1. Quality of Hibiki-an's Japanese Tea

2. Choosing a Japanese Tea

3. Shipping / Delivery

4. Order / Payment

5. Account Information / Password

6. Brewing and Preserving

7. Wholesale

1. Quality of Hibiki-an's Japanese Tea

Q 1-1. How can Hibiki-an offer such low prices for superior quality tea?

Because our tea is shipped directly from the Hibiki-an farm in Uji, we can offer you the freshest and highest quality tea for the lowest possible price. Online direct sales enable us to offer you a lower price by eliminating the extra costs associated with wholesalers and retailers. You will not find a Japanese green tea of this superior quality for a lower price anywhere.
For more information, please check Quality and Prices.

Q 1-2. Is almost of the tea sold at Hibiki-an Ichiban Cha (the first pick)?

Tea leaves are usually gathered two to five times per year for sale in Japan. But almost of the tea sold at our website store, Hibiki-an, is Ichiban Cha -- the first pick of the year.
The quality, aroma, taste and so on, of Nibancha (the second pick of the year) or Sanbancha (the third pick) cannot compare with first-quality Ichibancha (the first pick).
For more information, please check Quality and Prices.

Q 1-3. Is the tea produced in Uji, Kyoto really better than other Japanese green tea?

Tea grown in Uji and Kyoto is famous because of the history and traditions which began in the area over 1,000 years ago. Also it's the perfect climate for growing tea.
The tea industry in Uji, Kyoto have historically produced high quality tea sot that the various expertise regarding high quality tea has accumulated in Uji, Kyoto for long time.
For more information, please check The Birthplace of Uji Tea.

Q 1-4. Are all of the tea leaves sold at Hibiki-an grown only in the Uji region of Kyoto or are they mixed with tea leaves grown in other locations?

All of Hibiki-an's tea leaves are grown only in the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan.
Though Uji tea is very precious and envied, it represents only about 3 to 5 percent of all Japanese tea. The Kyoto Tea Cooperative Association does allow Kyoto tea to be mixed with teas of similar flavor and quality from surrounding areas of Kyoto, as long as it is less than half of the tea mixture. However, Hibiki-an does not mix our teas with teas from other regions. The excellent flavor of Hibiki-an's top grade Uji teas can only be created in Uji, not by mixing teas with the surrounding regions. Therefore, all of the teas sold at Hibiki-an are grown only in Uji.

Q 1-5. Do Organic teas at Hibiki-an contain any pesticide or chemical fertilizer?

No. All of our Organic teas are officially certified Organic by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan. Therefore, for our Organic teas, pesticide and chemical fertilizer are never used; only Organic fertilizer is used.
For more information, please visit Organic Tea Farm page.

Q 1-6. Do Non- Organic items at Hibiki-an contain pesticide?

Concentration Standard of Residual Agricultural Chemicals in Japan is very strict as with the European Union. The Positive System of Agricultural Chemicals in Japan limits the kinds, quantity, and timing of when farmers can use agricultural chemicals, and compels farmers to meticulously record when, what kind, and how much they use. Compared with many other countries, pesticide use in Japan is minimal, and strictly regulated by government.
For more information, please check Concentration Standard of Residual Agricultural Chemicals in Japan.

2. Choosing a Japanese Tea

Q 2-1. Which specific teas contain certain healthy nutrients?

Catechin contained in Japanese tea works to remove free radicals (activated oxygen) and to improve the immune system and general health. All Japanese green tea contains Catechin but you can efficiently get Catechin by drinking Sencha or Matcha. Sencha contain the highest levels of Catechin. And Matcha is ground into powder and completely dissolved in water when brewed (prepared), therefore you drink the whole constituents of the tea leaves and ingest all of the healthful nutrients without throwing away the leaves as one does with other teas.
For more information, please visit Green Tea for Health page.

Q 2-2. I am new to Japanese tea. What kind of Japanese tea should I choose?

At Hibiki-an we have a wide selection of many different kinds of top quality Japanese green tea. "Choosing a Japanese Tea" page offers help for those who are new to Japanese green tea and would like to know which of our teas they might like the best. Please visit Choosing a Japanese Tea page once.
If you still wonder what kind of tea you should choose or prefer to consult with us, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Q 2-3. I am new to Japanese tea. What tea ware is essential?

To enjoy flavorful Japanese tea, it is important to use tea ware appropriately. Our "Choosing Tea Ware" page offers help about which tea ware may be needed. Please visit Choosing Tea Ware page.

3. Shipping / Delivery

Q 3-1. How much does shipping cost?

Our shipping fees are the same worldwide. Free international shipping on all orders of US$50.00 or more. For orders less than US$50, we charge by weight using the rates.
For more information, please visit Shipping & Returns page.

Q 3-2. How long will it take for my package to arrive?

Once you order usually the merchandise will usually reach you in 7 to 12 days from Kyoto, Japan. The shipping time is different for each destination, depending on the postal service and customs condition in each country. Although it is infrequently that customs check our shipment to you, in this case, it will need about another one week.
For more information, please check Delivery time.

Q 3-3. What is Express International Delivery Option?

If you chose International Express Delivery Option for your order, the merchandise will usually reach you in 4 to 8 days (*) and is trackable (package location is tracked). This is also a good option for gifts, especially during the busy winter holiday season when international shipping gets congested. If you would like to track your package, please contact us with your order number. To choose this Express International Delivery Option, please check the box on the checkout page.
All orders of US$150 or more get Free International Express shipping at no extra charge.

To track your package, please view your Order History in the Account Information section of our website, where you can check the shipment tracking details updated in real time.

(*) Please note that this is just an estimate and we can't guarantee the delivery time or exact date of delivery.

Q 3-4. I chose Express International Delivery for my order and my package has not yet arrived. It has been over 8 days which is the estimated delivery time, so I would like to track my package. What should I do?

Please contact us with your order number. We will track your package and let you know its location, and provide you with all the tracking information, so you can continue tracking the package on your own.

In case shipped by standard international, once shipped usually the merchandise will usually reach you in 7 to 12 days from Kyoto, Japan.

Q 3-5. Is it necessary that I pay any taxes when I place an order with Hibiki-an?

We, Hibiki-an ship worldwide directly from Uji in Kyoto, Japan where we are located. Therefore we are not imposed any taxes (eg; Sales tax, Consumption Tax, etc.) by the Japanese Administration or the governments of any other countries. It is NOT necessary that you pay any taxes when you place an order with us. However if you live in a country that happens to impose a customs duty on tea leaves or our other products, you may have to pay a customs duty.

Q 3-6. Do I be imposed a custom duty on Japanese tea leaves when I place an order with Hibiki-an?

Many countries (eg; US, Canada, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore etc.) don't impose custom duties on Japanese tea leaves. Customs duties vary depending on your country. If you have to pay a custom duty, you will be required to pay the duty when you receive your order.
For more information, please check Customs Duties and Taxes.

Q 3-7. If delivered a defective or wrong item, or if I would like to exchange an item, what should I do?

We will gladly exchange damaged, defective, or wrongly shipped items. Additional shipping will be paid by Hibiki-an. Please notify Hibiki-an of the damaged or defective item within one week after you receive the order.
In the unlikely event that your order of tea or tea ware does not match with your liking, you may exchange for any item with a price less than or equal to the price of the original item, as long as you agree to our terms.
For more information, please read our Return and Reshipping Policy.

4. Order / Payment

Q 4-1. What payment methods can I pay by?

We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal. Unfortunately, we cannot accept cash or personal checks. We also accept Discover, which is authorized through PayPal.
Our checkout procedures are authorized through Cyber Source or PayPal. Cyber Source and PayPal are the most reliable account settlement companies in the US, and process our online credit card payments to provide secure transactions for our customers.

5. Account Information / Password

Q 5-1. If Hibiki-an's email does not reach me…

If our email does not reach you, please check the following:

Check your email address
Would you check if your correct email address is registered? If the message "No match for 'E-Mail Address' and/or 'Password'." is shown when you try to sign in, your account could possibly be registered with the wrong email address. In this case, please let us know your full name and correct email address. Then we will check your account on our website. Please visit Contct Us page.

Check spam folder
Your spam filtering software can possibly wrongly remove our email. In this case, please set the configuration of spam filtering software in order not to remove our email. Once set, our email will usually reach your inbox.

Check mail receiving configuration on your mail software or mail program
(1) If your email is set to allow email only from certain domains:
Please set the configuration to allow your email program to receive email from the domain "@hibiki-an.com" or add the domain "@hibiki-an.com" to your "safe-senders" list.

(2) If your email is set to allow email only from specific email addresses:
Please set the configuration to allow your email program to receive email from "shop@hibiki-an.com" or add "shop@hibiki-an.com" to your "safe-senders" list.

Q 5-2. If I forget my password, how can I request a new one?

When you forget your password, you can easily request a new one. Just click on the link "Password forgotten? Click here." The new password will be sent to your email address registered to our web site. Then, you can also change the password to one that you will easily remember.
If the email does not reach, please check If Hibiki-an's email does not reach me.

Q 5-3. I requested a new password and got it. Although I entered it to log in, Hibiki-an's website does not allow me to log in with the new password. What should I do?

When you log in, would you please carefully enter the ID (registered email address) and password (case sensitive). Also be careful with different alphabet and digit (ex. 1 and i). Please try to log in a few times; usually the password or ID was just entered incorrectly. In the unlikely event that you still can't log in, we are willing to recreate your account. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

Q 5-4. Can I update my user account information (email address, home address, address book, and so on) on the Hibiki-an website?

Yes. You can view your account info, including your order history, as well as change your email, password, or home address or add a new shipping address to your address book by clicking here (May Account) or "My Account" on the top right side of our main home page.
If you prefer, we are happy to update your account info for you. Just let us know.

6. Brewing and Preserving

Q 6-1. Would you give me some hints on how to brew the perfect cup of Japanese green tea?

Please visit How to Enjoy Green Tea page.

Q 6-2. How should I do for a rich and foamy bowl of Matcha?

Please check Preparation of Matcha.

Q 6-3. Is there a certain kind of water that is best for brewing Japanese green tea?

Please check Best Water for Japanese Green Tea.

Q 6-4. What is the best way to store green tea? How do I keep it fresh?

Please check Preserving Tea Leaves.

7. Wholesale

Q 7-1. Can I purchase Hibiki-an green tea wholesale?

We offer wholesale prices to restaurants, cafes, and tea shops like below. Green tea sold at retail shops is often dry, stale and flavorless because of poor quality control standards. We have very high quality control standards from our farm to your doorstep.
If you are a regional retailer who would like to sell high-quality Japanese tea, and are willing to keep our tea in excellent condition, we would certainly consider selling our tea to you wholesale and provide you with instructions on how to properly store the tea to retain its quality and freshness.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Can you please let us know details of your demands (Kinds of tea, Quantity etc.) and your business (style, location etc.)?