Tea Shop: Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea l Okinawa Hai!

CONTRIBUTED BY EMILY BUREK

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea l Okinawa Hai!

Have you tried the traditional Okinawian tea called bukubuku? According to a local friend, buku-buku means bubbly. This is not like the Taiwanese bubble tea. It is a tea made from toasted rice and jasmine tea served with foam on the top. The foam is made by vigorously whisking a large bowl of tea with a wooden whisk. The bubbles are so small and delicate it is like eating a tea cloud. On top of the foam you can add crushed peanuts making the foam fun to eat and complementing the toasted rice flavor.

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea l Okinawa Hai!

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea is right around the corner from Shuri Castle. I was with a couple of girlfriends and one had their sister visiting, so this was a great opportunity to show her some of the culture.

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea l Okinawa Hai!

We paid 700 yen each for the set tea menu. Everyone gets their own tray with a cup, a snack, shiquasa gelatin and crushed peanuts.

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea l Okinawa Hai!

Then the woman brought out a large bowl with a whisk and showed us how to make the foam. You whisk back and forth and then pile the bubbles to the side. This way you end up with a nice collection of bubbles to top your tea!

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea l Okinawa Hai!

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea l Okinawa Hai!Drinking the tea seems more about enjoying the foam and crushed peanuts. There is a pretty big smile on my face behind that stack of foam. And of course making the foam is an experience in itself- everyone wants their turn to whisk away!

All of the tables had a little wooden puzzle, Japanese books and magazines. At the entrance there are plenty of tea supplies including the wooden whisk used to make the foam.

If you are looking for a place to enjoy the Okinawian culture then I highly suggest Paopaocha. Even if you have just had lunch, the tea and light snacks will not make you feel over-stuffed. The selection of teapots, cups and other accessories are fun to look at and the atmosphere is very relaxing.

Address: 11, Shuriikehatacho, Naha, Okinawa, Japan, 903-0824

Directions: From Shuri Castle, walk toward the 29. Cross the 29 and across the street to the right is a small street, turn left here. The building will be on your left (see picture for store front). You can also park on this street.

Hours: None posted on the door but I assume they are open every day Shuri Castle is open since that is where a lot of their customers seemed to be coming from. I can only imagine they are not open very early or late, something like 9 to 6. When I went it was 3:00 p.m. on a Thursday.

Payment: Yen only

Paopaocha Bukubuku Tea l Okinawa Hai!
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