Kinzaburo Green Tea Shop and Chaffles

Posted on Saturday, May 22, 2010 | 0 comments

  We tried out a new green tea shop in downtown Shizuoka this morning: Kinzaburo. This place opened at the beginning of the month and is already famous for their 'chaffles', which are mini soft waffles filled with green tea cream (ocha is Japanese for green tea, hence the CHAffles name).
 Now, I'm game for trying just about anything new, but I can't say that I had absolutely huge expectations for green tea cream-filled waffles. Boy, was I wrong. These things are AMAZING! And cheap, too--only 100 yen each. I found out that the reason they contain so much green tea for the price is that the store owner is a green tea exporter, and this is his side project. I can't remember the man's name, but he won top prize as green tea master in a national tv show here called TV Champion, a type of show that pits the best of the best against each other in various categories.
...There are several varieties of chaffles to choose from--your basic green tea and cream mixture; a green tea, cream, and custard mix (a milder flavor for those who don't appreciate the bitterness of strong green tea); and also a roasted green tea and cream mix. For a little bit more (120 yen), you can also buy chaffles with sweet red beans mixed into the green tea cream. We decided to try both the standard green tea/cream type and the roasted green tea/cream chaffle. I'm a bit traditional, as is Yuki, so we preferred the standard flavor, although the roasted green tea one was quite good, too.
If you live in the Shizuoka area or are ever visiting, I would highly recommend stopping by. Not only do you get a chaffle for a great price, you can also sit upstairs in their beautiful tea room and eat your chaffle along with a variety of free teas they have set out. Today's selection included a grape-infused green tea that I fell in love with. It actually tasted more like it had honey in it than grapes, but it was wonderful nonetheless. Unfortunately, I had to go and pick the most expensive tea of the bunch--about 1000 yen/$10 per small package---so we didn't end up taking any of that home! Maybe next time.
  One final note--the chaffles are made fresh daily and contain no preservatives, so it's recommended that they be eaten on the same day that they're purchased. Which means that Kinzaburo doesn't ship these little treats out anywhere, making them truly a local specialty.
  Directions to Kinzaburo (these are rather vague, since I'm not great with street names....)
 On Gofuku-cho (a street in downtown Shizouka), heading away from the JR Station and Parco, pass Isetan Department store and keep going straight. You'll go another block or two and continue straight through a big intersection--there will be some banks around this area. Keep going straight, Gofuku-cho will become Kinza-cho (tea street). After maybe 5-10 minutes, maybe less--it was hot and I was tired so I'm not sure how long---you'll see Kinzaburo up on your right. Enjoy your chaffles!

 We only had our cell phone cameras this morning, so apologies that the pics aren't the best quality


                           They're a bit bigger than bite-size...maybe 3-bite-size or so