Our Mission

To spread the powerful traditions and health benefits of Japanese tea culture into our disconnected modern world. To build connection and presence with each other and ourselves, starting with the ancient ritual of morning matcha.

AIKENKA “Lover of Dogs”

Ichigo Ichie is the spirit of Aikenka Matcha
“One time, one meeting”

Clay pot in the forest, Aikenka Matcha

The name Aikenka came to fruition when thinking about this philosophy. Born in the 16th century from the ritual of tea ceremonies, or chanoyu, those present held the awareness that each moment was a once in a lifetime experience. With this knowledge, every ceremony was treasured with the utmost attention, bringing all five senses to life. We can take the spirit of Ichigo Ichie into all of our daily tasks, such as cooking, reading, or walking the dog. Bringing the presence learned from my morning tea to my Shiba Inu, Bao Bao, allowed a magic to grow between us, the deep understanding of what it feels to be purely present.

Jamie and Bao in the forest, Aikenka Matcha

Aikenka Matcha was born following a year of deep grief. There were two constants in my life that helped me begin each day, and continue to be a sacred practice. I wake up every morning, pick out a favorite mug, and whisk the vibrant green powder into froth. A yawn, and the light pitter patter of paws, follow me into the kitchen. Bao Bao and I sit together and cuddle on the floor, as I slowly sip the earthy sweet tea. I watch the clouds blanket the mountain peaks, the sun deciding its arrival.

Jamie, Founder

Why Matcha?

As a coffee lover my entire life, my body began to reject its side effects. Heart palpitations, tightness of chest, anxiety, and crashes, no longer made the taste worth it.

The meditative experience of making matcha each morning, and the positive effects it had on my mood were dramatic. I was surprised how much this ritual elevated my baseline level of contentment. In comparison to the unnerving feelings after coffee, matcha was a peaceful awakening to the day ahead. An attentive energy to open myself up to the world.

Bao, the Shiba Inu, Aikenka Matcha
Jamie and Bao in the forest, Aikenka Matcha
Jamie and Bao at the lake, Aikenka Matcha
Jamie and Bao in the forest, Aikenka Matcha
Jamie and Bao on the dock, Aikenka Matcha
Jamie and Bao on the beach, Aikenka Matcha

History of Matcha

While searching to replace my beloved morning coffee, I also discovered my Japanese roots. My great grandmother, Gen Ishibashi, grew up in Moji, now known as Kitakyushu, Japan. As I continued to learn about her home, I became even more enchanted with its traditions, especially tea culture. Kyushu’s tea farming caught my attention, leading me into the world of matcha.

Many people have a vague idea of matcha from its introduction to the mainstream cafe menu, usually disguised in sugary drinks and elaborate concoctions. Stripped down, matcha's roots represent the core values of Japanese culture.

During the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE), the practice of drinking powdered tea was introduced to Japan by Buddhist Monks. The Zen Buddhists found value in the meditative qualities of preparing and drinking matcha. The Monk Eisai, who is credited with bringing Zen Buddhism and tea to Japan, wrote a treatise called “Kissa Yojoki” (“Book of Tea”), which extolled the virtues of matcha and its health benefits. Matcha became a staple of traditional sado/chado “The Way of Tea”, highlighting the culture's unique spirituality and aesthetics.