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by Marin Matzuzawa, staff writer


“We’d like to invite people with our selection of 40 kinds of tea, which come from Taiwan and Japan,” said Tony Yang, who owns and operates the tea house with his wife Mie Tsukuda. “Our tea is enjoyed through taste, sight, and smell,” Yang added.

A fountain, a stone sculpture, and the pleasant sound of flowing water welcome guests into the tea house’s soothing atmosphere.

Antique and contemporary Chinese furnishings were obtained from a Chinese shop in O‘ahu. “We wanted to create a sophisticated image inside the tea-house,” Tsukuda said.

When customers come, Yang and Tsukuda always offer advice on choosing a tea, and they show how to brew it. Taiwanese tea, they said, has a pungent yet delicate smell compared to Japanese tea. “If you want a relaxed effect on your body, you will choose Taiwanese tea,” Yang said.

Japanese tea has a deeper taste, he added, and a reputation for good health. It contains vitamins C, B, and E, amino acids, and caffeine. Some of the Japanese teas are thought to help prevent cancer, and reduce cholesterol, and are antibacterial and antiviral.

Cha no ma orders teas directly from Taiwan’s tea factories. Japanese teas come through a wholesaler called K’s planet, Inc.

Instructions for drinking Taiwanese and Japanese teas differ. Drink Taiwanese tea between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Yang said. Japanese tea requires a water temperature of 120 degrees.
When you drink Taiwanese tea, you should prepare Chaike (a bamboo case), two cups of Nomi and Kagi (cups of drink and smell), a pot and a filter. “Steeping Taiwanese tea gets longer from the second cup. You should count 15 seconds longer each time you pour hot water into the pot,” Yang said.

“ It usually takes one minute to steep Japanese tea,” said Kazuhito Yoshikawa, “After the second cup, just subtract 15 seconds for each cup.”

Recommended teas at Cha no mas are Jade and Oriental Beauty from Taiwan, Gyokuro and Sencha Ohkawa from Japan. The name Jade came from the green color of the wet and open leaves. The tea itself is fragrant and floral, and it has a sweet taste.

Oriental Beauty is a sweet, brown, Taiwanese Oolong-flavored tea with an aroma of honey and mint. It is good for hangovers and people who are on a diet.

Gyokuro is one of the most famous Japanese teas, widely enjoyed for its rich and sweet taste. Sencha Ohkawa is also a common Japanese tea with a rich and flavorful taste from the tea leaves themselves.

Cha no ma Tea House also provides blended teas in flavors such as rose, osmanthus, orchid, and coconut. “Your request is always welcome, and we will make your own special tea,” Tsukuda says, “We will also have new teas on our menu such as Pikake and Aloalo. This will be a good experience of bringing Hawai‘i into the tea world.”

131 Kaiulani Ave, King’s Village 2F
Phone: (808)-393-8238
Open daily: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
20 percent discount for all HPU students



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