Tea is the most commonly drunk beverage in Japan and an important part of Japanese culture. We have sourced nine exquisite Japanese teas. They really are different and will re-awaken anyone´s passion in tea.
Tea was first introduced to Japan from China in the 700s and was a luxury product available in small amounts to priests and noblemen as a medicinal beverage.
Around the beginning of the Kamakura Period (1192-1333), Eisai, the founder of Japanese Zen Buddhism, brought the custom of making tea from powdered leaves back from China. Subsequently, the cultivation of tea spread across Japan.
During the Muromachi Period (1333-1573), tea gained popularity among people of all social classes. They gathered for big tea drinking parties and played a guessing game, whereby participants, after drinking from cups of tea being passed along, guessed the names of tea and where they came from. Collecting and showing off prized tea utensils was also popular among the affluent.
At about the same time, a more refined version of tea parties, with Zen-inspired simplicity and a greater emphasis on etiquette and spirituality developed. These gatherings were attended by only a few people in a small room where the host served the guests tea, allowing greater intimacy. It is from these gatherings that the tea ceremony has its origins.
Today in Japan, Green Tea is the most common type of tea, and when someone mentions "tea" without specifying the type, it is green tea that is referred to. Green tea is also the central element of the famous tea ceremony. Among the most well-known places for tea cultivation in Japan are Kagoshima and Uji.
June 2015 - We have added a rare black tea from Kane's in Shizuoka, Japan, 'Wa Koucha', which is Japanese for 'Red Tea', a name often used in China and Japan to describe Black Tea.