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Showing posts from June, 2015

Tea Time for the Cool -Minazuki-

As you may know, washoku,traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2013. One of the notable values which was recognized is this; emphasis of the beauty of nature in the presentation. Wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery) has the same value too. 
The sweets called “minazuki” is a must around the end of June, especially for people in Kyoto. It's a triangle-shaped sweet rice jelly topped with sweet red beans. It is said that red beans drive away evil spirits and the triangle shape represents ice-cubes in order to temper the heat. First, enjoy the cool from the eye, and then satisfy your mouth with a cup of tea. This is the one of the ways people have endured sweltering heat from old times. I like that:-)

Matcha or Maccha

Do you spell “matcha” or “maccha"?
The other day, I was asked which one is correct from the perspective of Japanese language. I replied, “I guess either is fine." 
As long as I know, the spelling of “matcha” is more common while the other one is not often seen here in Japan. However, I just learned that a new tearoom opened in Kyoto. It is named “Maccha House.”  ------  OK, I have to research now. 
Japanese language has a double [long] consonant known as sokuon that English doesn’t. In order to represent sokuon in English, there is a basic rule that the consonant has to be doubled. (based on Hepburn System) For example;  * kite ( "come") – /kite/ * kitte ( "postage stamp") – /kitːe/ or /kitte/ * asari ( "clams") – /asaɽi/ * assari ( "easily") – /asːaɽi/ or /assaɽi/                       (Reference: Wikipedia)
If you follow this rule, “maccha” seems to be correct, but there is an exception. In case of the sound of “cha”, ”chi”, “chu”, “che” and…

Brush Your Tea-th Clean !?

You know tea can be anything, and now “tea stuff” is everywhere. I know you won’t be surprised to see this. But..... please allow me to post about this. It’s a tea toothpaste. 

After enjoying tea latte, eating matcha ice cream, having tea-flavored sweets with tea and whatever, brush your teeth with the tea toothpaste. It will be your perfect tea day!!

Which "Variety" Would You Like?

Yabukita has been the most common variety for tea produced in Japan. But it is not only one now. Sofu, okumidori, saemidori, koshun, ujimidori, shizu7132, to name but a few. 

Every variety has not only its own character but its own health benefit which could give us. For example,      

Saemidori: a relaxing effect (infused by the lower temperature water is recommended)
Benifuki: to help alleviate hay fever (infused by high temperature water is recommended)
Yutakamidori: to improve the power to resist disease ( water infused is recommended)
Sofu : to help improve cognitive function                       etc...

Tea is not considered as a medicine in the field of the modern medical care, but it is good to know that "our (potential ?!) everyday drink" can help keep your health. Pick up the variety according to your condition:-)