Kyonocha is a family owned business hotspot in Pop Brixton for sushi, Japanese teas and more. We speak Japanese food traditions and Kyonocha’s beginnings with owners Ron and Hiroko…
How did Kyonocha come about?
We started Kyonocha originally to sell my wife’s Japanese-sourced teas. We began as a stall at West Norwood Feast in 2014 but we had always wanted to open our own Asian themed deli/café/tea shop.
Tell us about the teas you source…
Our Japanese teas come direct from The Kyoto Tea Cooperative and we are really excited about the quality of our green teas. We have Gyukuro and Kabuse Cha, which are both whole leaf teas a grade above Sencha. There’s Matcha (stoneground green tea leaf and an important ingredient in Kyonocha’s Soy Matcha Latte) and Genmai Cha (Popcorn Tea), which contains organic popped brown rice.
I first went to Osaka and loved the southern Japanese passion for food and eating.
You were in Japan for six or so years. Which cities did you explore and what did you love about them?
I first went to Osaka and loved the southern Japanese passion for food and eating. My wife comes from the Kyoto area, so I explored that city and its many small streets and pockets of culture. It’s old Japan. It’s also the best place in the world for tofu because of the purity of the water.
Can you tell us a bit about what you learned about food traditions in Japan?
There’s an appreciation for ingredient seasonality and total respect for the rice. You also learn to value the taste of each individual item which is very Japanese compared to the European way of flavour combinations.
There’s an appreciation for ingredient seasonality… Simplicity in approach to cooking is key.
What influences have you tried to bring back from Japan to Kyonocha?
Simplicity in approach to cooking and giving service is key, as well as giving appreciation to our customers even if they are simply having a cup of green tea.
Your three favourite things about Brixton?
The obvious ethnic diversity. It’s far enough away yet close enough to central London and of course, the marvelous market itself.
And… Any plans for the year ahead for sushi lovers?
We’re aiming to add to our range of sushi items and ingredients – we’re hoping for some Uni (Sea Urchin) over spring, and we’re looking to add a few more sushi workshops.