Sencha with Matcha—A Sensational Match!

Sencha is currently the mainstay of Japanese tea—in 2015, 68% of the tea produced in Japan was sencha (Zavadckyte 2017:30)! Yet its popularity is measured in decades rather than centuries. Although developed back in 1738, in what is now Kyoto Prefecture, by tea maker Nagatani Soen, sencha wasn't commonly consumed until after World War II  when … Continue reading Sencha with Matcha—A Sensational Match!

Two Books to Get You Hooked on Japanese Tea

If you haven't experienced Japanese tea—the real stuff, not in a teabag—you are missing out! And don't think that all green teas are alike. If you've had a green tea from China, it won't be anything like one from Japan, and if you've had one type of Japanese tea, it will probably be very different … Continue reading Two Books to Get You Hooked on Japanese Tea

Centuries-old tea plants yield first-class tea—but only for those who live nearby

Continuing on our tour of Japan's tea gardens with Lisa of TeaHaus and Eat More Tea, we pass through beautiful mountains . . . to the Mandokoro tea garden, with tea plants that are 300—and maybe even 400—years old! This region (in Shiga Prefecture) has many small gardens that supply the garden owners and their families with … Continue reading Centuries-old tea plants yield first-class tea—but only for those who live nearby

Eh? Nani? Kore wa nan desu ka? Why does this anime have a stick floating in the tea?

Konnichiwa! This is Alissa, otaku extraodinaire, here with a guest blog! As an avid anime fan, and as tea is big in Japan and commonly appears in anime, I often see something like this: (Above picture is from the anime Natsume Yuujinchou.) So of course when this tea blog started, I asked if Lisa or Jill knew … Continue reading Eh? Nani? Kore wa nan desu ka? Why does this anime have a stick floating in the tea?

Pottery and Tea in Shigaraki, Japan

Wide-eyed animal pottery (whether cute or sorta creepy is up to you) and ancient kilns and lush tea gardens? You are now in Japan's Shigaraki region! We continue to follow along with Lisa, owner of TeaHaus and Eat More Tea, on her recent tour of Japan's tea industry. Having looked at the Tsuchiyama tea garden … Continue reading Pottery and Tea in Shigaraki, Japan

One Japanese Tea Garden, Many Teas

Matcha and Japan. Although these seem synonymous, around three-quarters of the tea produced in Japan is actually sencha. And while matcha and gyokuro are highly prized by the Japanese (see earlier post to see why these teas are so valued—and pricy!), the country's everyday tea is sencha. However, this doesn't mean that sencha is a low-end … Continue reading One Japanese Tea Garden, Many Teas

Why Are Matcha and Gyokuro So Expensive?

Although "matcha" is appearing on grocery shelves everywhere, why is the real thing so extremely expensive? Because most of what you see isn't actually matcha, and no, those cookies weren't made with matcha! Let's see why, as we continue our virtual tour of Japan's tea industry in Shiga Prefecture, along with Lisa, owner of TeaHaus … Continue reading Why Are Matcha and Gyokuro So Expensive?

Touring a Tea Processing Facility in Japan

Butterfly nets filled with tea?! Well, not really, but you'll see what I mean as we continue our virtual tour of Japan's tea industry in Shiga Prefecture, along with Lisa of TeaHaus and Eat More Tea! (See previous post for intro to Japan's tea industry in Shiga.) When tea leaves are picked, they immediately begin … Continue reading Touring a Tea Processing Facility in Japan

A Look at Japan’s Tea Industry in Shiga Prefecture

Did you know that tea is still produced from plants in Japan that are 300—and maybe even 400—years old?! Or that very few of us may ever have the opportunity to taste some of the exquisite Japanese teas because they are consumed primarily by those who live in and near the area where they are … Continue reading A Look at Japan’s Tea Industry in Shiga Prefecture

Tea in Early Japan: A Poetic Beginning

I need only write the word and you will picture entire countries and cultures. Consider samovar or Earl Grey. Or matcha. Although it's not clear exactly when the first tea gardens were established in Japan, by the early 800s Japanese poets were extolling the merits of tea. This "Song of Tea for the Governor of Izumo" by … Continue reading Tea in Early Japan: A Poetic Beginning