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Showing posts from July, 2014

Steep Yourself in Tea

Japanese tea is supposed to be “drink”, but it can be good to “eat” too!
A new restaurant “GREEN TEA RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU” specializing in “enjoy eating tea” is going to open in a hotel in Tokyo on August 1, 2014. 
I hear that even cooking oil they use is not just an oil. They use “tea oil”, which means the one that tea is soaked in oil. Also, various tea are to be served in harmony with the dishes. Sounds like enjoying dinner with wine, doesn’t it? When you come to Tokyo, why don’t you STEEP yourself in Japanese tea world? Of course, I would love to try too!

Web Sites: * Hotel Ryumeikan Ochanomizu Honten *GREEN TEA RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU :

You Love Tea? TEA LOVES YOU.

Do you keep a record of tea that you had? 
What kind of tea is it? Where did you get it? And how much? Does it have a good body? Do you like the aroma? How is the tea color? ..and such. 
I tried and did once in a while using my PC, but it didn’t last long because I am not a PC person. I mean that I used to write down my impression on the tea on a small notepad while drinking, and type it up on my PC later. But I should've known that I’m not very well organized…
Today I just got an Ochazuki Techo (lit: a tea-lover’s notebook) at a small tearoom in Osaka. It is made just to take notes on tea. You can write how you like and what’s it like. For some tea-geeks, this could be a good record and  happy tea diary.

Personally, I like the cover, especially the bottom part; “TEA LOVES YOU”. Can you see the kettle that tea is been pouring to “V”? It’s cute, isn’t it? This “little teapot, short and stout”, which reminds me of a song "I'm a little teapot", motivates me to open the not…

TEA vs COFFEE –Bitterness-

In taste-wise, tea has something in common with coffee. Both have "bitterness", don't they?. Look like the same, but don’t you think they have different bitterness respectively? 
It is not easy to explain the taste, but in Japanese we use different words for them, which are "shibui" for bitter taste of tea while "nigai" for that of coffee. It is completely my opinion, but I feel that tannin-ish taste could be "shibui", caffeine-ish taste is "nigai". 

In English, you may say "astringency “, "pungency “ or whatever other than "bitterness". How would you describe the bitterness of tea? How would you distinguish tea-ish bitterness from coffee-ish bitterness? I am very curious......:-) 

Make a Wish on a Star - tanabata -

July 7th is a Japanese star festival known as Tanabata (lit: the seven evening), which celebrates the reunion of the lovers of star, Vega and Altair. 
Legend says that they are allowed to see each other only once a year on July 7th, separated by Milky Way except that day. Vega was believed to be good at weaving, and people would think that “I want to be as good at weaving as Vega is.” or “I wish I were as good as her.” So people used to write their wishes on a piece of paper on the day. Gradually, people came to hang the paper on a bamboo branches in hopes that their wishes could reach to Vega in the sky, which is how we celebrate the day now. What have “developed” are...the paper is more colorful, and our wishes are more demanding, ha, ha. 
Wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) representing “star” is also available during this season to celebrate the day. Wish on a star while looking up to the sky and enjoying Tanabata sweets and tea.