Your Questions Answered

You can find many answers to your questions in this section, as well on many linked pages. Should you have any additional inquiry or doubt, always feel free to get in touch with us through our contact form after the FAQs.

We are here to help you enjoying the best experience with your teas :)

All of our teas are produced by small farmers here in Japan. Many of them come from Yame, a village nestled in the foothills at the edge of the Saga Plain. Yame has been a thriving center of tea production for centuries, producing some of the most coveted flavors in all of Japan. Our other teas also come from illustrious regions, steeped in history and tradition. The producers take pride in their work, and are happy to share their experiences and how their tea is created. You can learn more about the individual producers of each tea here.

The types of tea that most people are familiar with are black, green, and white. All three are made from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. The differences between these teas lie in how long the leaves are allowed to oxidize after harvest, which impacts their taste and aroma. White and green teas experience minimal oxidation, while black tea is highly oxidized. Low-oxidation teas have a fresher, milder taste, while teas with high levels of oxidation tend to have a richer, malty flavor. Although white and green tea are often spoken about as different types of tea, Japanese white tea is actually a type of green tea very similar to gyokuro. But what are the differences between the various types of green tea, such as gyokuro, sencha, white tea, and kamairicha? Learn more about each of the teas we offer here.

Yes, some of our teas are organic. If they are organic, it will be listed in the description. While organic products are gaining popularity, most Japanese tea farmers still prefer non-organic methods, as it is generally believed to produce better flavor.

However, we understand why organic tea is appealing to many people, and are happy to offer many organic options. See here.

Tea offers a host of health benefits for both the brain and body. Packed with antioxidants, the warmth of a cup of tea is not only nourishing to the soul, but also supports vital bodily functions by boosting the immune system, stimulating the brain, and burning body fat.

Green teas are especially beneficial, as the lack of fermentation during processing preserves the health-boosting compounds in the leaves. Learn more about the health benefits of green tea on our dedicated page, here.

Each kind of green tea (sencha, gyokuro, matcha, etc.) requires a specific way of preparation. Care and attention must be paid to the quantity of leaves and water used, the water temperature, and the length of brewing time.

Using the wrong brewing methods can result in a bitter, unpleasant drinking experience. To avoid this issue, we provide detailed instructions on how to brew each tea on both the tea’s webpage and on the packaging. These instructions are based on the recommendations of the tea’s producers, to make sure that the taste lives up to potential. See more here.

Tea should be stored in a cool, dark place to preserve its flavor and freshness. Keep it in an opaque, airtight container, such as a sealed bag or canister. Unopened, most of our teas will last up to a year, or six months after opening.

Black teas will last up to two years unopened. If in doubt, please check the webpage for the tea here on our website.

Caffeine is found in all varieties of tea, as it is a natural compound found in the leaves of Camellia sinensis. However, the amount of caffeine varies based on how the leaves are processed after harvest.

Green and white teas generally have less caffeine than black tea at the same concentration. The energy you gain from tea is much more well balanced than the effect of coffee. Most people experience none of the jitters or anxiety that come with drinking high levels of caffeine because of the presence of theanine, a natural compound with a calming, relaxing effect. The caffeine in green tea is also metabolized differently, meaning it stays in the body much longer and does not cause a “crash” when the caffeine wears off. Some teas have lower levels of caffeine by nature, such as shiraore and houjicha. These might be good choices for a person with caffeine sensitivities.

Bitterness is one of the natural characteristics of green tea, particularly fine Japanese teas. It is directly related to the levels of caffeine and catechins found in the leaves.

Bitter flavors are actually highly prized amongst Japanese tea experts. Some varieties of green tea are less bitter than others, which can be seen in the flavor chart for each tea. For example, shiraore is low in caffeine compared to other green teas, and is therefore less bitter.

Excessive bitterness in tea can also result from either brewing your tea for too long, or brewing the tea with water that is too hot. While it can be tempting to brew the tea as long and hot as you can to extract as much as possible from the leaves, this can result in something that is undrinkable. For the best results, carefully follow the instructions on the back label of your tea. If it is still too bitter for your taste, feel free to try a lower water temperature or shorter brewing time.

Yes, absolutely! The higher the quality, the more times you can brew your tea. Our premium sencha and gyokuro can easily be rebrewed three times due to their high quality, and some can even be brewed up to five times.

Rebrewing does have an impact on the taste, but this is not a bad thing. As you rebrew, you will notice subtle changes in the flavor profile as the different components of the tea are balanced to create something more mellow and sweet.

Just as with very fine wines or other delicacies, there is a large demand for matcha but only a limited supply. Cultivating and making matcha requires a great deal of time and labor - it takes up to a decade to learn how to properly make it.

In addition, only the finest and youngest leaves are good enough for making matcha. This guarantees maximum flavor and health benefits, and the quality of the tea generally correlates to the price. Very high end matchas can go for hundreds of dollars.

However, our close relationship with local producers means that we are able to offer exceptionally fine quality teas for a very reasonable price.

While not a true classification used to define matcha in Japan, “ceremonial” matcha usually refers to higher quality matchas intended for drinking, as opposed to culinary matches used in cooking.

All of our matchas are of exceptionally high quality, and can be considered “ceremonial” by western standards.

"Shincha" means "new tea." It refers to tea made from the first flush of new leaves, carefully picked at the beginning of the season between March and April.

These tender young leaves are then gently prepared for immediate sale without ever going into storage, making it the freshest tea that you can possibly buy.

While first harvest green tea is available throughout the year, shincha is only available from March through the middle of July. While typically referring to sencha, “shincha” gyokuro and matcha are also available in the fall, as a short period of aging improves the taste of the delicate new leaves. Read more here.

Because high levels of caffeine are not recommended for pregnant women, we suggest choosing a low caffeine tea, brewing at a lower temperature, and/or using less leaves to limit the caffeine content.

In Japan, children begin drinking watered down green tea as soon as they start eating solid foods (6-8 months)! Please consult your doctor for further guidance.

Because of the high caffeine content in properly brewed green tea, drinking on an empty stomach can cause nausea and stomach pain for people who are sensitive to caffeine.

While there are many benefits to drinking tea first thing after you wake up in the morning, we recommend eating something before you enjoy your tea for people who experience nausea.

Most of our teas are made only using the leaves of the tea plant, with no additional additives that could trigger an allergy. Genmaicha also contains toasted rice, which should pose no issue for most people.

Each tea is given a Japanese name, adopted from friends, family, or famous figures in Japanese history. Some are also place names!

Yes! We can deliver worldwide through our partnership with FedEx. EMS and DHL are also options if FedEx cannot deliver to your address.

If your country is not listed for any reason, please contact us by e-mail or form. As for cost, the total varies depending on the destination. We also offer free shipping starting from 150 USD depending on your country.

For more information, you can have a detailed look at our shipping policies here.

Yes, you can send it as a gift. Enter your friend’s address in the shipping field, and don’t forget to add their phone number for delivery. Feel free to leave a gift message in the comment field at checkout.

Please note that your order’s currency might change depending on the delivery address (for example, EUR if in the EU, or CAD if in Canada). If you wish to cover any taxes and duties for your friend, contact us by email or leave a message in the comment box.

We will cover them for you and send you an additional invoice for those fees later on.

We have a generous loyalty program for all our registered customers. You can earn points just by creating your account, as well as with every purchase. More points can be earned by writing reviews and sharing referral links.

These points can be redeemed for 5, 10, 15 or even 20% discounts. For more information, please read our special page about reward points here.

We also occasionally have seasonal or promotional offers, which will be announced in the Newsletter and on our social media.

We only accept returns and exchanges for defective products. Returns and exchanges for defective products are only accepted within 7 days after reception of the products, so please check that everything is in order right after you receive them.

If the product is used, we cannot accept returns or exchanges.

For returns and exchanges of defective products, please contact us using this page.

Yes, you can change or cancel an order as long as the order hasn’t been shipped yet. Contact us via our inquiry form or directly by email (ikkyu@Ikkyu-tea.com) to let us know as soon as possible.

Yes we do! We here at IKKYU are happy to answer any wholesale inquiry from professional buyers looking for new teas from Japan. To make an inquiry, please fill out the form here.


A Knowledge Base At Your Disposal

IKKYU strives to provide you the clearest information possible with step by step instructions, downloadable files, and much more to come. If you have any unanswered question please feel free to drop a line by e-mail through our contact form our through our social networks.

Our mission is to bring you as close as possible to Japan and enjoy your tea in the best way possible. Don't forget to visit the following pages :

The Tea Farmers

You will find so much information in the detailed portraits of the producers we are working with ! About themselves, their tea, their land and area.

Our Green Teas

A little confused about all the different tea types ? Don't worry, we have a detailed page explaining the particularities of all teas as well as their tasting variations. You can even download a useful PDF file that includes the brewing preparation information.

Green tea and health

Wondering about the the benefits of green tea ? Much has been said about it, and without doubt drinking green tea has a beneficial effect to your organism. The most obvious one is that you can enjoy the longer lasting alterness the combination of caffeine and theanine over the coffee shot...without the caffeine crash.

How to brew (and not burn) your tea

Making and serving tea is an art, and it takes some training and knowledge to become a tea master. That being said, you don't need to become a Tea master in order to brew you Green Tea and appreciate not only its taste but also aroma. A few steps and understanding of the most important factors will make your Green Tea a true experience. And then, by doing that daily, you will appreciate your skills naturally improve and adjust your brewing to your taste.