2017/10/21

Ichoka -Withered Japanese Green -

To process Japanese green tea, soon after the leaves are plucked, they are supposed to be steamed or pan-fired to stop its oxidation. Yes, as soon as possible after the leaves are plucked. Otherwise, the tea would be withered. 

The process of withering adds some aroma to the tea, and it is considered to make Japanese green tea quality worse since the distinguish trait of the tea is umami (savory), not withered aroma. In short, it is thought that withering could destroy the quality of Japanese green tea. This seems to be a rule made by the Japanese tea association during the mass-producing era when it was considered that the taste of the tea should be unified.

However, it’s becoming the thing in the past. Nowadays, Japanese green tea with a bit of withering are seen more and more.

The time has changed now and it is more “individual” era, not mass-producing era. "Unified" is not always needed. Recently, people, especially younger generation appreciate aroma. For tea geeks, it is exciting to find something different and special. So it is natural to see the tea with more aroma.

While a distinguish aroma of traditional shaded Japanese green is called “ooika (lit: ooi=shade/cover, ka=aroma)”,  the withering aroma is called “ichoka (lit: icho=withering, ka=aroma)”. As one of the tea geeks, the more choices, the more happier. 


2017/10/05

Aroma of Bancha -banchu-

Have you heard of the word “Banshu”? Actually, even among tea lovers in Japan, this term is not that well-known. 

“Ban” is for Bancha, which is mainly produced from summer or autumn leaves. “Shu” means, in this case, aroma. So, “banshu” is the aroma of Bancha.

How do you describe this aroma, then? One of the experts said that it is like “the scent of futon aired out under the sun”. Sounds interesting, but I can feel it. 

Bancha is considered to be lower quality, not a special and connoisseur tea. If you look at it from a different angle, it’s an everyday tea, giving us the feeling of warm and secure. I can say it is like a "comfort tea".

The mornings and evenings is getting cooler these days. It is a good season to drink Bancha with warm and nice “banshu”.




2017/09/28

Tokyo's Newest Sweets Treats

You may think Japanese are on a healthy diet. Japanese women desire to lose weight and eat less rice and meat…..BUT, many have a sweet tooth and cannot resist it!

This program has nothing to do with tea, but something to do with teatime. If you have a sweet tooth, check it out.

*Tokyo's Newest Sweets Treats by TOKYO EYE 2020, NHK world



(Available until Sep27, 2018)