Kura Café Yanozen
Enjoy Japanese tea as drink or sweets
By Fabienne Hofer-Uji
Japan is often associated with green tea, especially Matcha green tea powder, which is used in Japanese tea ceremony. As one of the most famous green tea cultivation areas, Uji, bears the same name as my husband’s family, and as I have a soft spot fore everything with Matcha flavor, like Matcha green tea itself, Matcha Latte, Matcha ice cream or Matcha cake, I absolutely wanted to find a café specialized on Matcha a little bit outside the city center.
Who seeks, shall find: and so did I. Near Yotsubashi station I discovered the teahouse s Kura Café Yanozen. .
The café is located in a building with two entrances. The one on the left side leads into the tea shop Yanoen, founded in 1959. This tea shop offers tea from the Yano production in Ujitawara (Kyoto), whose tradition dates back to 1836. But you don’t have to travel in time to enjoy Japanese tea in an rustic ambiance. Just take the entrance on the right and visit the café. In a high room, under big dark wooden crossbeams, in dim light and to the gentle melodies of the Zurich Symphony Orchestra you can lay back and indulge in the pleasure of different kinds of Uji tea.
In Kura Café Yanozen you can choose between GENMAI (green tea with roasted rice), HÔJICHA (roasted green tea), GYOKURO (green tea with more intense flavor, that helps to relax), KARIGANU (refreshing green tea with a sweet note), KYOBAN (green tea with little caffeine), and SENCHA (a green tea variety, which has a good balance between aromatic and bitter taste) the tea which appeals most to you. All six types of tea are served in a small traditional tea pot big enough for two infusions.
If you still prefer a good old cup of coffee, you’ll definitely be delighted by the aromatic Yanozen-coffee. The coffee is served in pot with a crotched cover, so that it stays warm, while you’re relaxing. It takes some time until the coffee is prepared, but accompanied by three crunchy, slightly salty tasking cookies it is worth the wait.
If you have a sweet tooth the Matcha Float – Matcha green tea with vanilla ice cream – the Matcha pudding, the Matcha or Hôjicha jelly cubes (warabimochi) and of course the café’s speciality, the Matcha and Hôjicha ice cream will make your heart leap with joy. The flavor of the soft cream alternates every week between Matcha and Hôjicha. On the café’s Facebook page you can check the flavor of the current week. The ice cream is available in the tastes tea, vanilla and tea-vanilla-mix. For an extra Japanese touch, order your ice cream with atsuki-beans or in the combination with chiffon cake and jelly cubes in the weekly tea aroma. Enjoy!
Opening Hours: Mo – Sa, 12:00 – 18:00
Station: Yotsubashi, Exit 2 (ca. 5 minutes)
Price: 1200 – 1500 Yen ($$)