The Pleasure of Fine Japanese Tea
"Tea is nought but this: First you heat the water. Then you make the tea. Then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know."        -Sen no Rikyu, 1522-1591.

cup of teaThe words of the great 16th Century Tea master, Sen no Rikyu, still ring true today. However, the simplicity of his message is in no way a recipe for the mundane or mediocre. It represents the essence of the Way of Tea, a spiritual path which emphasizes the four principles of wa – harmony, kei – respect, sei – purity, and jaku – tranquility, using tea as the medium of practice and study. But like most Zen traditions, simplicity and essence are often difficult to attain. Without good tea leaves, proper water temperature, the correct utensils, and the knowledge of proper preparation techniques; one cannot produce a good cup of tea.

It is our mission at Charaku Fine Japanese Tea to provide you with the materials and resources to create a thoroughly enjoyable tea experience; whether it is your own personal daily ritual for physical and spiritual health, or a desire to offer the ultimate in omotenashi, “hospitality,” to your guests. We offer a wide variety of high quality teas from various appellations throughout Japan. We also offer Certified Organic Matcha, produced from tencha, hand-picked and granite stone-milled in the traditional method. Our teas are sourced from artisan producers, many of whom are multi-generational, family tea farmers. Charaku teas are fresh packed, in Japan, in nitrogen-flushed small batches in order to bring you the freshest (and therefore healthiest) Japanese tea possible.

We also carry the utensils and accessories necessary to properly prepare and enjoy our quality Japanese tea. This includes hand crafted tea wares, carefully selected from Japanese and international artists. In addition, we provide the educational resources to enhance your understanding and appreciation of Japanese tea. Charaku literally means “Tea Pleasure,” and our hope is that our products and services will enable you to experience the pleasure of fine Japanese tea to the fullest extent!

Please travel through our website to explore the world of Charaku: The Pleasure of Fine Japanese Tea.

Fresh Cup

Charaku News and Events: JUNE 2016

Fresh CupShincha (New Harvest Teas) for 2016 are now all in! We continue to carry most of our old line-up, but have also added some new varieties for 2016. We've brought back Ei Sencha from Kagoshima Prefecture this year. Teas from Ei Town are known for their mild flavor and low astringency. Though lacking the "amami" sweetness of Gyokuro, they have been nick-named "Natural Gyokuro" for their mellow flavor profile. We've been carrying Organic Sencha from Kirishima, but a brand new varietal for Charaku this year is Makizono Kirishima Organic Zairai Sencha. The Zairai ("Native") varietal is an old varietal in the Japanese tea family. This tea has a good balance of amami with and low-medium astringency. The soft taste mouth feel is an especially interesting characteristic of this tea. We hope you can try these new teas and also continue to enjoy the 2016 harvest of our regular line-up. Remember that Charaku teas are always small-packed and nitrogen-flushed for maximum freshness and longevity. It's fine to stock up and try several varieties!

On our WaSabiDou site, http://www.mingei-wasabidou.com, we continue to carry plenty of inventory from Japanese and American potters. From Isamu and Munetoshi Tagami of the Hinata Kiln in Mashiko come Tea and Sake Cups, Tea Bowls, Plates, and Vases. Sachiko Furuya, originally from Yamanashi Prefecture and now living in Honolulu, is also busy producing Vases, Plates, and wares for Sake and Tea. George Gledhill of Payette, ID produces tea wares and functional pottery with a truly wabi aesthetic. John Benn of Washington State exclusively wood-ties Tea Bowls, and works for sake. We also regularly carry many fine Tea Cups and Tea Bowls by John Miller of Portland, OR. We also have many antique works of ceramics, prints, folk toys, and more. Please visit out WaSabiDou site and use the search bar on the Ceramics page to find any of these works.

We are also continuing the on-line exhibition of George Gledhill's work. Many of our customers have been collecting George's work through our website, and these particular pots can only be seen here in this catalog. There are nearly 200 pieces available to view at http://www.flickr.com/photos/110543685@N07/sets. The collection includes Tea Bowls, Tea Cups, Sake Cups, Vases, Dishes, Plates, Incense Containers, and more.

As always, thank you again for allowing us to share our passion for tea and crafts with you!

Tatsuo Tomeoka, Charaku-WaSabiDou.