T Ching Contributing Writer

Holly Helt grew up in Japan sipping Japanese tea from the tender age of three. With a burning desire to share this magical beverage with the world, she founded Chiki Tea and wrote the book Green is the New Black – the Glorious Rise of Japanese Tea. Chiki Tea, based in Japan, works with artisan farmers in Kyushu that Holly knows personally from years of cultivating these relationships. Representing the best matcha in Japan and working with masters to produce exclusive loose leaf teas, Chiki Tea exports products that are not available outside of Japan.

Holly has studied two methods of tea ceremony, both Urasenke and lesser known Yabunouchi, which has direct lineage to Sen-no Rikyu (known as the father of the tea ceremony), and is the school of practice for samurai. In 2013 she co-founded Chiki Tea – a Japanese/American fusion pairing Japanese green teas with Western flavors such as brownies, scones and cheesecake.

The flagship Chiki Tea café and retail outlet in Nakatsu (Kyushu) is fast becoming regarded as the go-to place for great-tasting matcha from Yame and premium kabuse senchas from Kagoshima but is also famous for Holly’s family recipes for granola, cookies, muffins, and cakes.

Chiki Tea is a UK company with a Japanese subsidiary.


Chiki Tea

Posts by Holly Helt