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Jan 14, 2019

Sip Japan's finest teas at this cool Tokyo café.
Step into Sakuraï and you are instantaneously met with an abundance of light and contemporary fixtures. You might be forgiven for thinking you’re gracing a Manhattan kitchen and not one of Tokyo’s most esteemed, albeit up-to-the-minute, teahouses. Advertised as a tea experience, this exquisitely finished café only seats a few people and puts an emphasis on personal familiarity. As you seat yourself at the black, marble island you can sample the best Japanese tea in a stylish but relaxed setting as you’re taken on a journey of this iconic beverage.

The eponymously named store is the brain child of Shinya Sakuraï who studied for over a decade to cement his knowledge of tea. Sakuria personally takes customers through some of the most famed Japanese teas which have historically been used for medicinal purposes. The high-quality teas are elegantly lined up and you can opt to taste them individually or enjoy the tasting course, compromising five different teas, curated by Sakuria himself. Tea is more than a drink here; it’s an art form. The water is cooled to a specific temperature to perfectly brew each variety, enhancing its taste and maximizing its medicinal properties.

A must try when you visit Sakuraï is Gyokuro – regarded as one of the most lavish teas native to Japan. The unmistakable notes of umami are Gyokuro’s defining feature. Teas can be served at different strengths to adhere to personal palates and used as quasi-liquor when mixed with juices and other ingredients to make innovative tea cocktails. Local Japanese snacks are perfectly matched with the beverages and you can even eat the leaves which are akin to flavorsome spinach. To finish your visit to Sakuraï, sip on one of the vodka and rum infused teas which are blended to perfection and offer a new take on this favorite breakfast beverage.



この店を考案したのは、お茶の研鑽を10年以上積んだ櫻井 真也(さくらい しんや)です。日本茶はかつて薬として飲まれていたと言いますが、ここでは日本茶の中でも最上級のものを一人ひとりの好みに合わせて提供しています。エレガントに並べられた高級茶葉の中から、自分の好きな茶葉を選んで味わうことも、櫻井が厳選した5種類の茶葉を飲み比べるテイスティングコースを選択することもできます。この店では、お茶は単なる飲み物ではなく、一種の芸術として扱われています。お湯の温度をそれぞれの茶葉に適した温度にまで下げることによって、味わいだけでなくお茶の効能も最大限に高めています。