We are importers and distributors of the finest Japanese teas. We specialize in high quality Japanese tea varieties which are typically produced by smaller and more exclusive tea producers. Our mission is simply to share with our U.S. consumers the fabulous green teas the Japanese have been enjoying for hundreds of years.
Sencha, the most commonly drunk green tea in Japan was first produced in Uji (the outskirts of Kyoto) in the 18thCentury and is now produced in many parts of the country. First flush tea, harvested from late April through mid-May, is considered the best of its kind. Sencha has the perfect balance of briskness and sweetness.
- Fukamushi (Deep Steamed) Sencha
This is a variation of Sencha. In order to make Japanese green tea, the tea leaves, after being plucked, are first steamed to prevent oxidization. Deep steamed Sencha is steamed twice as long as regular Sencha. As a result, leaves become less uniform in appearance than Sencha. But its liquor becomes sweeter, less bitter and brighter green in color. Our Fukamushi Senchas come from Shizuoka and Kagoshima prefectures.
Hojicha is roasted Sencha or Bancha (coarse tea). Roasting reduces bitterness and creates a light and smooth taste with a toasted aroma. By varying the leaves used and the roasting temperature, the aroma and the taste can be adjusted to create more different varieties of Hojicha. After harvesting, the leaves are stored at room temperature for one to two years to enhance the flavor before they are made into Hojicha.
- Genmai Hojicha
This is a variation of Hojicha from Shizuoka. After the leaf stems are aged over a period of four years, they are then roasted and mixed with toasted brown rice, producing a light smooth toasted taste with a wonderful aroma.
Kukicha is made with the stems of leaves which are accumulated during the sorting process while making Sencha (stems account for only 8% of unsorted tea). The aroma of this tea is green and fresh. The taste is sweeter and lighter than Sencha and the fresh green color is also striking.
A mixture of roasted brown rice and Sencha or Bancha (coarse tea). The life of this tea is in its aroma. To effectively bring out the aroma, it is recommended to pour hot water into the pot in a strong rapid stream. Our Genmaicha is from Kagoshima prefecture.
- Organic Maccha Genmaicha
One of the variations of Genmaicha (a mixture of roasted brown rice and Sencha). As the name suggests, this Genmaicha is sprinkled with Maccha (powdered tea). The Maccha adds further depth and complexity to this tea. Our Maccha Genmaicha is from Shizuoka.
- Tama (Royku) Cha
The literal translation for “Tama (Ryoku) Cha” is “Round (Green) Tea”. The leaves retain their round shape because the step when making Sencha, “Seiju”, which is to roll leaves into a needle like shape is omitted. There are pan fired and steamed versions of Tama (Ryoku) Cha. Our Steamed Tama (Ryoku) Cha with a light, refreshing and toasted flavor is from Kagoshima. Our Kama Iri (pan fired) Tama (Ryoku) Cha with a rich toasted flavor is from Shizuoka and is certified organic.
Gyokuro is made only from the youngest leaves of the first flush. Tea bushes for Gyokuro are covered with mats made of straw “yoshizu” or some other material, blocking the direct sun in early April (about 20 days before the first harvest). This prevents a type of amino acid in the leaves from changing into more bitter catechin. Gyokuro is slightly sweet and extremely flavorful, and is the most exquisite tea of all Japanese teas.
Maccha is powdered green tea traditionally used for the Japanese tea ceremony. Using the leaves from tea bushes grown in the shade just like Gyokuro, the tea is very finely grounded by special stone mills. Lighter green Maccha is considered better quality and is sweeter. Darker green Maccha tends to be a little bitter. Maccha is often used for flavoring sweets.
- Japanese Black Tea
Before World War II, Japan produced black tea for export but the market virtually disappeared from the late 1950s until recently. Our Japanese black tea from Shizuoka is a blend of leaves from two or three types of Japanese tea bushes and is withered up to 52 hours to bring out the sweetness and the beautiful red color.
- Organic Japanese Dark Tea (Pu-Er)
This tea is made with leaves from a combination of first and second flush harvests. In a germ free clean environment, organic brown rice yeast is added artificially to the pan-fried leaves for fermentation for a period of 4 to 5 days. Then, a small amount of fresh leaves are added for oxidization for another 2 days.
- Organic Varieties
Our organic teas come from Shizuoka prefecture and their organic status is certified by JAS, which will be recognized as “certified organic” in the US starting January 1st, 2014. Sencha, Kabuse Sencha,Kama Iri (pan fried) Tama Ryoku cha, Maccha Genmaicha, Hojicha and Japanese Pu- Er are available in organic form.
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