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: JULY 2014

Fresh CupShincha season has again arrived and our new shipment of 2014 harvest teas is in! We continue to carry most of our old line-up, and have added a new sencha from the island of Tanegashima, in Kagoshima Prefecture. This Shimamidori (Island Green) cultivar produces a mellow cup of tea with low astringency. We hope that you will give it a try this year. New ceramic inventory on our Charaku site includes some unique items; such as a left-handed Kyusu and a Houjiki, a ceramic utensil for roasting your own Houjicha. Not on the website yet, but currently available is another new item, Natamamecha (Sword Bean Tea - Canavalia gladiata.) With a number of reported health benefits, we are excited to carry this new product. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing some.

On our WaSabiDou site, http://www.mingei-wasabidou.com, we have lots of new inventory from Japanese potters. From Isamu and Munetoshi Tagami of the Hinata Kiln in Mashiko come several new Tea and Sake Cups, Tea Bowls, Plates, and Vases. Sachiko Furuya, originally from Yamanashi Prefecture and now living in Honolulu, has also been productive and we have several new Vases, Plates, and wares for Sake and Tea. Our collection still features a wonderful Matcha Chawan produced in both Okinawa and Mashiko by National Living Treasure, Hamada Shoji, available in our collection. 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 from last spring of 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.