Everyone in Yorkshire likes a nice cup of tea – but in Japan they take it to the next level.
And this very special experience is coming to York, with the opening of the city’s first Japanese tea room.
The brainchild of Frankie and Tatsu Ozaki, the Ippuku Tea House is set to open next month.
They have just launched a crowdfunding campaign on the York Hive pages to raise £16,000 towards the project.
Their aim is to offer authentic Japanese home-style food and drink as part of a wider experience of the culture of the country.
Frankie and Tatsu took over the Bullivant Of York tearoom on Blake Street in August. And it is this venue they are planning to convert into Ippuku – the name means ‘one cup’ in Japanese.
Go to the Ippuku crowdfunding page here
It will come complete with its own themed garden with bright red parasol.
As well as serving up “the kind of Japanese food that is trending in Japan right now”, it will sell Japanese food, homeware books and other products.
Downstairs they are planning a “downtown Osaka-style Izakaya bar – screening Japanese cinema and documentaries”. Look out for unique drinks, like pour-over coffee, sake and whisky.
They will also hold events and workshops centred on Japanese tea and culture.
“We would love to share our knowledge and passion for authentic Japanese food, drink and culture in our modern cafe/bar,” they say.
A late convert
Frankie and Tatsu have been selling Japanese teas online for three years. On their website you can buy various green and loose leaf teas, plus gift sets.
Tatsu is from Osaka in Japan but he’s only been a convert to a decent cuppa after he moved to Britain in 2005.
“Before then I wasn’t drinking tea or coffee but more fizzy sugary drink. However, I started to drink black tea thanks to the tea culture – and then that made me interested in Japanese green tea,” he told YorkMix.
He and Frankie met at Wimbledon College of Art. They lived in London for more than ten years but Frankie, who is from Saltburn by the Sea, missed the North.
Something new for Yorkshire
Setting up a cafê in London was too expensive and when Frankie visited in 2015 and they thought it the perfect spot for both business and home.
“I had liked York and said yes – then proposed to her. We moved to York last August and had a wedding on the North York Moors in blooming heather,” Tatsu said.
They think their tea house – scheduled to open on Saturday, October 21 – will bring something new to York and Yorkshire.
“As the only cultural representation in York is only ‘Pan-Asian’ cuisine we feel the locals and visitors of York would relish an authentic experience.
“But in the one region where tea is truly celebrated there is no one celebrating the world-wide rich culture and history of tea.”