I founded Saihōji in order to share the finest Japanese matcha and matcha teaware with other likeminded tea lovers. For me, no other tea compares to fine ceremonial-grade matcha, and with Saihōji, I get to shine a light on the artisans who produce it.
I'm James, the founder of Saihōji. I was inspired to create Saihōji after travelling through Japan and experiencing artisanal matcha firsthand. I'd enjoyed matcha before, but never like this.
Watching the tea maker carefully prepare my bowl was hypnotic. The aromas that lifted from the gently whisked tea were sublime. Then the chawan was presented to me and I took my first sip... it was paradise. Beautiful flavours of sugar snap peas and buttery asparagus mixed with grassy, umami sea kelp notes. The texture was luscious and creamy. It was an extraordinary, yet very understated, moment – a humble distillation of Japanese craft and detail.
I felt a blissful calm as the caffeine and theanine took hold, then was buoyed by the matcha's lingering flavours and energising effect.
On the same trip I was also moved by a visit to the Koke-Dera (aka 'moss temple') in Kyoto, a place renowned for its enchanting, verdantly green moss gardens.
Peaceful and lush, mysterious and ancient, I found Koke-Dera to be very profound. Being there amplifies your feelings and connects you with the stillness of the world.
These two experiences left an indelible impression on me. As someone who loves to discover extraordinary food and drink – and gets a thrill from enthusing others about it – I knew I had to share my matcha experience.
For me, enjoying fine food and drink isn't about seeking out the most expensive, it's about finding those products that perfectly balance nature and human craft to create something unique.
The skill, ingenuity and attention to detail that go into producing top quality matcha tea – or artisan chocolate, fine wine and single estate coffee for that matter – is something we need to cherish. Through our interest we keep these products alive, and through our enjoyment we deepen our appreciation of the world.
So it seemed apt to name the brand Saihōji – an ancient name for the moss temple.
Obviously the lush green colour of matcha powder reflects Koke-Dera's intensely green gardens, but it's more than just a sensorial connection for me. Koke-Dera is a place that inspires tranquility and peaceful contemplation, and that's exactly what I get from fine ceremonial matcha tea.
Prepare a cup and feel yourself attune to the stillness of the moment. Let its colour, aroma and flavours enliven your senses, then experience the rush of blissful energy as it soothes and stimulates you.
Sound good? Then I welcome you to Saihōji, your matcha tea paradise.
Bring Your Senses To Life
Everything we do at Saihōji is a celebration of the exquisite flavours and sublime effects of top quality matcha.
We work closely with small family-owned Japanese farms and artisan producers to bring you the very best tea. To complement our rare and exclusive matcha, we also import a range of handcrafted teaware and utensils to help make your matcha ceremony extra special. Every cup of matcha should be a blissful indulgence from start to finish, so we do all we can to help you get the most from your experience.
Fine matcha green tea is a uniquely Japanese creation. In its flavours, sensations and Zen-like ceremony, matcha brings together the country's refined craft and distinctive green tea terroirs.
Our tea is produced in Uji and Nishio, two of Japan's finest matcha producing areas. The plants are grown by farmers who take the utmost care in nurturing healthy leaves, carefully shielding them from the sun in the weeks before harvest to boost their character. Only the tender young leaves are selected, taken rapidly to be processed so all the plant's character is expressed.
The artisans we work with don't cut any corners when crafting our matcha. They meticulously select, sort, steam, de-vein, dry and then stone-grind the leaves in a slow, careful process that transforms the vibrant green leaves into a silky powder while retaining all their verdant richness.
With every cup of Saihōji matcha we want you to enjoy the full beauty of this unique tea.
Everything we do honours the nature that produced it and the artisans who crafted it. At Saihōji we delight in bringing you the perfect matcha tea experience.