Translated by Sandy Lau
Hidamari Komichi Tosacha Café - Enjoy The Aromatic Tea Of Kochi
Tea leaves cultivated in Kochi are called “tosacha”. The leaves are characterized by an aromatic scent. If you’re visiting Kochi, why not casually come and enjoy tosacha at Hidamari Komichi Tosacha Café?
Written by Eri Takizawa
Japanese tea, such as matcha (powdered green tea) and green tea (made with tea leaves), are just one of many things you’ll want to try in Japan.
In addition to famous production areas such as Kyoto, Shizuoka, and Mie, there are various regions in Japan where tea leaf production occurs. Every region has a difference in the fragrance and taste of their tea leaves.
Since you’ve come all the way to Japan for your trip, why not try the Japanese tea of the region you are visiting?
A Café Where You Can Enjoy Kochi’s Local Tosacha
In this article, we will introduce Hidamari Komichi Tosacha Café (aka Tosacha Café). Tosacha, the tea that is produced in Kochi prefecture, which is situated in southern Shikoku, can be enjoyed at this café.
Tosacha Café is located along Obiyamachi, a shopping district in Kochi. It is a shop with a modern Japanese-style appearance characterized by its gentle, home-y air that its wooden construction gives.
This shop places importance in using Kochi-made ingredients. Aside from tosacha, you can also enjoy vegetables, meat, and fish from Kochi through almost all of its dishes.
Upon entering the café, you will be guided to your seat by an employee. You'll find yourself wanting to order right away once you’ve been seated.
The menu comes with photos for each of its dishes, so there's nothing to worry about if you cannot read Japanese.
Challenge Yourself with the Kakiage Set Meal
This time, we ordered an item that is popular with overseas visitors, the Tosacha Kakiage Zen (500 yen).
Kakiage is a type of tempura where the vegetables and seafood are finely chopped, then fried together with a coating of wheat flour.
At Tosacha Café, this kakiage is slightly seasoned with matcha shio (a seasoning blend of matcha powder and salt). You can taste the strong fragrance from the matcha, the mild flavor of the salt, the light texture of the batter, and the sweetness from the squash, carrots, as well as the fish fry used in it.
Aside from the kakiage, the teishoku set meal also includes miso soup, Japanese pickles, boiled foods, and tosacha.
Lastly, Let’s Try Brewing Tosa Tea Ourselves
Once you have filled your stomach with the set meal, let’s try brewing tosachatea ourselves.
Although there are many varieties of tosacha, we went with the shop employee’s recommendation of Tosa’s Green Tea Gold (360 yen) during this visit. It is a blend of several types of tosacha and is very easy to drink, making it perfect for those new to tosacha.
Tosacha is a tea from which several cups worth can be brewed at once. Please be aware that the method in which the tea is brewed will differ from the first to the third time it has been brewed. We will explain how to make tosacha according to procedure.
How to Brew Tosa Tea
Once the kyusu has warmed up, transfer the water to the yuzamashi (the vessel in the upper right of the photo).
Next, place tea leaves into the kyusu and return the hot water in the yuzamashi to the kyusu. Place the lid on the kyusu and wait one minute. Once a minute has passed, slightly swirl the liquid around in the kyusu. With that, you will have completed your first cup. Please serve the tea without leaving a single drop behind.
To brew your second cup, place hot water into the yunomi only once, pour into the kyusu, then transfer it to the yunomi once more.
For your third cup, pour hot water directly into the kyusu. It will be completed once you have poured your tea into the yunomi.
In this way, due to the change in the way the tea is poured, you can taste the rich fragrance and flavor of the tea leaves in the first cup, the refreshing taste in the second, and a faint bitterness in the third.
Tosacha is characterized by its aromatic fragrance and slight bitterness.
Warabi Mochi: Outstanding Compatibility with Tosacha!
When you pay an additional 100 yen, you can add a dessert to come with your Japanese tea. During this visit, we chose warabi mochi. Warabi mochi is a soft Japanese confectionery that is made from starch, water, and sugar.
You can have the dessert covered in kinako (roasted soy flour) and kuromitsu (unrefined brown sugar syrup). The fragrance of the kinako and the sweetness of the kuromitsu together with the warabi mochi matches quite well with the faint bitterness of the tosacha.
There are also many desserts at Tosacha Café that uses tosacha tea leaves as an ingredient. It would also be a great idea to stop by only for desserts as all of the options look very delicious.
The souvenir corner is located next to the register and is where tosacha tea leaves and sweets are sold. If you buy tea leaves for when you return from your trip, you will be able to enjoy tosacha even at home.
When you sightsee in Kochi, you will undoubtedly get hungry and become tired from walking, and want to take a rest. When that time comes, why not enjoy tosacha tea while slowly unwinding at Tosacha Café?
Hidamari Komichi Tosacha Cafe
Address: Kochi, Obiyamachi 2-1-31
Hours: 11:00 – 19:00 (last order at 18:30)
Holidays: Wednesdays (if Wednesday is a public holiday, then the shop will close on Thursday instead)
Wi-Fi: Available, will be available for use after asking an employee for the password
Accepted Credit Cards: Cash only
Languages: Japanese only
Other Pamphlet Languages: Not available
Nearest Station: Kochi Station
Access: 15 minute walk from Kochi Station
Price: Approximately 500 – 1000 yen
Website: Hidamari Komichi Tosacha Cafe (Japanese)