Savory Afternoon Tea in Kyoto

I went to afternoon tea in Arashiyama in Kyoto.
Unlike traditional English afternoon tea, afternoon tea here was savory one, which was healthier.

First, a box of tea was brought to us for us to select what to drink. We can see the leaves and smell what they are like. I love that presentation.

Since it was hot outside, I had an iced orange flavored Sencha.

This is what I had.

A tiny hand-rolled sushi, a quiche with ricotta, a red wine marinated quail's egg, balsamic vinegared chicken etc. 

noodle and white miso veloute soup. 

sweets from a traditional Japanese confectionery shop "Oimatstu".

While having food, I ordered Darjeeling and another Sencha. Full of tea!!

The restaurant is along a river. This is unusual afternoon tea but I think very Kyoto-ish both food and scene. Food was not buttery and creamy, which were easy to your stomach.

When you happen to be there, it may be a good place to relax.

* Suiran  http://www.suirankyoto.com/en


Hand-Made Black Tea from 90 years old tea tree

I joined a workshop on hand-rolling tea using the leaves of a 90 years-old tea tree.
Many tea at store are produced by cured cultivar tea to equal the quality and character. But tea tree themselves are grown naturally here and there in Japan.

The instructor for the workshop is a tea farmer and a friend of mine.

First, we tasted the tea from 90 years-old tea trees leaves made by the farmer.

Of course, hand-picked and hand-rolled tea. Unlike commercializing tea, looks so natural and so pure. Very delicate and gentle. Subtle sweetness spread in my mouth. There is no distinct flavor, but the tea went into body very smoothly. I felt like “Zen” in it.

 He brought some leaves he plucked and leave them for two days. This is called withering. This process helps reduce the water content to accelerate the oxidation.

When you roll them strongly, the tea color will be stronger. When you roll them very soft, the tea will have more flavor and aroma. Depending on pressure on tea, the taste will differ.

After that, spread the tea thinly and equally as much as possible to make them oxidize.

Then stop oxidization with……a hair dryer!!?? Wow!
You need to spread them on a flat place for another couple of days to dry them.
When ready, make a cuppa! Actually, not bad J


Dust in the Tea!?? NO!!

Have you seen some dust-ish stuff when Sencha is served in Japan?
Actually, this is not “dust” at all. That’s fine soft hair on the back of new buds called “Mouji”.It is a proof of freshness. Which mean the tea is good quality of new tea.

When you find those stuff, you should be lucky to have such a great new tea! 


Kamairicha made by Mr Kajihara in Kumamoto

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