Our Story

Aya and Daniel in Shizuoka

Hi, we're Aya and Daniel.

Chaba means "tea leaf" in Japanese, but it can also be read as "the place for tea" - and that's what we are trying to create, a place where you can find the heart of Japanese tea.

We're an international couple with a shared love for tea. Our tea-love turned into a project, which turned into Chaba & Co.

The & Co. is for you - tea drinker, connoisseur, or just starting a new interest in tea, we welcome you into our company - we hope you find a new love for tea here.


Having tea with Saito-san and fam

Directly sourced from family farms and microlots

All of our teas are directly sourced from Japan, from growers and producers that we have met and know - people we have visited on their farms, in their tearooms, and have shared tea with.

They are hard-working, dedicated people, who put tremendous effort into their teas and into preserving their cultural heritage. But they're also kind people, who work with pleasure and give us their time even when we show up on their doorsteps unannounced.

We're thankful for their kindness, and we're honored to represent their efforts. They are our teachers and our friends. 


Aya talking to farmers

The state of tea in Japan

Tea growers in Japan, especially these rural, family-owned farms, are in decline due to the aging population and frankly because tea is difficult - it takes a lot of work, and doesn't pay well. Their kids grow up and leave for the cities to find work.

The ones that remain don't stay in it for wealth, they are dedicated to the craft. Some of our farmers just tell us they do it because they're crazy - they love what they do, and want to keep the culture of tea alive. Many of them are engaged in activities to promote the benefits of tea to the younger generations.

We want to support them too - by paying above market rates, and by connecting them to new customers (you!) through Chaba & Co.


Tea farm deep in Shizuoka mountains

Our goal

It's pretty simple - we want to charge you reasonable prices for rare teas of the highest caliber that are not available outside of Japan. At the same time, we want to pay our growers more than they would be able to make otherwise, so that their farms and their teas don't disappear.

So how do we do that? Buying direct allows us to keep the prices lower for you, but it also allows us to pay more to the producers. We also pack our teas generally in 50g bags, which allows us to keep the prices down further, as well as encourage you to try a variety of teas.

All of our teas are purchased in small batches, packed in oxygen-free packaging in Japan, and air shipped for the freshest possible tea. This also means that we don't keep a large inventory. That can mean teas sell out, but it also ensures the best flavor and freshness.


Picking tea leaves with Konishi-san

Rare teas

We sample hundreds of teas, searching for the special ones. We love to find growers working with rare cultivars, master blenders who have long relationships with their farmers, teas that show terroir, and exceptional teas that have never been seen outside of Japan.

Sometimes the farms are very remote, deep in the mountains where typhoons can wash out the roads. We've had some growers who tell us their buyers in the city never make it out to visit them. It's an adventure getting out there and sometimes a little nerve-wracking, careening along steep cliffs with our little rent-a-car, but the moment we arrive it's always worth it.


About us


Aya is from northern Japan and moved to the States a decade ago. Since childhood, one of her favorite times has been having tea with her family and friends. Her grandmother loved brewing tea and always had neighbors coming over to share a cup. That memory and feeling of community being created through tea has always been with her.


In his younger life Daniel lived in Japan in rural Shikoku. He has fond memories of sharing cups of tea with teachers, with friends, and with his 90 year old landlord. Tea as a way of life, as a way of connection, was new to him then, but it stayed with him.

We're in Portland, Oregon. If you're in the area come by our tearoom and spend some time in our company.