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 2017

Fresh CupShincha (New Harvest Teas) for 2017 are coming in soon! Due to cold weather in Japan, the new tea harvest was extremely late this year. However, we secured our orders as soon as teas were available and expect shincha to arrive in the first week of June. In the meantime, our remaining inventory of 2016 teas is currently available at 20% to 30% off! These are our steepest discounts ever, so it's a good time to stock up. All of our Genmaicha, Houjicha, and Kukicha are 30% off, and remaining Sencha and Gyokuro are 20% off while supplies last. Remember that Charaku teas are always small-packed and nitrogen-flushed for maximum freshness and longevity, so 2016 teas are still good well into 2018. New tea offerings to look forward to in 2017 are more Organic Sencha and Gyokuro from Kirishima in Kagoshima Prefecture. This area has been expanding organic farming methods in recent years, and some good organic teas are now being produced there. We look forward to continue offering you the finest variety of Japanese teas as we enter the new tea year!

We are also discounting items by 15% to 20% of the listed prices on our WaSabiDou site, http://www.mingei-wasabidou.com, in preparation of a showroom move this summer. 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-fires 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.

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.