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5 Coffee (and Tea) Workshops in Japan

For the caffeine lovers, here are five places to go for coffee or tea workshops in Japan.

By 5 min read

Are you a caffeine lover looking for new experiences to spice up your routine in Japan? Or are you interested in taking the first steps to get your barista certification?

Whether you want to learn the best way to make drip coffee, latter art or master the art of tea ceremony, here are five workshops scattered across Japan.

Choose from a variety to experience a traditional tea ceremony, as well as learn barista skills to become a professional (home) barista.

1. Barista Training Lab For the Serious Coffee Lover

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For serious coffee lovers, level up your coffee brewing skills at Barista Training Lab.

If you’re looking to learn all the skills a professional barista or a coffee lover would need to know to make your own preferred brew, look no further than Barista Training Lab. They offer all sorts of classes that cover brewing, roasting and tasting. They also have regular and customized training, and workshops to certify yourself as a SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) Barista.

All beans are specially sourced, and as they start from the basics, anyone is welcome to join. All classes are in Japanese so it’d be a great opportunity to put your language skills to good use.

Recommended for: Professional grade classes to become a barista
Price: From ¥14,000 for three classes 
Time: Varies per class
1-18-2 2F Narihira, Sumida-ku, Tokyo - Map

2. For Hobbyists: UCC Coffee Academy

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Sign up for one or two classes as your first foray into the world of coffee.

For coffee lovers, UCC, or Ueshima Coffee Company, offers a full array of coffee workshops in both Tokyo and Kobe, as well as from the comfort of your home. From a coffee experience course, basic to professional courses, as well as specialty coffee courses, there are a ton of different workshops available for different levels of coffee expertise, with different lengths of time you’re willing to commit.

If you’re a coffee lover, it might be an interesting experience to get to know that cup of coffee in your home or office. Caveat? You’ll need to speak Japanese for this one.

Recommended for: Coffee lovers of all levels both in-person and online
Price: From ¥3,300
Time: At least an hour and a half for a short course
Branches in Tokyo and Kobe

3. Learn the Basics of Coffee at Tokumitsu Coffee

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Learn all the basics to brew the perfect cup of coffee.

Tokumitsu Coffee in Sapporo prides itself on delivering the best handmade roasted coffee. They offer monthly classes with a basic coffee starter workshop, as well as more comprehensive classes on drip and espresso coffee, and how to make the best cup through hands-on experimentation. You’ll be learning from a professional barista how they prep for a cup of that perfect brew in-store, and best of all whether you’re a drip or an espresso lover, you’ll be able to choose what you want to learn in-depth. It’s a great way to learn about the different types of beans and ways of preparing that perfect cup of coffee to change up your morning routine.

Classes are held 3 times a week at different locations across Sapporo depending on the session, and participants are also encouraged to bring their own pots from home to recreate the home experience.

Recommended for: Beginners for learning the basics of coffee
Price: From ¥4,500
Time: Around two hours per class
Three locations across Sapporo

4. Grind, Blend and Drink Matcha at Shizuoka Tea Museum

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A perfect introduction into the world of matcha.

Visiting Mount Fuji? The Shizuoka Prefecture side of Mount Fuji is home to the largest tea-producing area. There, you’ll find the Shizuoka Tea Museum, where you can have a taste of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in a teahouse designed by a famous tea master Kobori Enshu. Try your hand at grinding matcha, tea blending and drinking various types of tea in the hands-on experience corner of the museum. There are multiple sessions throughout the day, so you can opt for a session that suits your own timing.

For tea aficionados, it’s the best place to be, as you can partake in all the experiences that they offer, and also learn all about the tea industry in Japan and also Shizuoka.

Recommended for: Tea lovers who want to try everything from blending to grinding to drinking tea
Price: ¥300 yen for admission, and from ¥200 depending on experience
Time: From 20 mins onwards
3053-2 Kanayafujimicho, Shimada, Shizuoka - Map

5. Participate in A Traditional Matcha and Sencha Ceremony at Fukujuen

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Ever gone to a night time tea ceremony? Now might be your chance.

Fukujuen is a Kyoto tea shop dating back to 1790. At their flagship store in Kyoto, there are a few workshops for you to choose from, ranging from doing a hands-on matcha (roasted green tea) tea ceremony to sencha (steamed green tea) tea ceremony, where you’ll be able to learn the traditional process from before entering the tea room, tea mannerisms and how to look at tea utensils. For those that are just looking for a tasting experience, they also have matcha and sweets pairing lessons, as well as an extra special dinner with a night tea ceremony. After some tea, be sure to pop into the store to fill up your Japanese tea wishlist.

What’s more authentic than a tea ceremony in Kyoto? Advance reservations at least three days before are needed, make a booking through their website.

Recommended for: A casual traditional hands-on experience with shopping options available after
Price: From ¥1,100 for tea tasting
Time: 20 minutes to one hour depending on the workshop
Shijo Tomonokoji, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto - Map

Bonus: Get A Traditional Bowl of Matcha at Tokoan

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Enjoy a cup of matcha set against a background of a beautifully manicured Japanese garden.

With the matcha craze going beyond the shores of Japan, if you want to experience an authentic bowl of matcha served in a tea ceremony, Tokoan is for you. Facing a Japanese garden spanning 330 square meters, it doesn’t get more authentic than this little tearoom in the middle of the Imperial Hotel in central Tokyo. Tokoan was designed by famous architect Togo Murano, and was created to make everyone feel at ease in the tearoom, even if the rituals can sometimes be a little intimidating.

Sado or Japanese tea ceremony, is an art. A traditional and ritualized way of serving and drinking tea, a tea ceremony is a peaceful way to spend the afternoon in a historical tearoom. Choose from having a bowl of matcha served with a full ritual with a little wagashi on the side, or opt to take part yourself and learn from a master. Kids are welcome too!

Recommended for: Traditional experience in central Tokyo in a historical tearoom
Price: ¥4,000 per person
Time: Varies
1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Map
Have you tried a coffee or matcha workshop in Japan?  Let us know in the comments!

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