The 88th Day: Spring tea picking tradition!

Hachijuu-Hachiya, the 88th Day  八十八夜 The 88th day of traditional Japanese calendar, which falls right around May 1st or 2nd, is famous as an important date for farmers, and especially tea farmers. For several hundred years, the 88th day has been considered the best day to start the spring tea harvest. Those tender new shoots […]

Tea Cultivars: All About the Plant!

During tea tours, we are often asked whether there are different types of plants for different teas. Read on for the answer!   Tea Cultivars A cultivar is a group of plants that have been bred by farmers for desirable characteristics. Cultivars can be more or less suited to weather conditions (frost hardy or early […]

Japanese black tea

Introduction to Wakoucha: Japanese Black Tea

As we’ve seen in the “What’s in a Name?” blog series, Japan is famous for producing green tea in great variety. There’s sencha, tencha, matcha, gyokuro, kukicha, bancha, genmaicha, and houjicha. These have been central to Japanese production for hundreds of years. However, if we look beyond green tea, there is even more delicious tea to […]

What’s in a Name? Part III: Bancha & Hojicha

Are you ready for part 3?! Here come bancha and hojicha!  Bancha  番茶 The character for ban includes the characters for rice and field, and refers to a turn or a number in a series. Bancha is usually translated as coarse or common tea, and is made from mature leaves picked in between the four main harvests […]

What’s in a Name? Part II: Gyokuro & Kukicha

Welcome back to our blog series on tea names! Today, we’ll cover gyokuro and kukicha.   Gyokuro  玉露 Gyokuro, meaning “jewel dew,” conjures up an image of morning dewdrops collected from rare jade, and the tea liquor is a vibrant green color to match. Gyokuro is famous as a luxury tea; it’s harvested just once […]

What’s in a Name? Part I: Matcha, Tencha, and Sencha

Hello everyone! This week’s post is the first section of a series on Japanese tea names. If you’ve ever been curious why a tea is called by a particular name, this is the post for you!   Tea  茶 Perhaps the most important word on this list is cha, or tea. The Japanese character has its […]

Japanese tea & dessert pairings

Pairings with Japanese tea and desserts exist albeit uncommon. Matcha is a popular choice for many although the variety that Japanese tea could offer is fascinating. One will be surprised how it could pair well with foods such as desserts. Dessert and tea have both their own unique character.  When paired together, it makes one harmonious […]

Chagayu (Tea Porridge)

Recommended for those who follow a vegetarian/vegan diet or for someone who is ill:   Ingredients for 3-4 people Rice 150g/180ml (roughly rinsed) Water 540-720cc Bagged Houjicha 12g   Bring the water to a boil. Once boiled put Hojicha in, simmer it for a few minutes until the tea colour comes out. Then take out […]

Matcha Workshop in Barcelona – 1st October, 2015

We visited Barcelona last year and having been invited by young tea enthusiasts Matteo and Sandra form the Tea Lovers Project we had another chance to come to Barcelona this year. To tell the truth Matteo and Sandra have already been working with our tea and before the event they event took us to a […]