As in the award winning Portland Japanese Garden. The only thing better than sipping on serene Sencha is doing it in a tranquil setting. The Umami Cafe, part of a new expansion, provides just that. The glass walls of this intimate room give the feeling of floating amongst the trees. Staff does a nice job of preparing and presenting your choice of organic Sencha, Genmaicha or Hojicha loose leaf teas. Matcha is also an option. All are nice selections from Jugetsudo tea in Japan. (This is their first cafe entry in the United States.) My host and garden member, Pam, and I enjoyed a seasonal savory along with our Sencha. The Miso sweet potato slices were sublime! We also shared Japanese bakery treats, Chikara fruit/nut cake and matcha brownie. The menu offers a number of pairing options to explore from sweets to umami. Weather permitting, ask for seating outside for an enhanced green experience. Note: Admission is required to access the cafe so plan on a few hours so you can stroll the grounds after/before tea (remember to stay on the path and off the moss). Even better: become a member and enjoy unlimited free admission!
TEA TIP: The gift shop carries Jugetsudo tea for taking home. The sampler pack is beautifully designed and offers four green varieties along with watercolor scenes.
BONUS: Jugetsudo has some fun Matcha recipes to try out. Download the pdf here.