bread centers lathered in butter dominate the palate, with a slight undertone of asparagus lingering at the finish. The warming sensation and flavors remain at the roof of your mouth long after each sip, inviting steep after steep. These leaves will keep steeping time after time and we have often found savory notes well into the 12th infusion. Beyond the enjoyable drinking experience, this tea has a soothing effect on both the mind and body, which can be felt long afterwards.
If you've never had GABA tea before, this is a great place to start. We've spent years searching for one that we loved and finally found it. Instead of going through the oxidation process most oolongs have, these leaves are exposed to nitrogen instead. This causes the tea to develop gamma-aminobutyric acid. These amino acids work to inhibit neurotransmissions within the primary nervous system, increasing relaxation. The after-effects are calming and long-lasting.
Harvest: Winter, 2023
Origin: Ren'ai, Taiwan
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.