2013/11/28

Keep Away from Cold

Toward the end of the year, our lives are getting busier. We don’t have a time to be laid up with a cold or flu, do we? In that case, tea could help.

Japanese green tea is said to have a lot of catechin, which has the effect of killing bacteria. Some schools especially at the tea-production areas encourage their students to gargle with tea during winter. Between classes, after PE class, before school lunch…..the all students gurgle with tea. According to those schools, fewer students catch a cold since they have introduced this system.

Even tasteless tea made from used tea leaves has enough catechin to work for killing bacteria. So why don’t you make use of it “to the last catechin”?


2013/11/23

Shinno (Shnnong) Festival

There is a small shrine called “Sukunahikona Jinja” a at a business district in Osaka. It is dubbed as “Shinno san”, which means “Mr. Shnnong”. He was regarded as the one who first tasted tea.

The shrine -T-
The place is enshrined both “a God of Japanese medicine ‘Sukunahikona ‘” and “the Father of Chinese medicine and tea ‘Shennong’”. As you know, tea was considered to be one of medicine in the old time. The area is still known as the medicine district because some headquarters or branches of well-known pharmaceutical companies are located. Since tea is not regarded as a medicine anymore, we cannot find any remnants of tea such as tea-related archives or goods.
Every year, “Shinno Festival” is held on Nov 22nd and 23rd at the shrine. Lots of people visit there during the festival to pray for their health, but most of them don’t know the connection with tea. However, for some tea-lovers, this shrine is still “a Mecca of tea".

banners -T-





Shennong is credited with identifying hundreds of medical (and poisonous) herbs by personally testing their properties, which was crucial to the development of Traditional Chinese medicine.  Legend has it that Shennong had a transparent body and thus could see the effects of different plants and herbs on himself. Tea, which acts as an antidote against the poisonous effects of some seventy herbs, is also said to be his discovery. This discovery is in 2737 B.C., according to which Shennong first tasted tea from tea leaves on burning tea twigs, which were carried up from the fire by the hot air, and landed in his cauldron of boiling water. "(extraction from Wikipedia)

 

2013/11/14

Drink Gyokuro and Eat Gyokuro

What would you do with tea leaves in a tea pot after drinking green tea? Maybe, many would say “Throw them away!” But, in case of good tea, especially Gyokuro, don’t do it!! There’s still plenty of nutrition in the leaves. Why don’t you eat?

A tea farmer, Mr. Harashima, in Yame makes Gyokuro rice. His recipe is really simple. Just mix used tea leaves with rice and add a little bit of salt. That’s it! Easy, but looks good, doesn’t it?

I know you don’t usually eat a bowl of rice. Then how about tea leaves omelette?
 
In any case, throwing them away is mottainai (what a waste!)!


gyokuro rice  photo by Mr Harashima
 

BTW, have you noticed where Mr. Harashima produces Gyokuro? It is Yame. Yes, Yame is one of the best Gyokuro producing areas. No doubt that his tea is great to both drink and eat :-)

*Mr.Harashima’s website: Ocha noTiyonoen   http://www.yokaocha.com/
(English is not available. Sorry! When you are interested in his tea, let me know.)

*About Gyokuro and Yame (from my older posts) http://japaneseteastory.blogspot.jp/search?q=Gyokuro

 

2013/11/12

Japanese Black Tea Festival in 2013

Ad for the event
An annual Japanese black tea festival was held in Ureshino, one of the most popular tea producing areas, at the beginning of November.

We enjoyed a sampling session with a special cup, which could be taken home as a souvenir. Since there were cups of various designs made by some local pottery producers, it was not easy to choose only one, but fun. When you found tea you liked, you could buy it there. Also various wakocha sweets and tea-related goods were for sale. The venue was full of wakocha and spirits.

special cups for sampling
Even outside of the venue, we enjoyed the Wakocha day. Some local hotels served their special afternoon tea menu and even Wakocha bath, which was interesting.





I know it is too early, but I’m already looking forward to 2014 summit held in Kanazawa.


*About 2012 summit (from my older post)

2013/11/06

Tea Lesson on a Train

Thanks to excellent public transportation system around my area, I use it a lot almost everyday, especially subway. And I always find many ads suspended over the center aisle of a train. Ads for new magazines, for a company, for an event…..Always something similar :-(

However, there is one which makes tea-lovers happy in a Kyoto subway. It’s about “How to make good Sencha” sponsored by the municipality in order to promote tea, which is a local specialty. Isn’t that cool?

Let’s learn how to make good Sencha on a train!
 
Ad in a train  -photo by M.Hashimoto-