Around 40% of Japan’s green tea is produced in Shizuoka, making it a bit of an authority when it comes to tea. This knowledge and craftsmanship isn’t exclusive to plantations, but trickles down the supply chain to all the processors, suppliers, shops, and cafes in the region, making Shizuoka the perfect place to try—and buy—green tea.
Maruzen’s concrete-and-glass minimalist design gives the shop the air of a laboratory—which is fitting, as this cafe’s exacting standards of tea preparation seem more scientific than culinary. Tea is roasted right in the shop in made-to-order micro batches, and customers have the opportunity to choose the exact temperature at which their teas should be processed. According to Maruzen, even minor shifts in centigrade result in new flavours, which visitors can experience immediately via hot or iced single-origin teas (500 yen) or frosty cups of roasted tea gelato (450 for a single and 700 for a hefty double portion). Customers have the opportunity to choose between 4 different roasting temperature for their teas: 100℃ and 130℃ for sencha green tea, and 160℃ and 200℃ for Hojicha tea.
CHA10 serves organic matcha both take in and take out, making it convenient as a pit stop en route to the nearby Shin-Shizuoka Station. Their mixed menu includes plenty of matcha-infused treats, like their ice-cold take on matcha anmitsu: matcha ice cream, red beans, and chewy snow-white mochi (a regular size is 600 yen, while a large is 1200). They’ve also got bite-size treats like a green tea “jar cake” (500 yen) and a matcha nitro cocktail mixed with Bailey’s for your evening tipple (600 yen).
chagama Tea House
chagama offers a premium selection of around 70 teas, so it’s ideal for those who find it hard to find a favorite or adventurous drinkers looking to sip something new. Shop attendants are quick to offer you samples of anything on their shelves, so you can rely on your taste buds to lead you to your next perfect cup. Sidle up to chagama’s in-shop tea cafe for both hot and cold tea treats: sencha espresso (made in a specially calibrated espresso machine) made from roasted tea are sure to have you coming back for more.
Hamasa might be famous for their comprehensive online shop, but they’ve been around long before the dawn of the Internet. Originally founded in 1868, the brand ships high-quality organic green teas around the world, but store visitors can save on postage by picking up bricks of fresh genmaicha, sencha, gyokuro, and other Japanese teas themselves. Like many loose-tea shops, Hamasa also runs a small service cafe with delectable treats like a cool and rich green tea shaved ice served in a hollowed-out bamboo shoot.
Locomani Organic Coffee
We’ve included two bonus listings for those who want a hit of caffeine but need a quick break from green tea. Coffee lovers rejoice: Locomani serves a wonderfully organic cup of joe. Vegetarians and vegans should be equally excited, as Locomani’s seasonal and local meals are almost all vegetarian or vegan and include heaps of organic Shizuoka vegetables. Opened in 2009 by husband-and-wife duo Shigeyuki and Hiroko Aoshima, the quaint cottage exterior houses a cozy wooden counter where a variety of organic coffees are served along with lunch, dinner, and mid-meal snacks. The Aoshimas’ farmer friends supply them with local produce from around the prefecture, which finds its way into creative dishes like veggie katsu cutlets served with apple miso sauce, organic veggie curries, and baked goods made with rice flour and local fruit.
Don’t be fooled by Cyohachi Coffee’s barebones interior. Though the shop may look unassuming, its homestyle menu really sticks to your ribs. A mostly local menu includes lunch and dinner favourites like a zesty hamburg steak served with salad and a mix of sides like boiled vegetables with tofu and homemade pickles (1080 yen). As for drinks, enjoy a full service espresso menu in addition to blend coffee and selections of both black and green teas. The first floor’s lunch counter has an active atmosphere, but head upstairs to enjoy a more serene meal.