Shizen Tea Blog

March 26, 2015


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Authentic Japanese Bamboo Tea Strainer

New Product!

Authentic Bamboo Tea Strainer!

We would like to introduce our new product Japanese Bamboo Tea Strainer! Enjoy your loose leaf teas with some authentic brewing style.

Step1: Add loose leaf tea

The best match with will be the Hojicha Tea. Since it is natural bamboo it will not be good to soak the tea strainer that long, teas with short brewing time will be the best, like the Hojicha.

Step2: Add water

Use hot water if using Hojicha and Genmaicha. As for senchas, please use warm water.

Step3: Steep

For Hojicha/Genmaicha, it will be around 30 seconds. For senchas, around one minute.

And Enjoy!!

Hope you enjoyed reading and wishing you a healthy happy tea time. If there are any questions please ask anytime.

Thank you!


February 18, 2015


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Healthiest way to infuse green tea

Green tea is now known for its health substances. Of course green tea itself is healthy, but depending on how you infuse your teas and what kind of green tea leaf you use, the amount of health substance extracted from the tea will differ.

This time, we would like to introduce how you can make one of the healthiest green tea by extracting the health substance to the fullest. There are roughly three main factors that you need to know to make one of the healthiest green tea.

1. Type of Green Tea: Sencha

In Japanese green tea, there are several types: Sencha, High grade sencha, Gyokuro, Genmaicha, Hojicha, and Bancha. You can check my other blog for specific explanation about each tea.

The tea leaf that contains the most catechin (the mighty health substance) is the sencha, not the high grade but the regular one. So it is important that you choose the sencha tea leaf when infusing.
As for the reason, please check out my other blog post about the tea leaves.

*Catechin is also known as EGCGs

2. Water Temperature: boiled hot water

Japanese green tea is mainly composed of Catechin and Amino acid (there are other substance too but the major ones will be this two). The amount of catechin and amino acid extracted will differ depending on the water temperature. Hotter the water temperature is  the more catechin will be extracted. We recommend the water temperature to be around 90 to 100 degrees Celsius (hot boiling water).

3. Infusion time: 5 minutes

Very simple, the longer you infuse the more catechin will be extracted. I would recommend about 5 minutes of infusion. Usually you will infuse for 1 minute, but 5 minutes will be enough to extract the catechin.


To infuse a healthy tea cup of Japanese green tea,

  1. Use sencha
  2. Pour hot water (100-90 degrees)
  3. Infuse for close to 5 minutes.

Please understand that more catechin is extracted the bitter it will taste. This bitterness you will taste is the healthy substance, catechin.

Personally, for tasting I would prefer warm water and infusion of 1minute, which will have more umami (amino acid), but once in a while it may be good to drink in this healthy style.

Hope you enjoyed reading and wishing you a healthy happy tea time. If there are any questions please ask anytime.

Thank you!

January 06, 2015


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Tea Notes: Tea Pot Kyusu – Banko Yaki Swan

A little late Happy New Year!! Hope it will be a great year for everyone:)

Today we would like to introduce our new product of tea pot kyusu.

One of the Best Entry Level Tea Pot Kyusu

This is one of my favorite tea pot. Also it is the tea pot that I use the most in my daily tea life. Why? Simply it is easy to use, easy to clean, and extracts great tea. It is made in a very simple structure you will see the cap is the size of the whole tea pot.


For that reason, it will be very simple to put in the teas and clean out the tea leaves. The size is very small that will actually fit on your hand.

Very good for one person and also can be used for tea drinking with 2-3 people using small tea cups. You will see the design that has the swan on the side which will be the handle.

Also Banko Yaki is known for more you use the more gloss (glint) and antique taste will appear in this tea pot. Please see the photo below, the left is the one I been using for more than one year and the one on the right is the brand new one. You can see that the color gets darker and it will show more old antique taste.

We would like to introduce the simple steps of steeping the tea.

Step 1: Adding Loose Leaf

First put approximate one forth of loose leaf tea This time we will be using ShiZen’s Organic Sencha Superior Green Tea.

Step 2: Add Water

Second put some warm water (around 80C)

Step 3: Steep and Pour

Wait for one minute and then pour.


You can check out the product page from here—-> Banko Yaki Swan

This will be absolutely great for people who wants to start loose leaf. Also great for people who are looking for reasonably priced MADE IN JAPAN tea pots.

If there are any questions please feel free to ask anytime.
Thank you! Hope you enjoyed!


October 17, 2014


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Something about Hojicha

Hojicha is a green tea that is roasted. The tea leaf itself is the same as the normal green tea (sencha), the only difference is the processing (roasting). The roasting process changes its taste, scent, and the nutrient composition creating it to be a whole different type of tea, the Hojicha.

How Hojicha is made

Japanese green tea go through a process of steaming, rolling, and drying. As for Hojicha after the drying, it gets roasted in a gas burner. This is when all the extra moisture in the tea leaf gets taken out. During this process, catechin (EGCGs) and caffeine goes out from the tea leaf along with the moisture. That is the reason why Hojicha is said to have low caffeine.

High skill of roasting is necessary in order to make good tasting  Hojicha. If you roast it too much it will smell and taste like a burnt tea leaves, you will need years of practice in order to make well roasted green tea (Hojicha). Our artisan in Shizuoka is said to be one of the top skilled tea roasters in Japan.



How to brew Hojicha

Hojicha is one of the simpliest Japanese tea to brew. Use one tea spoon of Hojicha for half a cup of serving. You do not have to worry about the water temperature, just pour in boiled hot water and wait for 30 seconds and you will be done. That’s it!

In Japan, Hojicha is served in high grade Japanese restaurants. Hojicha is used because it perfectly matches with dishes and meals. The taste of Hojicha will not get in the way of the meal and it also clears your throat when you have something that is oily/highly seasoned/strong taste meal. Hojicha is a great tea to have it with a meal.



What kind of kyusu (tea pot) to use

Since Hojjicha is used in drinking with meals and due to its clear refreshing taste it is drank in a rather large tea cup compared to normal green teas. Also the cost is lower compared to normal green tea so it is drank in larger amounts than green tea sencha. For that reason, large tea pots are used to brew Hojicha. On the other hand, high end sencha uses small tea pots. These are some of the tea pots that we provide that will match with the Hojicha tea.



Also I tried hojicha with potato chips, it matched very well. This tea is highly recommended taken with a meal/snack.

Hope you enjoyed and would give it a chance to try the Hojicha teas.

Thank you!

August 15, 2014


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Brewing Green Tea – Espresso Style

There are many ways of brewing green tea. Today I would like to explain one of the unique ways of brewing Japanese green tea. This is NOT an authentic way. For that you can look in here –> Brewing Guide ShiZen Tea.

I call this the espresso style and it is one of the way I use to find out the characteristics (taste, color, and aroma etc.) of the tea. It is very very simple.

What you need

You do not use any tea pot kyusu. You will need a small shallow bowl. If it has a spout to aid the pouring it will be the best.

  1. Loose Leaf (half of tea spoon)
  2. 60C/140F Warm Water (1/4 cup or even less depending on the bowl)
  3. Small Shallow Bowl (with a spout ideally)
  4. Small Tea Cup

The amount for loose leaf and warm water will vary depending on the bowl size.

This time I used the small beaker like glass ware I got from the Hyakuen Shop (Japanese version of Dollar Shop).



And used the Matsuba for the tea cup.



For the Loose leaf, we have used the Organic Sencha Superior Green Tea.

Step1: Add Tea Leaf and Prepare Water

Add the Sencha Superior loose leaf to your bowl and prepare warm water



Step2: Brew it for 2-3 minutes

After you put in the water brew for 2-3 minutes .




Pour the water so it will be slightly above the tea leaves. You will notice that the tea leaves will be floating on top.




While you are brewing, try smelling the tea. You will notice it will have a pretty strong aroma than usual brewing. Also you can see the tea leaves opening up and moving. You will not experience this in Tea Pot Kyusu brewing (unless its a clear glass kyusu) so it is pretty interesting.




Step3: Pour it out and Enjoy!

Please pour out the teas slowly or you will have many tea leaves ending up in your tea cup. You can even use a strainer if you have one.



Then you will have a very thick tea like espresso and you will notice the strong umami (savory) will spread through out your mouth. If you feel the bitterness too much it might be better to test in lower water temperature. You will clearly be able to notice the characteristics of the tea since everything is concentrated and strong.



You can also try second shots with the same tea leaves, but of course it will not be as strong as the first shot.

I recommend to use hi-end teas like Superior Sencha, but of course using genmaicha and hojicha will also be interesting.

Thank you for reading!


ShiZen Tea

August 08, 2014


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Tea Notes about Tea Pot Kyusu – Sakuraso -

Today we would like to review one of our tea pot kyusu, Sakuraso. It is named Sakuraso because it has the design of the flower called Sakuraso. This tea pot is relatively small and has the amount to make  0.85 cups.



The actual flower of the Sakuraso will be the shown below.



Traditional Arita Yaki Tea Pot

This tea pot is made by the pottery style called the Arita Yaki. This is a traditional style of pottery in Japan that has started out around 400 years ago. Of course, hand made with the handle on the side called “yokode” style in Japanese (“yoko” meaning side in Japanese).

The strainer/filter inside is called the obiami, which is built-in 360 degrees around the inside of tea pot.



Infuse Small Amount with High End Tea

This time we have used Organic sencha superior green tea to show how this tea pot infuses tea. It will be the best to use high grade tea with small amount of water. First we put one teaspoon of loose leaf tea inside the tea pot kyusu.



Add hot water (80C/176F) around 0.5-0.8 cups and infuse for one minute.



Smoothly Pours the Water

If you have two cups please pour it little by little to each cup alternatively. Maybe breaking it down in to 3 to 4 pours per cup may be just right. By breaking down the pouring into several times, it gives the water a chance to flow around inside the kyusu which will extract more flavor out of the tea leaf, so it is considered very important to break down the pouring.  You will notice that this tea pot kyusu will let the water out real smoothly leaving no water dripping out.



Pour till the Last Drop and Enjoy!

When you pour out the tea from the kyusu, do not forget to pour out everything, until the last drop! The last drop is said to have the most umami (savory). Also to have tasty second rounds with the same tea leaf, it is important that every drop is out of the tea pot kyusu. If there  is water left it will become very bitter and will get in the way of brewing great second infusions.



Thank you for reading to the end and hope you enjoyed. You will be able to purchase the tea pot and others from the following website.

If there are any questions please feel free to ask anytime. Thank you!

August 04, 2014


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Make your own Organic Iced Tea 2

Today I will go over another way to make Organic iced green tea with our ShiZen Tea. Really great for the hot summer. It will be very easy to make but this time it will take a little more time.

Things to Prepare (One Serving)

  1. Teapot (preferably a Japanese Teapot Kyusu)
  2. Organic Green Tea Loose Leaf: 1 teapoon (5g) (ShiZen Organic Sencha Superior Green Tea will work very well)
  3. Cold Water : 120-150ml
  4. Ice
  5. Tea Cup
  6. Organic Matcha (for second rounds)

We will be using our Sakuraso Tea Pot Kyusu

Step1: Prepare Tea Pot and add water

First, put 1 teaspoon of Organic Sencha Superior Green Tea and fill the Kyusu tea pot with ice. Then add cold water and infuse for 15 minutes.


Step2: Add Ice to Tea Cup and Pour

After steeping it for 15 minutes, then add your tea cup some ice and fill up your cup.


Step3: Add matcha powder, water and Enjoy!(for second infusion)

This step is for the second rounds. Usually if you infuse it twice the taste will be lighter for the second round. For that reason, I always recommend to add some Matcha to make the color more brighter and the taste more deeper. Just simply add some Matcha in your kyusu tea pot, like 1/3 of a scoop (not too much).  Add some cold water and you will have some of that light green color of Matcha.


There is no need to wait, just pour out the water right away. You will be surprised how beautiful the color comes out.



Enjoy your second round!


Hope you enjoyed! I understand that the first infusion of 15 minutes sounds very long. However, due to the low temperature of the water, it will not extract the bitterness. It will extract the umami (savory)of the tea, which will give great taste and flavor. Organic Sencha Green Tea will work great as well. Please try it on different teas and find out what you like the best.

Thank you!