Story of Smile Tea
Based in Kagoshima, Japan, Birouen Tea House (美老園 in Japanese characters) has served Japanese green tea more than 130 years. Birouen means "age gracefully" and our Tea House has aged together with local people and Japanese tea.
Kagoshima is the southernmost part of Japan, excluding the Okinawa islands and is far from the mega cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, and has a mild climate similar to the Mediterranean or Southern California.
Born and raised in Kagoshima, Japan, in 2013 Yuki was sent to the US to expand the tea business. He remained positive while struggling with how to offer Japanese green tea and matcha to the local people. While appreciating Japanese traditional tea culture, Yuki wanted to try something new and different.
Based in Los Angeles, California, Ken, Japanese natural food fanatic, met Yuki in 2014. Having worked with many Japanese people and companies, Ken quickly realized that Yuki and his colleagues were very open to new ideas and challenges.
Most importantly, they were always smiling…which was unusual and very surprising! Their openness is very different from the typical Japan culture, which is more quiet and composed, and Ken loved their non-traditional ways.
We want you to enjoy our ceremonial grade matcha any way you’d like! When you have plenty of time, enjoy a hot matcha in the traditional Japanese way with a matcha bowl and bamboo whisk or when in a hurry, just add matcha and water into a bottle, then shake and go! In the Smile Tea world, there are no boundaries.
Our motto, "one drop connects people" is very special to us. We believe one drop of tea connects family, friends and all people.
So gather, slow down and while enjoying a sip of tea, we hope you smile.