Lonely Planet Writer

The world’s first hand-dripped green tea shop has opened in Tokyo

A minimalist style shop dedicated solely to the art of hand-dripped green tea has opened in Tokyo, making it the first of its kind to be unveiled anywhere in the world.

Hnad Dripped Tea Tokyo
Tokyo Saryo is located in the neighbourhood of Sangen-Jaya. Image by Tokyo Saryo
Green Tea Tokyo
The shop uses special hand-dripping techniques to extract the best flavour out of each tea selection. Image by Tokyo Saryo

Located in the neighbourhood of Sangen-Jaya in Tokyo, Tokyo Saryo serves hand-dripped green tea with brewing techniques that focus specifically on temperature and extraction rate in order to get the best results. Opened by two designers, the uber-modern interior of the shop is bright, simple and minimalist, seating just nine customers at a time. A wooden bar sits on top of a concrete floor, wrapping around the tea server. The shop offers a wide variety of single origin teas from all over Japan, with an emphasis on flavour and high quality.

Tokyo Tea
The simple shop only seats nine people at a time. Image by Tokyo Saryo
Green Tea Japan
The shop’s owners wanted to change how Japanese people approach drinking green tea by offering better selections. Image by Tokyo Saryo

The shop serves the tea through special drippers made from copper and wood with a ceramic dripper. The design enables the leaves to sit in the water for the perfect amount of time, resulting in what the shop owners call the perfect brew. The shop also strives to tackle the established tea market in Japan by offering variety as opposed to shop bought blended teas that are purchased wholesale. ‘In our country, coffee has become a huge movement in the past three years. People love to consume goods from overseas and support industries like farms, paying close attention to where the beans come from. But what about domestic industries? Many buyers don’t focus on the taste or flavour of the tea they drink and for a long time, no essential design approach was created in the region. These problems prevent consumers from getting good green tea and I wanted to change that,’ Creative Director of the shop Mikito told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Tokyo Tea
The shop also offers simple food pairings to accompany the brews. Image by Tokyo Saryo
Creative Director Mikito said that care should be taken to distinguish the origins of the best teas for best results.
Creative Director Mikito said that care should be taken to distinguish the origins of the best teas for best results. Image by Tokyo Saryo

Tokyo Saryo also serves some simple food items to pair with the tea, including seaweed wrapped savoury snacks, dried fruit yokan and sweet baked confectioneries. According to Mikito, the neighbourhood that houses Tokyo Saryo is a perfect fit for the shop. ‘Sangen-Jaya was the best place to open our first store. ‘Jaya’ means tea house. The place has its roots in tea. And the atmosphere around here is really nice and cosy, it comes from the fusion of old and new,’ said Mikito.

The kitchen and preparation area.
The kitchen and preparation area. Image by Tokyo Saryo
The tea is dripped through ceramic, sitting on a structure of wood and copper.
The tea is dripped through ceramic, sitting on a structure of wood and copper. Image by Tokyo Saryo

Tokyo Saryo is open six days a week from 11:00 – 20:00. More information on visiting the shop is available at the Tokyo Saryo website.

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