YOUR BEST CHOICE FOR JAPANESE GREEN TEA
a older homestead that our team enjoys when visiting hoshino in yame
what is ikkyu ?
green tea just next door
What chances we had to meet here in the beautiful southern part of Japan all together ? From Italy, France, Switzerland...and of course Japan, our passion for simple, beautiful things and a certain taste made things easier surely.
After travelling all around Kyush and meeting with such great green tea growers we felt that we could bring them together under one brand, giving them the visibility and appreciation they deserve. We took this challenge all together and tried to combine the Japanese tea culture with the Italian design, Swiss precision...and of course French taste.
stephane camus - founder & MANAGER
Born in Paris, Stephane comes to Japan in 2005, after working for 5 years in the Silicon Valley.
He meets his wife Minako in Fukuoka and launches with her an online shop dedicated to French products that they still operate as of today.
In 2009, along with his brother in France, Stephane sets up a webportal for antique dealers, proantic.com. Today, Proantic is the largest antique online shop in Europe.
He starts working with Aldo and Joelle on the complete design overhaul of Proantic. Afterwards, they decide to pool their expertise to set up Ikkyu.
An adept of aikido and kyudo, Stephane has been drinking Japanese green tea every day for more than 10 years.
Stephane is in charge of the technical development of the website and makes sure that each customer can enjoy the best online shopping experience.
Hobbies: Aikido, Kyudo, Photography and reading
aldo bloise - IT manager & Design director - founder
Italian and Swiss national, speaks French, Italian, English, German and little Japanese. I started drinking green tea back in Switzerland more than 12 years ago as a way to relax and enjoy the preparing time of a good matcha while listening old records.
Thanks to my deep interest and love in green tea, I was able to visit all the main production areas from Kyushu, talking and working directly with city and government officials and most importantly with the many producers of all the regions.
It took several years to build a network covering all of Kyushu regions but they are blessed by the richness of encounters, friendship and discoveries of the Green Tea universe.
Hobbies: Reading, travelling and... photography, the same shared passion with Stephane that brings you the pictures of IKKYU.
minako ishihara - founder & associate
Minako wears many hats: she is our precious interpretor, she makes sure that everything runs smoothly for Ikkyu in Japan and her advice is always wise.
She was born in Amakusa, a string of islands off the coast of Kyushu and the flora and the culture of her region have no secrets for her.
An IT engineer who runs her own online shop (decofukuoka.com), Minako has also a delicate palate that has astounded many tea masters.
Hobbies: Practicing kyudo (Japanese archery) and aikido, she has the patience and will required for Ikkyu.
joelle sambuc bloise - international MARKETING -founder
I used to be more of a coffee than a tea person. Take me to Italy and you will find me at the nearest café for my espresso shot!
However, in my daily life, things have changed when I discovered the pleasure of authentic Japanese green tea. It's not just about the amazing balance of delicate and complex fragrances, or the health benefits of green tea.
I have fallen in love with the steady yet powerful feeling of increased focus and constant energy that comes with each single cup. Whether I am working, chilling out with friends or practicing aikido, I can't do without green tea anymore!
Hobbies: Aikido, movies, reading and writing
Lilly gray - account supervisor & tea specialist
I joined Ikkyu quite recently, but I have lived in Japan for the past decade. From dancing Yosakoi at festivals in Toyama to practicing Aikido at the dojo in Fukuoka, I am a passionate learner of all things Japan—including tea.
Through research on Japanese tea families, tea ceremony, and experience with a global clientele in my previous work, I’m excited to blend the rich history of tea enjoyment with the everyday needs of modern matcha enthusiasts stateside.
Additionally, I’m interested in tying together the strong tradition of Kyushu pottery, visible in Karatsu and Arita ware, with its equally splendid tea. To me, Kyushu tea is summed up as luxury with a lineage—a lineage that the Ikkyu team is devoted to preserving and sharing with the world.
tomoike yuka - CONTRIBUTOR & tea instructor
Born in Fukuoka City, I am still living in this great city. I love travelling, yoga, Netflix and learning French.
Raised on Kyushu Island in a traditional family, green tea has always been part of my life. There was a time when I was very interested in coffee and tea, but in the end, I realized that green tea was the best for my palate and my daily life.
The real passion started when I tried to self-brew a very famous tea, Yame Gyokuro. It is such a delicious tea ... but for some reason I couldn’t brew it well. It was the start of my quest for green tea best tasting and preparation. I eventually became a Japanese tea instructor. Recently, I have been on different combination of tastes, marriage with food, dessert and sometimes alcohol, too. Tea is such a fun product to work with! It is a part of me, all day long.
The real boss of IKKYU, has been drinking green tea from his younger age and became our quality control supervisor in 2015.
Hobbies : eating late at night, play late at night, Meow late at night, wake up Stephane late at night, sleep all day.
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