Where is Kyushu? What's special about this region?
Kyushu (九州) is a large island in southwest Japan. Kyushu is blessed with a warm temperate climate, abundant nature, and premium quality produce that is highly sought after by chefs and food connoisseurs worldwide. Needless to say, green tea is one such product!
Kyushu's green tea tends to have sweeter notes than teas from other regions in Japan, making it particularly appealing to individuals who are new to the captivating world of Japanese green tea.
Ever since tea seeds from China were first planted in Kyushu in the 12th century--making the island the birthplace of tea in Japan--tea has been an integral part of its history and culture.
At the green tea shop, we take pride in directly sourcing our tea from award-winning farmers and producers from Kyushu.
Are your teas organic?
JAS (Japan Agricultural Standard) Certified Organic teas are specified on the description and label.
Not all of our teas are certified organic, but they are all strictly tested by our producers to ensure that they are free from harmful chemicals and toxins.
What's the difference between blended tea and single origin tea?
Most teas in Japan are blended. Tea blending, or gōgumi (合組), is done to ensure quality and consistency so that we can enjoy the same, comforting flavour year after year. Because teas are an agricultural product, the quality and characteristics can change each year. In fact, the taste of teas from the same cultivar and region may vary depending on the farm! Tea blending requires artisanal skills, and tea masters utilize their senses, knowledge, and expertise to combine leaves with different, but complementary characteristics.
Single-origin teas are becoming increasingly popular in the Japanese tea world, as these allow avid tea drinkers to explore the tea's distinctive qualities and terroir.
Neither type of tea is inherently superior or inferior; they simply offer different experiences!
How long do green teas stay fresh?
Green teas stay fresh if properly stored and consumed within 6 - 12 months of the purchase date. However, we recommend that you consume the leaves within a month after opening the package. This ensures the most enjoyable tea-drinking experience.
How should I store tea?
Green tea should be stored in a cool, dark place, and away from anything with a strong odour. To further ensure freshness, we recommend using an airtight tea canister containing only the amount that you can consume within a month.
If you cannot finish the entire bag within a month, tightly seal the bag, place it inside a freezer bag, and store it in the freezer or fridge. When you're ready to use the tea leaves again, make sure to bring them up to room temperature before taking them out of either bag. This protects the leaves from condensation.
How do I brew a cup of Japanese green tea?
Take a look at our Super Simple Brewing Guide!
How do I ensure that the water temperature is right?
We recommend using an electronic teapot with temperature pre-sets, as it is easy and accurate.
Alternatively, you could follow the traditional Japanese method:
- Pour boiling water into a teacup and transfer that water into a different cup. Repeat this transfer until you reach the desired temperature. Each time you transfer the water, you can expect that the temperature will drop roughly by 10°C (18°F).
Please be extra careful not to burn yourself!
I'm completely new to the world of Japanese green tea. What do you recommend?
Kamairicha might be a good place to start. As this tea is pan-fried instead of steamed, it has a more toasty, nutty flavour than our other teas. Genmaicha is also a nice, comforting tea that tastes like popcorn!
Will you be adding more teas to your website?
Of course! We are always on the lookout for amazing teas in Kyushu. You can subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Instagram or Facebook to be the first to know!