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Showing posts from May, 2019

World Tea Festival in Osaka

"World Tea Festival" had been held from May16 thorough 20 at Hankyu Department Store, Umeda in Osaka. 


It was the third time, and getting bigger special event year by year. So many tea companies got together at once, and the site was PACKED with people.

In Japan, coffee is bigger than tea, so I wonder if people gather for tea. Surprisingly, they did. There were so many tea-ish stuff and infusion and also "dessert-tea" like cheese tea, and bubble tea. They were popular, which I expected. But other than that, people seemed to be very interested in authentic tea too, which is great.


During the event, lots of workshops were held too.  I attended a workshop done by Simon from Amba estate in Sri Lanka.




Tea seems to be all the rage, but on the other hand, I know many tea farmers in Japan have been struggling their tea business too. Hope this kind of events are the good chance for more people to come to know more about tea and to brew tea themselves.

Gyokuro Saturated with Water

How to brew GYOKURO.

<What you need; (from the left)>
*a small tea bowl, ]
*a tea pot without handle known as "hohin" (lit; treasure jar)
*a vessel to cool down hot water called "yuzamashi"
.
1) Pour hot water into yuzamashi  and let it cool a bit.  Then transfer some water into the tea bowl. About 40- 50 ℃ is suitable to maximize gyokuro character, which is Umami savory. 



2) Put gyokuro (about 5 g) into hohin, and transfer the hot water into it.


3) Leave the lid open and see how the tea is soaking the water. Not ready yet....


4) About 2 minutes later.... soaked well. Now it's ready. You may think " No liquor!!".No worry.



5) Pour the tea until the last drop. You will get this amount of tea. You may still say this is not enough. Anyway, drink it, and you will be surprised how powerful the tea is!! Very very very rich in Umami, and the texture is really thick. You will be satisfied with even this little amount of tea.
6) After multiple infusions, EAT the lea…

My Hand-Rolled Black Tea

I went to a tea event in Kyoto. Since I brought back a tiny amount of tea leaves I plucked, I tried to process my tea!



1.Withering: Leave leaves for one day. Water content is reduced by 40 %. (Originally, the weight of leaves is 16.8g. After withering, it becomes about 10.2g)


2.Rolling: Keep rolling while loosening the lump once in a while. It gets sticker and sticker. I did it about for 30 minutes.


3.Oxidation: Lay the leaves thinly, and covered with a wet paper. Leave it for 3.5 hours in my case.




4Drying: Dry them to stop oxidation. I use a hair dryer, ha, ha.





4.Final drying: Leave it overnight to make them dry completely.

Three Different Covering Method

Tea trees themselves contain L-Theanine (a kind of amino acid) , which creates Umami savory flavor. Once they are exposed in the sun, it turns to catechin, a component of astringency. In other words, when the teas are not exposed in the sun, L-Theanine remains in the leaves instead of creating catechin.


So, some Japanese green teas like Matcha, Gyokuro and Kabuse-cha, which have more umami, are covered for a certain period of the time after new buds start to appear around April.
Then, how are the teas covered? There are 3 different ways:
1)“Honzu” covering (traditional way) Reed screens are spread on the shelf made with logs and bamboo. Later on, straws are spread on it. It keeps low temperature and high humid, which is a good condition for tea to grow slowly and nicely, creating high-quality tea. It requires a great deal of labor and time.





2)“Kanreisha” covering Due to lack of material and labor shortage, black synthetic cloth often known as “kanreisha” is used to cover recently instead o…