Japan Creates a Dishwasher to Fit in the Tiniest of Tokyo Apartments! Next month I will explain how matcha is produced…but if you can’t wait that long and want to dive straight in and try whisking a bowl of this vivid and delicious health elixir, you can find matcha from Yame at www.chikitea.com. Matcha doesn’t only exist as tea, however. There are various legends and theories surrounding how the making of tea was discovered but one of the most prominent stories is the one about Shennong. Sen no Rikyu’s philosophy and teachings about the tea ceremony are the foundation for three major iemoto (家元, head houses) of sado: the Omote-senke, Ura-senke, and Mushakoji-senke. The plant that the leaves were from turned out to be a tea bush. The tea that the monarch was served wasn’t matcha yet, however. But be careful please, because not all micro-milled green tea is matcha! Shading is vital to the cultivation because the leaf is altered when it struggles for light, therefore delivering maximum antioxidants and theanine as well as incredible umami and a backend lingering sweetness. – Things a Japanese College Student Can’t Live Without! Your email address will not be published. For a while, the tea ceremony was the only occasion on which to enjoy matcha and, therefore, a privilege of the upper classes. Tokyo Roppongi: 5 Most Amazing Spots at Roppongi Hills and How to Make the Best of Them! After studying tea and Zen principles in his early life, he became the tea master of the famous samurai Oda Nobunaga in 1579 and was, after Nobunaga’s death, employed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. When tea seeds were introduced to Japan, they were first planted at Toganoo. To make harvested tea easy to transport and to shield it from rot, steamed and then dried tea leaves were ground into a powder which was then pressed into bricks. Much has been lost in translation when it comes to what matcha really is and all the various claims of health benefits that surround it. It’s not salty, sweet, sour, or savory; nor some combination of these. Natural glutamates develop when some foods are fermented, aged, cooked, or processed (steamed in the case of matcha and many Japanese green teas). From a hot cup of creamy latte that is enjoyed in the café just around the corner to the expensive, high-grade tea powder sold in organic grocery stores all across the Western world, we are no strangers to the term “matcha” anymore. One of the most influential figures when it comes to sado is Sen no Rikyu (1522 ~ 1591). No other plant produces tea and certainly won’t have the superfood health benefits of matcha or any other green tea. Eisai wrote a book not only about how to drink green tea but also about various health benefits and positive effects on the human body, called the kissa yojoki (喫茶養生記), or “On Drinking Tea for One’s Health”. You might argue that your cup of peppermint tea — which said it was ‘tea’ on the box — is in fact tea, but it’s not…it is an, is not a proper tea either, though often mislabeled as such – particularly on cafe and restaurant menus. Shading is vital to the cultivation because the leaf is altered when it struggles for light, therefore delivering maximum antioxidants and theanine as well as incredible, It’s a unique taste and sensation that happens on the tongue with anything containing natural glutamic acid or, Next month I will explain how matcha is produced…but if you can’t wait that long and want to dive straight in and try whisking a bowl of this vivid and delicious health elixir, you can find matcha from Yame at, September 2020 Featured Writer – Holly Helt. Not only was the taste good, however. The Yame region is so special not only because of the growing conditions but also its rare and nearly extinct, traditional technique of shading the plants before harvest. In a nutshell, matcha green tea or simply matcha (sometimes spelled maccha), is a very specific and distinct Japanese tea, made from intensively cultivated and processed tea leaves, called tencha, that are micro-milled into a vivid green powder with particles finer than smoke. You can also find micro-milled sencha known as, , or if you go to a sushi restaurant you will almost certainly see, (powdered tea), that’s usually served at the end of a meal. Curious, Shennong tried the water nonetheless and found the taste of it quite enjoyable. Precious matcha demands a perfect place for cultivation. The flagship Chiki Tea café and retail outlet in Nakatsu (Kyushu) is fast becoming regarded as the go-to place for great tasting matcha from Yame and premium kabuse senchas from Kagoshima but is also famous for Holly’s family recipes for granola, cookies, muffins, and cakes. The story of matcha starts a few hundred years later. In this form, it could be easily carried around, either for travel or for transportation to markets all across China and beyond. Kyoto Sento: Spotless and Spacious, These 3 Traditional Kyoto Baths Are Amazing! Popular Things to See and Do in Yamagata Prefecture - Japan's Land of Snow Monsters, Japanese Foods List: 16 Crazy Tasty Japanese Tohoku Region Dishes You've Never Heard of, Kyoto Souvenirs: 5 Popular Souvenir Shops and Gifts Along Arashiyama Shopping Street. Images provided and copyright held by author. Required fields are marked *. Posted by Holly Helt | Aug 25, 2020 | Basics & Tips | 0 |. Your email address will not be published. Matcha gets its superfood status and incredible health benefits from two distinct processes: The way the tea plant is cultivated and how it is processed. With progress in production and processing, for example by Soen Nagatani who is responsible for the now famous Uji matcha, the precious green tea powder became available to the Japanese public and while still being closely connected to the tea ceremony, matcha became more than a noble, ceremonial beverage for the noble and wealthy. This ritualized and focused way of making and drinking matcha had spread to Japanese nobles and samurai by the 16th century, who often employed tea masters to take part in the art of tea. 3 All-You-Can-Eat Shops for Yakiniku in Ikebukuro! The tea master infused the ritual of drinking tea with four main principles: harmony, purity, tranquility, and respect. One day, Shennong was boiling hot water over a fire for later use, and as it happened, the wind blew a few leaves of a nearby bush in Shennong's kettle, coloring the water and giving it a rather distinctive aroma. An herbal tea is made with herbs or other plant extracts. Exploring the World of Japanese Bars. It is not made from, But in the case of matcha, it’s milled from, The Yame region is so special not only because of the growing conditions but also its rare and nearly extinct, traditional technique of shading the plants before harvest. The recent boom in matcha means you now see it everywhere – from ice cream, cakes, and savory dishes; to lattés, smoothies, and exotic concoctions like Starbucks’ new Pineapple Matcha Drink. In this blog series, I will try to provide some clarity, though some things may surprise you! You can also find micro-milled sencha known as funmatsucha, or if you go to a sushi restaurant you will almost certainly see konacha (powdered tea), that’s usually served at the end of a meal. Imagine a tea farm in Yame Kyushu, high up in the misty mountains where the stars shine brightly at night. Nominations for “Best of Awards” For World Tea Expo 2020. To learn more about umami, check out my recent T Ching article on it. One of his most famous sentences regarding the tea ceremony, specifically regarding the equipment that is used for it, is: "Though you wipe your hands and brush off the dust and dirt from the vessels, what is the use of all this fuss if the heart is still impure?". She has studied two methods of tea ceremony, both Urasenke and lesser known Yabunouchi, which has direct lineage to Sen-no Rikyu (known as the father of the tea ceremony), and is the school of practice for samurai. But as these new uses for this beautiful, vivid green powder flourish, it’s all in stark contrast to its traditional consumption by meditating monks and generations of tea connoisseurs in Japan who whisked it in hot water and drank straight from the bowl, ensuring no loss of the highly subtle flavor notes, textures, and feeling of calm contentment it delivers. By the 15th century, the consumption of matcha had become infused with the philosophies of Zen Buddhism – sado (茶道), the Way of Tea or simply the tea ceremony, was born. There’s even, In order to be considered ‘tea’, the leaf must come from the, plant. As opposed to the United States or Europe, for example, where matcha sweets are still somewhat of a rarity, Japan can look back on a century-long history with matcha. While some might see the green powder as a thing mostly enjoyed by hip cosmopolitans or health-conscious hippies, others have already claimed matcha tea for themselves.
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