At the invitation of Keiko-san, a Fukuoka native I met at Local Milk’s workshop in Kyoto back in Spring 2017, we visited Yorozu, a tea salon in Akasaka, a stone’s throw away from the bustling Tenjin area.
As we entered, we found a large modern looking kettle at the center. The seating area can fit about 12 people, counter style. The main set menu are tea & wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets), a choice of tea and one or two wagashi for ¥1,200 and ¥1,500 respectively.
The choices of tea can be overwhelming especially for someone who don’t read Japanese. The tea master in charge tried his best to explain each different types of tea and in the end, I ordered the Gyokuro.
Gyokuro is a type of green tea produced in the higher elevation of the mountain in a shaded area. The Gyokuro I chose comes from Uji, an area near Kyoto famous for its green tea.
The brewing method is very interesting with the first brew uses warm water at the temperature of 45ºC. The resulting flavor was umami, a soup-like taste.
For the second brewing the water temperature were increased to 75ºC in which the familiar green tea bitterness can be tasted here. At this point the wagashi that I picked was served: a nice bowl of green tea warabi mochi with kinako powder. The sweet wagashi and the bitterness of the second brew of the Gyokuro really compliments each other.
Lastly with the third brew at 90ºC gone is the bitterness of the second brew instead an elegant taste of refreshness comes out. It’s a great experience drinking tea in this little shop and I hope when you visit Fukuoka you would make the effort to visit.
Yorozu is a hidden gem tucked in a quiet neighborhood. It’s a serene place which one can enjoy a good cup of tea. It is the place to refresh your body and soul.
Akasaka Mokuzo 1F
2-3-32 Akasaka, Chuo-Ku