Photo: Yutaka Yanagida © grape Japan

Tapioca 'ochazuke': Bubble tea trend inspires sweet twist on comfort food classic

By Ben K, grape Japan

A traditional comfort food for many Japanese people is a savory dish of green tea or dashi broth poured over cooked rice, and typically mixed with various seasonings, known as chazuke (or ochazuke お茶漬け with the honorific prefix "o"). Relatively inexpensive, easy to make, and convenient since it can be made combining items commonly available at home, often just by using elements (a bowl of rice, a pot of tea, seasonings) already placed on the dining table, ochazuke is not only a favorite, warming dish in the cold, winter months, but also enjoyed in summer, sometimes served chilled (hiyashi-chazuke冷やし茶漬け). Incidentally, it's also appreciated as a fortifying dish to fend off "summer weariness" and recommended all year long for hangovers.

With the bubble tea trend still raging in Japan, tapioca (as the popular tea drinks are called here) is overflowing into everything from beer to "cheese tea," and now it looks like it has even reached chazuke.

Tapioca Chazuke

Born in the famous tea-growing region of Shizuoka Prefecture, Tapioca Chazuke is available at Maruobara 丸尾原, the cafe-restaurant in Shizuoka's excellent and relatively newly opened Tea Museum, Fuji no Kuni Cha no Miyako Museum ふじのくに茶の都ミュージアム.

Photo: Yutaka Yanagida © grape Japan

The concept for this hybrid dessert is to take hiyahshi-chazuke and replace cooked rice with black and white tapioca pearls and replace green tea with a lightly sweetened matcha syrup. Toasted rice grains, often featured in traditional chazuke add a flavorful accent.

For the syrup, they selected high quality matcha harvested in the Osono district of Okabemachi in the famous tea-producing area of Fujieda in Shizuoka Prefecture. The set is served with a refreshing glass of iced green tea.

Photo: Yutaka Yanagida © grape Japan

Black and white tapioca pearls are blended into a base of blancmange (a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin) to add texture and variety to the dessert.

Photo: Yutaka Yanagida © grape Japan

In addition to Tapioca Chazuke, you can also try other desserts at Maruobara, many of them featuring intense matcha ice cream from Nanaya.

For example, here is a nata de coco dessert made with soy milk featuring Nanaya matcha icea cream.

Photo: Yutaka Yanagida © grape Japa


  • Price: 600 yen (incl. tax)
  • Availability: Until September 16th, 2019
  • Hours: 11:00 to 14:00 (at Maruobara), after 14:00 at museum lobby cafe corner
  • Closed on Tuesdays
  • Address: Maruobara, Fuji no Kuni Cha no Miyako Museum (Tea Museum), 3053-2 Kanayafujimicho, Shimada-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture 428-0034
  • Address (JP): 〒428-0034静岡県島田市金谷富士見町3053-2ふじのくに茶の都ミュージアム「丸尾原」
  • Museum website: Tea Museum

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© grape Japan

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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