2013/02/26

"Obi" Tea Cozy

Obi tea cozy  -photo by T-
Do you use a tea cozy when you make tea? These are cozy made from obi, a broad sash worn with a woman's kimono. Don't they look gorgeous? As you may guess easily, obi itself is usually very expensive, but these are made from well-worn obi, which means they are not good enough as a kimono sash anymore. Now they are reborn as a tea cozy and keep tea warm nicely for us.




Assorted Wakocha -trial set -




Obi tea cozy creates Japan-ish asmosphere. It will be good to have Japanese teatime with obi cozy and wakocha! When you feel like having Japanesque teatime with those cozy, let me know!


2013/02/23

Tea Sweet Bun from Nara

A bun called “Lunch pack” (Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd.) is long running products since they have various flavor and are handy to grab a bite. One of them is “Nara matcha and whipped cream“.

Nara is a prefecture. However, Nara is not well-known as a tea growing area even among Japanese people, although the prefecture is the sixth place in terms of unprocessed tea production in Japan. This bun is popular because of good combination of a bit of matcha bitterness and smooth cream. It could help spread its name recognition as a tea growing area and boost the local economy too!

 


2013/02/16

Your black is not our black

Tea such as Keemun, Darjeeling, Yunnan, Assam and Uva etc are called “black tea” in English. Japanese call the teas “kocha” which literally mean “red tea”. You take the tea black while we take it red. Isn’t that interesting? Seemingly, the color of “black” comes from the leaf color and its “red” comes from the liquid color.

When we say black tea in Japanese (kurocha or kokucha in Japanese), it refers to fermented teas like “goishi-cha”. I know it is confusing, but I also know tea is always good to us.

2013/02/10

Destiny of Kyusu

This is about a cooking class at a high school in Japan. One male student was making Japanese green tea during the class. What he tried to do was this. Place some tea leaves into a teapot and pour water over the leaves in it. Then put the teapot on the fire. Oh, dear….Surprisingly, he was not only one and some others almost did the same.

The school carried out a survey to the 240 students, asking how they drink green tea at home. The result was about only 20% of students said that they make tea using a teapot. What happens to another 80% of students?!

photo by T
The output of “ready-to-green tea” has increased tenfold for the last 18 years. Even their parents in their thirties or forties don’t take it strange to have those teas at home. Also we have another choice such as coffee and teas other than green, and less Japanese, especially younger generations, drink green tea now. Hope Japanese teapot known as kyusu won’t be an endangered species.


2013/02/05

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine ’s Day is coming soon. We do celebrate on this day, but in a bit different way. Unlike western countries, Japanese Valentine’s Day is the one when women give present to men, mainly chocolate. This custom was introduced a noted chocolate company and gradually getting popular thanks to the chocolate industry’s campaign to boost their sales.
Now, it is said that chocolate companies make half their annual sales during this time of the year. This season, variety of chocolate such as fancy, romantic and luxury products are on sale. Interestingly, those chocolates are too special to give someone else, so more women buy the special chocolate for their own instead of giving. Even tea companies take advantage of this day, producing matcha chocolate, hojicha chocolate etc.

Anyway….It seems to be a happy day for men, but you have to remember that Japanese women are demanding. In Japan, there is a “White Day” on March 14, which is considered to be a “reply day”. Men who got present have to return gifts to the women. Originally, it started thanks to successful campain made by the Japanese confectionery industry to return marshmallows to women, but obviously Japanese women are expecting more, ha, ha.


a crowd of women get special chocolate for Valentine's Day  
:a special-evnets space at a department store