Fukujuen to introduce computerized tea selection

In a modern twist on Japan's ancient tradition of the tea ceremony, Fukujuen Co., a Kyoto-based tea merchant, is setting up a store with a computer kiosk to help customers in selecting tea. The store will be located in a new shopping mall opening Thursday in the Kyoto train station, company officials said.

Customers will answer questions about their tastes and health on the computer's touch screen.Based on their responses, the system chooses the appropriate tea from a selection of eight different kinds, including powdered tea and Gyokuro -- superior green tea. The computer kiosk also prints out the results.

Fukujuen will spend about 80 million yen (about 670,803 dollars) on the kiosk, software and interior work.The firm aims to sell 300 million yen of tea annually at the new store.