There may be a lot of coffee shops all over, but have you noticed that there are barely any specialty black tea (“kocha”) shops in Japan? The truth, though, is that are also quite a few shops that offer black teas using special tea leaves and adopting a particular way of brewing. Now, here are five of the most recommended cafes in Tokyo that serve fine black teas.
1. Asakusa Sabou
Located within a short walking distance from Sensoji Temple, Asakusa Sabou is a cafe where you can enjoy delicious black tea and pancakes. Here, the Fruit Tea (880 JPY (incl. tax)), a fragrant tea with that is made with an abundance of fresh fruits inside, is highly recommended. You will get great value for your money if you order the set that pairs the Fruit Tea with the popular Fruit Pancakes (1,380 JPY) that come with a lot of fruit on top for the price of 1,880 JPY (incl. tax)). Aside from the above, you can have other special black teas that are particular about everything that has to do with them, including the tea garden where they came from and the time they were harvested.
2. chai break
This cafe is a place where you can drink milk tea that is made through the Indian style of brewing. The Nidashi Milk Tea (Brewed Milk Tea) (594 JPY), a chai tea carefully made after you order it, is characterized by its robust, deep taste. This cafe has formulated various combinations and variants using this tea as a base, including the Spiced Chai that has spices, the Kisetsu no Chai (Seasonal Chai Tea), and Chai Frappe. If the weather is nice, you can feel great by having your drink to go and take a stroll around the nearby Inokashira Park!
3. kenyan Shibuya Branch
kenyan is a cafe that serves aromatic and rich original black teas that are mixed with sugar and milk. Here, the iced milk tea Imi-Tea (Iced Milk Tea) (400 JPY) is recommended. Made by blending Sri Lankan black tea and several types of rich black teas, this tea offers an exceptional balance of mellowness, sweetness and astringency. The iced milk tea also comes in hot version with the Chai-Mitea (Chai Milk Tea (400 JPY). This cafe offers an extensive menu from light meals up to heavy dinners if you want proper meals, so go ahead and try them together with a delicious cup of black tea.
4. LUPICIA La Belle Epoque Jiyugaoka Main Branch
LUPICIA is a tea salon that is dedicated to selling not only Japanese tea, but also more than 400 types of black tea, oolong tea, herb tea, and original blend tea annually. You can ask to drink at this shop virtually all the teas sold that they sell (800 JPY – 1,200 JPY). It also serves exquisite desserts made by expert pastry chefs. LUPICIA is a salon where you can enjoy high-quality elegant teatime inside a tranquil and stylish shop.
5. Tea House TAKANO
Opened in 1974, Tea House TAKANO is the first cafe dedicated to black tea in Tokyo, and they use directly imported tea leaves. They offer a wide range of black and flavored teas. The fragrant and delicious black teas are made with careful attention to detail about the balance between quality tea leaves and the amount of hot water as well as the brewing time of its teas. Try the scones, this shop’s pride, that go really well with the black tea, too. Located in the Kanda Jinbocho, Tea House TAKANO is a specialized black tea cafe where you can feel the warmth of its owners inside the shop where you can relax while reading a book.
※Photo is for illustration purposes
Black tea, a drink particular about the tea leaves used and brewed slowly with careful consideration regarding the time that the tea leaves open, is a truly a superb drink. This list contains a collection of shops where you should go to properly savor the aroma and taste of your drink rather than quench your thirst. So, enjoy teatime with the special blend of black teas that each of the cafes on this list offers.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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