2015/05/30

Matcha Beer Garden

Unseasonably hot in Japan this year..... I’m sure some people cannot survive without beer. 

by GREEN TEA RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU
As Japanese love beer,  a “beer garden” gets very busy when it's hot. Wikipedia says that beer garden is an outdoor area in which beer and local food are served, typically at shared tables. Whatever it is….it is popular here.

I don’t drink. Even so, this looks interesting…..which is “Matcha Beer Garden” at “GREEN TEA RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU” in Tokyo.

They serve three different Matcha beer and other six kinds. Also you can enjoy about 60 kinds of food that tea is used in as an ingredient.If you are curious about this beer garden, you should go by September 30.


Matcha potate salad - by GREEN TEA RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU



2015/05/26

Green Tea Refines the Palate

I saw an interesting TV program taking up some issues that non-Japanese people question about concerning Japanese. One of the issues was this;  “Why do Japanese people drink such a bitter drink every day?” 

Unfortunately, I didn’t find any clear answers from it, but it was interesting to know that the bitterness helps refine one’s sense of taste. According to a professor shown on the program said that the bitterness of the tea impacts on the sense of taste, expanding "the richness of the taste". Therefore Japanese tend to taste more umami and subtle sweetness. 

I have to say more Japanese, especially younger generation tend to avoid the bitterness nowadays. The consumption of not only tea made in kyusu (teapot) but beer has been decreasing because of – at least one of – the reason. Maybe, forgetting green tea could mean “forgetting Japanese taste”.

BTW....... bottled green tea with less bitterness is so popular unlike teapot tea.:-(



2015/05/23

Tea Education

I’ve found the news, saying that 41 schools in Numazu city, Sizuoka serve “chameshi (tea rice)” for their school lunch. This special menu has been served since 2006 around this area.

What is it like? This is their chameshi.  -- Cook the rice with green tea, mix with a tiny fish, sprinkle some powdered tea on the rice, and serve it. -- The rice is served with shincha (lit; new tea) and some other dishes. 

A student who had this lunch said, “I usually drink mugicha (barely tea) at home, but this hot green tea is good too”. Another one said, “I enjoy chameshi. I smelled tea in the rice unlike the one I usually eat, which is good. I think I can eat more.” As you can see, they seem to enjoy it.

Shizuoka is one of the biggest tea-producing areas. Even so, the consumption has been decreasing. I'm sure that the students have learned more about their local product through this experience.

school lunch -image-

2015/05/18

Hojicha - different taste-

I bought a bag of “kuki-hojicha” today. Soon after that, a topic about the tea was brought up by coincidence. In that case….. I should write about it again:-)

Hojicha, roasted tea, attracts many people thanks to its nice fragrance. Did you happen to know there are roughly two types of hojicha? One is mainly made from tea leaves, the other is from stems (known as “kuki-hojicha”).  

Generally, kuki-hojicha has slightly darker color and richer taste, while the other has lighter taste, but more aroma. Why? Nutrients are taken in from roots, then come through stems, and finally reach to leaves. Therefore, the stems absorb more nutrients first before they are reached to the leaves.

When they are not roasted, they are called "kuki-cha (steam tea)". Other than stem tea, there is "me-cha (buds tea)" produced from the buds too. 

Yes, even the stems and the buds, they can be a good tea! Very economical and eco-friendly, aren't they??

Kuki Hojicha (left) / Hojicha produced from the leaves (right)

2015/05/06

Tea in Balcony

It is the tea-picking season around my area, but not at my balcony yet. 

I got some seedlings of tea tree, Camellia sinensis last May from a tea farm in Kyoto, and they've been at my balcony since then. Yes, I got “some”, but this is the only branch that I have now. Sorry, others are dead….

Will “the tea-picking season” come to my balcony someday?? Well…..we’ll see….:-)