Maruyama Nori is a famous Japanese company specialized in nori seaweeds, but, from 1980, it also started selling green tea, first in Japan, then abroad. Maruyama has opened its quite luxurious Parisian Jugetsudo tea-house in 2008, in the left-bank area of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The interior design of the place is the work of Kuma Kengo, one of Japan’s most proeminent architects, who also created the Pompidou Center in Metz.

Everything in Jugetsudo is imbued with elegance and peacefulness, with delicate and natural shades of wood, reminiscent of Japanese traditional tea-rooms, and large windows that bring light inside. There are only a few seats, at the counter, but that also reinforces the feeling of exclusiveness and quietness, and allows one to follow the precise gestures of the ladies who prepare delicious sencha cups or perfectly whipped matcha bowls. Looking at them is somewhat fascinating, and participates in the general atmosphere of calmness. Prices are high, but the various teas are of very good quality, and prepared with great competence, in order to bring out the best of them. Teas are served with delicious salted or sweet bites (senbei cakes, chocolates…), which can enhance the flavour of the drink and which follow the rhythm of seasons. The visual aspect is not forgotten, as always in Japan, and the trays are delicately arranged. A real chashitsu room on the basement floor regularly hosts tea ceremonies led by a master of one of the great Japanese chanoyu schools.

Jugetsudo is not only a tea-house but also a shop, and it is possible to buy the teas presented on the menu, as well as other products, such as weeds. A selection of beautiful objects is also available and is artfully displayed on the shelves and in the windows.

 

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