Readers are always sharing new “Japanese finds” with me either when I am traveling or at home in the Bay area. This blog post about Kettl Tea is as a result of my niece, Corina Seligman. (Have you read her guest post on sake btw?) She knows of my passionate love of all things Matcha and suggested I go. Since I was staying in Brooklyn for a few nights after dropping my daughter off to college for her freshman year, (Sob, sigh, pride…) the subway was a breeze since my friend and hostess, Susan, is the Subway Master! I can’t wait to go back.
During a recent trip to New York City to settle my daughter into her first year of college, I discovered Kettl Tea, an absolutely charming little Japanese tea and ceramic shop, situated in a small gallery space, based in Brooklyn. Although Zach Mangan, the owner, wasn’t there during my visit (I found out later that he was in Japan sourcing tea), my friend Susan and I were excellently taken care by Emma Porter, who was managing the store in his absence.
It was a very hot and humid late summer day, so I asked Emma if she could make us an iced Matcha flight. She served us two matchas to enjoy. Uchu, from Uji City, Japan was classically elegant, sophisticated with a mild tart finish. The other one was Hibiki from Hoshinomura, Japan, was creamy, smooth and had a lingering grassy aroma that I adore. Susan had never had Matcha, but fell in love with the taste. Being Matcha-obsessed, I was in heaven. This little oasis of serenity was so enticing, that we lingered over our Matchas, talking to Emma about Kettl’s teas and exquisite teaware ceramics, and her passion for kaiseki ryori (traditional Japanese multi-course haute cuisine) for a long time.
They call themselves a NYC/Fukuoka based tea company. Like Breakaway Matcha on the West Coast, Kettl, sources their teas directly from 14 different growers/suppliers that they have a personal and ongoing relationship with from 8 different prefectures in Japan. They consider them all to be their partners. Their teas are shipped weekly from Fukuoka, Japan. Once again, I love finding small companies in the States who are obsessed with introducing hand-crafted Japanese beverages and or foods. I will be writing about another find of mine called The Japanese Pantry here in the Bay Area in an upcoming posting.
Next time, I plan to make a day of it and visit Okonomi Restaurant, which serves Japanese breakfast in the mornings and Ramen at night! I love it! Like Kettl, they also offer cooking classes. According to Kettl’s website, Japanese tea is their passion. No doubt about that!
150 Ainslie St., 2nd Floor, Brooklyn NY, 11211
Open Weekdays 11am – 4pm / Weekends 11am – 6pm
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
All photos © copyright Jonathan Hokklo.