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Cofftea said

Tea companies in Japan

Even though I’ve found the perfect matcha, I’d like to order some matcha from companies in Japan (like O-cha) as my part of the earthquake relief effort. Company suggestions welcome! (also help for price conversions welcome too- I’m not at all familiar with the yen)

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Yuuki Cha! I don’t have experience with Japanese tea, but Yuuki Cha’s tea ware rocks! And their tea ware price is among the friendliest of all Japanese fine tea ware sellers. Besides, their tea is mostly (or all?) organic, and it’s all officially certified organic, not claimed-by-someone organic.

http://www.yuuki-cha.com/

Cofftea said

Love their matcha set options- thanks!

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Obubutea – they’re based in Kyoto and it’s a co-op type of tea farming community. They have matcha and some exquisite senchas, as well as Sakura blossoms. If I remember correctly, they have about 50 national (japan) CSA members in the Tohoku region that were affected by the quake, and they’ve been donating their teas and resources to these members and evacuation centers as well as collecting funds to go to these members, and also farms affected there.
I’ve nothing but great things to say about the quality of the tea I’ve received from them, and they’re very transparent about how they’re distributing their resources in quake relief.

http://www.obubutea.com/

Cofftea said

Love the “tea guru” option and the full inventory sampler… but they seem to be out of matcha. :(

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Maiko Tea is one (donating to relief efforts)
http://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/shopping/maccha.htm

However, if you support O-cha, you are supporting a company that was directly impacted by the quake!
http://www.o-cha.com/green-teas/matcha-powdered-green-tea/

Their teas are all located in Uji, but the owner lived in Fukushima and has since relocated to Uji! (You can read more about it on the website). So in a way, anything you buy from them is going to help families who were directly impacted. :-)

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By the way Coftea, what do you consider the “perfect matcha” to be?

Regarding price conversions, just take the Yen amount (say it is 500 Yen) and cut off the last two digits = that’s the $ amount. (500 = $5, 1000 = $10) Actually, the rate is more unfavorable, as 500¥ = $6, 1000¥ = $12, but that is the simplest way to do it.

Cofftea said

There’s lots of qualities: organic, being ceremonial grade, color, ease of sifting, ease of whisking/froth making, flavor (obviously), mouth feel, and price.

Oh, I was referring to your comment above, “Tea companies in Japan
Even though I’ve found the perfect matcha, I’d like to order some matcha from companies in Japan (like O-cha) as my part of the earthquake relief effort.”
So what’s the perfect matcha? (just curious… I’m a matcha newbie, only having had Den’s Kaze)

Cofftea said

lol! Oops! Sorry for the misunderstanding. All factors come together perfectly in Urbana Tea and Tonic’s Ceremonial Grade matcha! All of Den’s matchas are amazing. Kaze was actually the first matcha I purchased and made myself- 2nd matcha experience over all. It came w/ the matcha set I got for myself Christmas of ’09.

Cool! Glad you finally found the “perfect” one. I’m just hoping to try nice koicha sometime, because I’m not sure I want to totally get into matcha, but I’m sure I’d enjoy it from time to time.

…perfect matcha is deep, emerald or forest green, fresh (no more than 6 months old), stored gently (not in heat) and sweet, not bitter in taste.. If the water you use is too hot, or filled with chlorine or chemicals, this will ruin even a perfect matcha. Overwhisking, and using incorrect water:matcha ratio will also affect perfect matcha..

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ippodo is also excellent and offers many matcha types (11 types), that have been named by the iemoto (grand/headmasters of tea) and you can order online!

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