about our teas


our teas selection

Proximity for the best quality

Why did we select these producers, these teas? From the beginning, IKKYU decided to choose only high grade green tea and make it accessible to people new to the world of tea and experts alike. All of our teas come directly from the farmers and we have chosen several types for our customers: gyokuro, kabusecha, sencha, matcha, as well as two less known but extraordinary types, tamaryokucha and kamairicha a rare specialty tea from Kyushu.

We have toured all the prefectures of Kyushu to meet dedicated and enthusiastic producers who are delighted to share their teas with buyers overseas. Since we all live in Kyushu, we have this extraordinary chance to visit the areas and producers all year long and build a true relationship with them. For many of the producers, IKKYU is their only way reach out to a foreign audience, and we are the story tellers of their success abroad. Take the time to hear their story and let them show you their beautiful land.

All our teas are packed by the producers themselves for optimal conservation and then wrapped by IKKYU. By the way, our packaging is very special: we wish to offer you a complete experience with not only great tea, but also beautiful wrapping for your own pleasure or for making a nice present to your friends, family or even colleagues.

For this, IKKYU has chosen a range of Japanese washi papers that will compliment your tea in an appropriate way. Don't throw it away ! You can use it again in any way you see fit.




white tea




Gyokuro from Kyushu is highly appreciated and recognized for its outstanding quality. It is the finest grade of Japanese green tea available. Yame area in Fukuoka is the main production region in Japan (40%) and produces the highest quality Gyokuro of the country. This is mainly due because of the ideal weather conditions.

Gyokuro is sweet, with a unique mildly astringent aroma and mellow umami taste, with high levels of theanine and caffein. The tea leaves are cultivated using a special method where the young leaves are shaded from direct sunlight for around 20 days. Shading is usually done through dark plastic sheet, where more traditional farmers will use natural straw (Hon Gyokuro).

Compared with sencha, Gyokuro tends to be smoother, more full-bodied, and less astringent. Gyokuro is also much richer than sencha in umami, due to its high levels of theanine. Thanks to the shading process, the rate of photosynthesis is significantly reduced, and less theanine gets converted to other compounds.

For even more information about this unique product, we have created a special page here with everything you need to know about Gyokuro and how to brew it.
dento hon gyokuroSHOP our Gyokuro selection


Kabusecha  means "covered tea", referring to its production process that is  quite similar to gyokuro.

As a matter of fact, kabusecha is right between  gyokuro and sencha, and combines the flavors and tastes of those two kinds of  tea.

 If you enjoy the refreshing flavor of sencha and the sweet and  umami taste of gyokuro, you will definitely appreciate kabusecha. Actually, it is the degree of umami that makes the actual difference between  the three kinds of tea:

gyokuro is the one with the highest level, followed  by kabusecha and finally sencha.   For making kabusecha, young tea leaves are shaded but for a  shorter time (up to 10 days, and not 21 like for gyokuro), and the shading  percentage is lower, with only 50%, as opposed to 70-90% for gyokuro.  

 Kabusecha is a delicious and fine tea but quite rare as it  represents less than 5% of the total production of green tea in Japan.  Tea producers that grow gyokuro also usually make kabusecha, and  therefore it is not surprising to see that in Kyushu, a lot of kabusecha comes  from Yame area.
go to our kabusecha selection


Sencha is the most common type of Japanese green tea and the most popular in Japan. Sencha grown in Kyushu benefits from the extraordinary variety of tea cultivars that can grow in its warmer climate and are not suitable for colder regions, including some that are sweeter in taste.

Thanks to its southern location, Chiran area in Kagoshima benefits from the earliest first harvest of the year in all Japan, making its "shincha" (new tea) very popular. Sencha is green tinged with yellow and offers a well-balanced combination of aroma, umami and bitterness. For making sencha, tea leaves are exposed to direct sunlight during the entire process and therefore grow quickly.

For the same reason, sencha leaves possess the highest levels of vitamin C per weight, as well as high levels of tannin that give it more astringency compared to gyokuro or matcha.
go to our sencha selection


Kama-iri cha is a very rare green tea: it accounts for only 2% of all Japanese tea production and is a specialty of Kyushu.

Following a centuries-old tradition, this delicacy is made by pan-frying tea leaves in an iron vessel at 300-450°C. The result is a yellow-green, refreshing, smooth tea with a mildly roasted and rich flavor, with no astringency. Kama-iri cha is also known as the "Chinese green tea" in Japan, as the process used to make it was first developed in China.

The highest quality kama-iri-cha comes from Miyazaki prefecture and only a few tea growers still possess the expertise required to produce this tea organically.
go to our kamairicha  selection


Matcha is a fine powdered green tea that is used during the tea ceremony. It is basically a finely ground from Gyokuro and therefore benefits from the effects of the shading production process that increases its theanin contents.

Matcha combines an elegant aroma and sweetness. Because the leaf powder is dissolved in hot water, all of the tea's nutrients are consumed, including those that are not water-soluble (vitamin A, protein, vitamin E, minerals, dietary fibers).

Like Gyokuro, matcha is relatively high in caffein and theanin but the latter has a calming effect that slows down the effects of caffein compared to coffee.

Matcha has low levels of tannin and therefore is not very astringent.
premium matcha powdergo to our matcha selection


Tamaryokucha ("coiled tea") is another specialty of Kyushu. It is a high grade green tea, very close to sencha, and is also commonly known as guricha ("curly tea").

It has a tangy, berry-like taste, with a long almondy aftertaste and a deep aroma with tones of citrus, grass, and berries.

Higashi sonogi is a region specialized in this tea, which is produced by steaming the youngest leaves after the harvest.

The leaves are then rolled into "comma" shapes (instead of being kneaded into "needle" shapes, like for sencha). The tea is golden yellow and can be reinfused, with a slightly different taste.
tamaryokucha loose leavesgo to our tamaryokucha selection


Shira ore belongs to the category of "twig tea" (kukicha), that is, green tea made with parts of the tea plant that is not used for making regular green tea such as sencha or gyokuro. For making shira ore, tea producers blend together stems, stalks and twigs, coming from the production of gyokuro.

As a result, it is the best kind of kukicha in terms of quality. Shira ore is appreciated for its unique nutty and sweet flavor and aroma. Its sweetness comes from its high contents in theanine, which is produced in the roots of the tea tree and then distributed to the leaves.

Because gyokuro is shaded to avoid loss of theanine due to sunlight, the theanine contents are even higher in shira ore.

As it is naturally very low in caffeine, this tea is not bitter but also well suited for children (straight or mixed with juice) or before going to sleep. Shira ore is another specialty of Kyushu island.
go to our shiraore selection


White tea (白茶, also called Hakugouginshin) belongs to the family of green tea (non-fermented tea), like sencha, gyokuro, kamairicha, etc. Confused yet? Don’t worry, it’s not so complicated.
The groundbreaking difference between, say, a sencha and white tea, is that when making sencha, tea producers don’t shade their tea fields. The leaves are exposed to sunshine until harvest. For white tea, a few weeks before harvest, the fields are shaded and 100% of sunlight is blocked.
Yes, 100%! Gyokuro (the king of green teas) is shaded at 95-98%. A little bit of sunlight reaches the leaves. With almost no bitterness, no astringency, but a sweet, almond taste and a well defined umami it’s a unique experience.

And finally, inside your body, up to three times more of amino acids than in sencha! This is what makes white tea so amazing: boosted health effects! In particular, the contents of L-theanine, one of the many amino acids found in tea, are increased.

This is the substance responsible for a sense of relaxation when drinking green tea, as it increases the levels of a specific calming neurotransmitter in your brain, along with serotonin and L-dopamin, two major mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.Another essential amino acid boosted in white tea is arginine.

Its role is fundamental for healing wounds, but also for your immunity system in general, and for the regulation of blood pressure.
go to our white tea selection


Contrary to green tea, wakoucha or koucha (literally, « Japanese red tea ») is an oxidized, fully fermented tea.

The leaves are left to wilt for nearly a day, and rolled afterwards during several hours. Wakoucha is called ‘red’ in Japan, and not black, because of the beautiful orange hue of a brewed wakoucha. While Japan has been making it for 150 years, it’s only now that it is gaining recognition and traction overseas.

Thanks to native cultivars like Benifuuki or Yabukita, wakoucha is naturally sweeter and smoother than black tea made from Assam cultivar, used for making most black teas outside Japan.

You can enjoy a fragrant, sweet and delicious cup of wakoucha without adding any sweetner, lemon or milk. It’s the perfect tea to go along with lunch. Don't miss our unique koucha with added handpicked cherry leaves, a must !
go to our koucha selection


Genmaicha (lit. “Brown rice tea) is a very affordable green tea delicacy that is becoming increasingly popular among tea lovers around the world. Combining roasted brown rice (unpolished rice kernels) and sencha leaves, it is a warm and comforting tea that can be enjoyed anytime during the day thanks to its low caffeine levels.

A mild, sweet and nutty flavor is distinctive of authentic genmaicha and makes it unforgettable. Thanks to roasted rice, genmaicha is a filling, nutritious, vitamin and mineral-rich tea with high levels of starch that has been used in Japan over centuries as an inexpensive liquid nutritional source. It’s a perfect go-to drink when recovering from illness at a time when solid food seems to much. Starch makes it less acidic than other green teas.

Note that the mesh of your teapot will prevent the leaves and the kernels from leaving the pot, and since you don’t ingest the rice itself, brewed genmaicha has no calories.

Contrary to other kinds of green tea, you can use boiling water to steep genmaicha, making it one of the easiest green tea to prepare. Of course, it can be enjoyed straight, but feel free to add honey or lemon to taste.
go to our GENMAICHA selection


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