Tea tasting: Shincha 2021 – Shimanto Aracha

The Shimanto River is the longest river in Shikoku, located in western Kōchi. It's undammed and totally pristine. It's also in my bucket list of places to visit, as I did not manage to go that far west of the prefecture during my 2016 trip to Shikoku. Two weeks were really not enough to explore … Continue reading Tea tasting: Shincha 2021 – Shimanto Aracha

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International Tea Day 2021 (+health forum)

Today (May 21) was the second-ever International Tea Day. Also the second to be held virtually since the Covid-19 pandemic started. The United Nations General Assembly designated this day to recognise the long history and deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world. Besides celebrating the cultural heritage and economic importance of tea, … Continue reading International Tea Day 2021 (+health forum)

Special Focus on Shizuoka: A tea farmers’ cafe specialising in wakoucha

The mountains of Ryogouchi in Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City are home to many tea plantations. Green Eight Cafe is one of the hidden gems here, a farmers' cafe that offers a unique experience for tea lovers. It specialises in Japanese black tea or wakoucha. In their own words, "nigakunai koucha" (black tea that's not bitter). … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: A tea farmers’ cafe specialising in wakoucha

Tea tasting: 2021 Special Ujeon Gocheon Myeongcha (Baekhak Jeda)

Ujeon or Woojeon (雨前) is the Korean equivalent of Japanese shincha or Chinese Ming Qian (pre Qing Ming) teas. Literally "before the rain", the green tea is made using the very first leaves of the year, which are harvested before Gok-u (穀雨) or 'grain rain'. Gok-u is one of the 24 seasonal divisions of the … Continue reading Tea tasting: 2021 Special Ujeon Gocheon Myeongcha (Baekhak Jeda)

Tea tasting: Shincha 2021 – Shouju cultivar (Matsushita Seicha)

Today is a special day to drink shincha (first harvest) of 2021. It's Hachijuuhachi-ya (八十八夜 or 88th night), which is an important day in Japan’s tea calendar based on the traditional lunar calendar. This year it corresponds to May 1. Read more about 88th night here. However, tea picking has started earlier than May, especially … Continue reading Tea tasting: Shincha 2021 – Shouju cultivar (Matsushita Seicha)