Tea tasting: Hatsumomiji cultivar (Meikyoen)

Shuubun (Autumn Equinox) was just a few days ago, and what better time than now to drink a tea with the lovely cultivar name of Hatsumomiji (first autumn colours)? This is a rare black tea produced in Sakawa, Kochi prefecture. But before I go into the details of what I've found out about the farm, … Continue reading Tea tasting: Hatsumomiji cultivar (Meikyoen)

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Nihoncha Award 2021 Platinum winners announced

The annual Nihoncha Award is happening this year after it was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year saw a total of 503 teas submitted from 28 prefectures. The first and second screenings were conducted in August and September respectively, and 20 Platinum award winners have been decided by industry experts. Following … Continue reading Nihoncha Award 2021 Platinum winners announced

Special Focus on Shizuoka: Seafood, teatime and more in Yaizu

The history of Yaizu, a city facing the Suruga Bay in central Shizuoka, can be traced back to ancient times. It was even mentioned as 'Yakitsube' in the Manyoushu, the oldest collection of Japanese waka poetry compiled during the Nara period. These days it's a well-known commercial fishing port city. In fact, the fisheries industry … Continue reading Special Focus on Shizuoka: Seafood, teatime and more in Yaizu

As seen on Japanese Twitterdom: green tea powder + salt elevates the taste of food

In the past week or so, a Japanese Twitter user 球__審__P(@kyuushinP), who is a taxi driver, shared about how he felt thankful to the customer who told him that it's good to mix green tea powder with salt to be eaten with conveyor-belt sushi and tempura. He tried the tip at Kura Sushi, one of … Continue reading As seen on Japanese Twitterdom: green tea powder + salt elevates the taste of food

Tea tasting: 2020 Laos Pressed Green Tea (Keosuyaping / One River Tea)

I first learnt about the existence of Laotian pu'er-style tea sometime end of last year, when I saw a Facebook post with a photo of tea compressed in a tube. Apparently it's a style of tea production found in Phongsaly, a province in northern Laos, very close to the border with China. It piqued my … Continue reading Tea tasting: 2020 Laos Pressed Green Tea (Keosuyaping / One River Tea)

Tea tasting: Yabakei Gancha (Hotaruchaen Tenjiku)

Oita prefecture is most famous for its onsen (hot springs). Naturally it doesn't immediately come to mind for a lot of people where tea production is concerned, but actually it has been producing tea in some areas since the Edo period. Among the tea regions in this prefecture are Hita, Saiki and Kitsuki. Several tea … Continue reading Tea tasting: Yabakei Gancha (Hotaruchaen Tenjiku)

Tea tasting: Ureshino Keika Koucha (Ota Shigeki Seicha Kojo)

It has been a long time since I last drank commercially-purchased flower-scented teas. Buying dried flowers and then brewing them together with pure teas don't count. This black tea from Ureshino in Saga is a black tea scented with osmanthus flowers, which is known as keika or kinmokusei in Japanese. It was a random purchase … Continue reading Tea tasting: Ureshino Keika Koucha (Ota Shigeki Seicha Kojo)