Yasu Kakegawa’s shop is an absolute must for all Japanese tea lovers or for those who want to learn more about this staple of Japanese culture. Hidden in a small and quiet street, just behind the hustle and bustle of the Pompidou Center, this tiny place is a treasure trove of Japanese quality teas, all carefully selected by the owner. Yasu Kakegawa is a passionate gourmet (with also a large knowledge on wine or chocolate) who has been living in France for many years now. He warmly welcomes visitors, offering them to pause for a moment. Time flies listening to his explanations about the characteristics of each tea and watching him prepare his teas with great seriousness (even checking infusion time on an old-fashioned pocket-watch!). Yasu Kakegawa also puts a strong focus in giving a human quality to tea production, far from the faceless and tasteless industrial tea-bags, and he enjoys talking about the tea producers, whom he knows personally and visits each year during harvest time.

Quality teas can be pricy, but Yasu Kakegawa had the very good idea to design postcard-size samples, which one can easily bring back home or send by mail to a friend. Yasu Kakegawa also regularly organizes tea-tasting sessions, for those who want to go further in mastering the art of preparing and drinking tea. His aim is to make this sometimes intimidating ritual accessible even for beginners, who can learn in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.  Yasu Kakegawa also presents a small selection of nice and authentic Japanese teaware, like small tokoname teapots or matcha bowls. Very aware of the importance of using an appropriate water in the success of the brewing process (and also knowing the awful hardness of French tap-water), Yasu Kakegawa even started selling German spring water, which he considers perfect for Japanese teas and of a good value for money.

So, if you want to leave for a short while the agitation of Paris or dream to go for a trip to Japan without boarding on a plane, go and visit Yasu Kakegawa’s boutique!