CHAYA 1899 Tokyo is a modern teahouse with drinks and desserts focused on traditional Japanese tea — like Matcha, Houjicha, and Sencha. The cafe opened on February 21, 2020, and is located on the ground floor of Hotel 1899 Tokyo.
‘CHAYA’ is the tea-themed hotel’s latest effort in providing an all-rounded experiential stay for Japanese tea lovers. Located in a peaceful area of Shimbashi, ‘CHAYA’ brands itself as a teahouse where customers can relax in and escape the hustle of Tokyo city.
It’s tea time
The star of CHAYA is definitely its customizable 'Rich Matcha Latte'. Customers can choose the amount of matcha powder they would like in their latte, anywhere between 3 to 6 grams. The recommended amount is 4 grams of matcha, which gives a strong umami taste without being bitter. Watch as CHAYA’s tea experts make your tea right in front of you, using a chasen or bamboo whisk to perfectly mix your matcha latte. The freshly brewed matcha latte is available both hot and iced.
Lovers of Japanese tea would also know that there is more than just Matcha. Unlike touristy establishments that serve only (sweetened) matcha, CHAYA prides itself on having a variety of authentic Japanese tea. The cafe also offers Houjicha (Roasted Green Tea), Wakoucha (Japanese Black Tea), Sencha (Green Tea) and even Matcha Beer. These teas also come in the form of lattes, pure tea, and even tea sodas.
There’s always room for dessert
Of course, no cafe would be complete without photogenic desserts. The hotel expanded its range of tea-based dessert offerings with the opening of CHAYA, which was previously the hotel's deli & bar.
CHAYA sets itself apart from the rest with the introduction of its ‘1899 Matcha Bread’. With a striking green hue, the meticulously designed pastry pairs well with its seasonal fillings both visually and taste-wise. The bread has a subtle matcha flavor which is not too sweet, making it the perfect vessel for fresh strawberries, anko paste (red bean) and white chocolate.
My personal favorites were the tea and sake cakes. While its looks are unassuming, the aromatic cakes were moist and flavorful - with a subtle aftertaste of sake.
CHAYA's gelatos come in Matcha, Rich Matcha, Houjicha, Vanilla, and seasonal flavors. For those who enjoy the aroma of tea, I'd recommend the Rich Matcha gelato. It has a powerful matcha taste without being too milky, which prevents it from being overwhelmingly rich and filling.
The teahouse interior
With sleek wooden interiors resembling the inside of a traditional tea box, CHAYA's modern design is a feast for the eyes. The spacious 38-seater cafe also makes it a good spot to study, work, or just have a relaxing afternoon. For those who wish to enjoy their tea leisurely, there are also a variety of matcha and tea-related books available to borrow.
For lovers of Japanese tea, definitely stop by the CHAYA cafe for an authentic yet modern teahouse experience. Tourists can also take it one step further by staying in one of Hotel 1899 Tokyo's tea-themed rooms to round off your tea pilgrimage.