5 Ways to Enjoy Japanese Green Tea – Part 2

Continued from yesterday’s post

3. Tulsi with Hot Milk and Matcha

Is it a cold day and you want something warm to warm you up and soothe your mood? Well we know the perfect fix to keep you cozy inside! Prepare some hot milk with matcha and add a touch of tulsi and you’ll have yourself the perfect concoction to brighten any gloomy day. Because tulsi is actually good for your health (much like green tea), milk with matcha and tulsi is not only a great way to get nutrients, it’s an easy and yummy way to do so. From helping to relieve stress to providing your body with necessary antioxidants, there are several reasons that you should consume this delectable drink as often as you can.

How to: Make sure to grind the matcha and tulsi before putting your milk on to boil. As the milk starts to boil, mix in the blend of matcha and tulsi. Take tastes as you mix it in completely to make sure that you get the perfect blend.

4. Tulsi Green Tea Cocktail

Are you having friends over for a special event and looking to try new things to amaze them? Well, a great way to freshen things up is to add tulsi and green tea to your choice of liquor (though we would have to say that we like the taste of green tea with vodka or gin). The rich mint flavor of the tulsi brings a green tea cocktail to a whole other level of exotic making it an idyllic option for when you want to surprise your guests with something that they’ll question at first but end up loving. We always love this type of daring cocktail with a touch of lemon for a winning drink that will make your guests ask for more. While liquors like rum or whiskey may not blend well with the rich flavors of green tea and tulsi, you can try your favorite liquors until you find the one that works best for your palate and tastes great in cocktails.

How to: There are different ways to make this type of cocktail but the easiest way to do so is to make a tea with your green tea and tulsi. Make sure that you let it sit long enough for the water to really get the flavors. Once the tea is cool and you can taste the tulsi and green tea, shake with ice and your favorite type of liquor and additional ingredients for an incredible tasting cocktail.

5. Tulsi Matcha and Ice Cream

Who says that dessert can’t contain some of your favorite Indian spice? We think that tulsi can be amazing, and that’s why we think one of its best uses is with matcha ice cream. It’s the perfect blend of minty and sweet that makes for a marriage that is so perfect you’ll wonder why this isn’t a world-famous ice cream flavor. What’s even better is that you can now wow your family or guests with an ice cream pairing that is to die for. Pair this ice cream with anything from a cobbler, to pie, to brownies and you’ll be amazed at just how incredible the flavor really is.

How to: Make sure to get your favorite type of ice cream for this recipe (although it pairs best with vanilla). Boil water and add matcha, making sure to blend it in well. Grind tulsi and then add it as well. Whisk the blend for a few minutes and when you’re confident the flavors are blended together perfectly, pour it over your ice cream and voila! You’ll have a uniquely delectable dessert that won’t disappoint.

In Conclusion

While you don’t want to add tulsi to just anything, it can be amazing when paired wisely. Do some research and try various combinations with tulsi and matcha and you’ll be able to use your favorite ingredients in new ways that will make you wonder why you never tried them before.

Whether you’re looking for a new type of tea to drink or are simply looking for new ways to make dessert, these ideas will get you started using tulsi and matcha in the best way possible. If you can’t get enough of your green tea and tulsi, you don’t have to stop enjoying them. As you can see from the information above, there are still so many ways to enjoy these ingredients that you know and love.

 

5 Ways to Enjoy Japanese Green Tea – Part 1

If you’ve never had tulsi before, it’s about time that you tried this amazing spice. If you have had it before or use it regularly, then you know just how delicious it can be in almost anything. Tulsi smells much like clove and has a strong, mint-like flavor that can be delightful when combined with the right type of food and drink.

Tulsi is considered to be a holy plant in India. Because of this, it can be found growing in almost every household in the country. This is one reason why you can find Tulsi in many Indian dishes. Tulsi is believed to be the incarnation of a royal princess who was in love with Krishna.

A surprising way to use tulsi is with green tea and matcha. If you’re looking for new recipes for drinks and meals, the following 5 ways to use tulsi with green tea will provide you with ideas that you may have never thought of trying before:

1.Tulsi with Matcha

If you’re looking for a new way to wake up in the morning or get a bit of a kick when you’re facing a lull in the middle of the day, a tulsi with matcha tea blend can make a world of difference. Because it is an energy-inducing spice, it’s a great addition to any type of tea, especially with your favorite matcha tea. Both ingredients are known to be good for our health, so just imagine how amazing this blend can be for you.

You can drink these two ingredients together as a hot tea, add light milk foam to your tea to make a latte, or even make a smoothie out of them! However, if you feel like drinking some of nature’s best ingredients will be the best way for you to enjoy this pairing and surprisingly, it can be used in many more ways than what we’ve mentioned above.

How to: Grind the tulsi and matcha separately before preparing your food or drink, then mix them together to blend the flavors together.

2. Tulsi with Sencha

For those who prefer sencha over matcha, there is something to be said about the flavor of tulsi with Sencha. If you like the way that sencha can help to provide you with a clear, energetic mind while also calming your nerves, just imagine drinking a glass of Sencha tea or a Sencha smoothie with it. It’s the perfect option for those days when you have to keep on working but find yourself stressed and with your nerves all over the place.

A warm cup of tulsi/sencha tea can help you to relax yet carry on with your project and get it done. We love this blend as sencha has a vegetal flavor that is rich and refreshing. Sometimes, however, it may be too “spinach-like” for some people, so the addition of the minty tulsi gives it a more pleasant tea-like flavor.

How to: Before you prepare anything with sencha and tulsi, you’ll want to make sure to boil the sencha and tulsi together to get the most you can from the flavors.

To be concluded tomorrow

 

Blast From the Past: Pairing Tea With Cheese


One might well imagine wine being the perfect pairing with cheese.  However, while at a cheese-and-wine tasting recently, I had a cheese expert tell me that cheese is much better paired with tea than wine.  So, I decided to host a cheese-and-tea tasting.  I purchased six cheeses and six teas, each with different flavor profiles and textures, and then proceeded to pair each cheese with each of the teas.

Cheeses

Chevre
Marieke Gouda
Hooks 3-Year Cheddar
Sarvecchio
Carr Valley Mobay
Hooks Blue Cheese

Teas

White Peony
Jasmine Green
Houjicha
Feng Huang Dancong “Ba Xian”
Golden Yunnan
Cinnamon Plum

Tasting Highlights

  1. It is best to taste the tea when it has cooled.  When tasting tea and cheese, put the cheese in your mouth and spread it all the way down your tongue and then take a sip of tea.  The tea coats your mouth and the cheese.  Next, breathe and inhale the aroma lingering in your mouth.  A nice tip that helps bridge the flavors in the cheese and tea is to crack fresh pepper onto the cheese, mix with honey, or add cocoa nibs.
  2. The Jasmine Green and White Peony went with just about every cheese.  They both complemented the very distinct flavors of the cheeses.
  3. We added cocoa nibs and honey to the fresh goat cheese (Chevre).  It was amazing!  That paired really well with Golden Yunnan, bringing out the sweet caramel notes of the rich black tea.
  4. White Peony went really well with goat cheese blended with honey.  The honey in the goat cheese brought out some really nice honeysuckle nectar-like notes in the White Peony.
  5. We cracked fresh pepper onto the Marieke gouda and paired it with Golden Yunnan.  The pepper brought out really nice spicy and malty notes in the Golden Yunnan.
  6. We tasted the Hooks Blue cheese at the end of our series.  We knew the flavor would overwhelm any other cheese tasted after it.  Blue cheese is often paired with port or a very thick, juicy, and sweet wine, so it made perfect sense to choose Cinnamon Plum for this pairing.  It was amazing.  We scooped up blue cheese into porcelain tasting spoons and drank the sweet notes of Cinnamon Plum that coated our throats with deliciously rich fruit.

Image provided by author.

This article was originally posted in February 2011.



Tea Towel & A Yayoi Kusama Exhibit


The Broad’s special exhibit Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors closed a few weeks ago. Angelinos who missed the show could catch it at the remaining stops, Toronto, Cleveland, or Atlanta, before the collection of six mirror-lined rooms leaves North America.

Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929, in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture. She attained international recognition in 1957 via a solo exhibit, just a few weeks after her arrival in Seattle. Since 1977 she has resided, voluntarily, at a mental hospital in Japan and commuted to her studio daily.

For over an hour I waited in line to purchase the same-day admission ticket. The strategically positioned mirrors, the scintillating LED lights, and awkward reflections of oneself invoked giggle and laughter; I was not awed though. Art mavens dissected and embraced Kusama’s art, labeling it iconoclastic, recalcitrant yet profound. In my eyes, her work enriches the so-called cuteness culture, or simply cute culture, so cute that I wish to own a piece, especially the signature polka dot-clad Kusama Pumpkin, many of which were displayed inside a space entitled “Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” – the only room where photos were not allowed.

While searching for that perfect miniature Kusama Pumpkin replica, I came across her Love Forever Tea Towel. Do you own a tea towel? Of course you do. No one would cry foul if you call your dish cloth a tea towel. Vincent van Gogh painted on tea towels when he ran out of canvas. Such an ordinary object with many recorded anecdotes!



Does drinking hot tea cause cancer?


I’m always interested in reading articles that speak to tea’s amazing effects on reducing cancer risk. Needless to say, when I came across some research out of Peking University regarding esophageal cancer, I was quite disturbed.

Upon reading the article, however, I think I understand why drinking hot tea would be a culprit. The study was conducted looking at 3 risk factors: 1) Hot tea drinkers 2) Heavy alcohol consumption and 3) cigarette smoking. It takes all 3 variables to contribute to an increased prevalence of esophageal cancer. If you take a moment to consider this, it doesn’t take a research project to come to this conclusion.  Imagine a person who has been drinking and smoking to excess. Enter tea – or any excessively hot beverage. The hot liquid would burn the delicate tissue as it runs through the esophagus. Cigarette smoke certainly causes inflammation of the tissues and then the burn from a hot liquid – bingo, the damage to the cells would be swift and with repeated exposure, this is a scenario that would encourage cancer cells to dominate.

The researchers conclude that merely drinking hot tea does not, in and of itself, increase one’s risk for this type of cancer. Did we really need a study to come to that conclusion? When one isn’t drunk, it’s easy to learn to wait a bit before drinking our freshly brewed tea so we don’t burn ourselves. It would be interesting to see if these same effects and conditions apply to coffee consumption. Now that would have made a fascinating comparison.

Image Source



10 Reasons Why Tea is a Universal Home Remedy


Tea is a widely consumed beverage that seems to be suitable for any occasion, whether it’s a home brunch, a business lunch or a dinner with friends. Some recognize specific teas by their flavor, others prefer them for their health benefits. Tea is usually made of dried leaves, fruit, flower or roots of plants. There are countries which have a specific tea in their traditional culture, such as the Japanese Matcha green tea, Turkish black tea, Chinese Oolong tea or the famous English Earl Grey. For this article’s purpose, we will exclude the grain-based tea-resembling beverages.

Which Types of Tea are There?

Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. The first one is water. Moreover, 80% of the Americans have tea in their homes, while 159 million of them drink at least one cup daily. But which one of those many options make real tea?

  • Tea: Derives from Camellia Sinensis plant. It only includes green, white, black, and oolong tea varieties.
  • Infusion: Herbal products which contain elements from a plant with can be recognized by their taste or effect.

Infusions and tea are not technically alike. However, they have made their way in tradition and culture as types of tea and are perceived as such. They also became parts of the tea serving ritual.

10 Ways Tea Helps You Protect Your Health and Boost Your Mind

  1. Contains Low Calories: A cup of tea without a milk or sugar addition has a couple of calories. Therefore, it’s suitable even as part of a diet and it’s almost as hydrating as water.  
  2. Rich in Antioxidants: Tea boosts your exercise endurance by providing you with an additional dose of antioxidants. This is due to the rich catechins found in many teas, especially in white and green tea. Moreover, antioxidants protect your body from the impact of pollution.
  3. Protects Against Heart Disease. Tea contains flavonoids which prevent cell damage and protect from heart disease and some types of cancer. The health effect comes with drinking one – three cups of tea daily.
  4. Eases Weight Loss. There are tea varieties which promote weight reduction and are even recommended by nutritionists. One of them is green tea, which also improves bone mineral strength and density. Also, your taste buds may perceive the taste of some flavored teas as appealing and, therefore, minimize your appetite.
  5. Boosts Immune System. Some flu or cold treatments include tea, as it contains theanine. This amino acid has direct benefits for your immune system.
  6. Fights Free Radicals. Tea can absorb oxygen radical substances that your body does not always eliminate entirely and protects your DNA.
  7. Lowers Parkinson’s Disease Risk. Tea minimizes the effect of smoking and other factors which might lead to Parkinson’s disease in both men and women.  
  8. Protects You from UV Rays. Green tea has backup sunscreen effects. Furthermore, it protects the cells from damaged caused by exposure to radiation as part of treatments.
  9. Prevents Cavities. Tea may decrease tooth loss, as it changes the pH of your mouth after consumption. However, brush your teeth within one hour, as green or black tea may leave stains.
  10. Works for Your Digestion. Many herbal teeth are antispasmodic and improve digestion. There are specific teas that also come in handy, such as ginger. Ginger tea calms nausea.

Take a Sip

Herbal teas provide you with plenty of health benefits. All you need to do is research and see which plant specializes in your desired effect.

Tea usually contains less caffeine than regular coffee, which makes it suitable for consumption on any occasion. However, there are teas which provide you with energy and are recommended for morning consumption. Choose your favorite tea and take a sip!

Image Source

Author Bio

Susan Hamilton is a food engineer and a homemade-everything type of woman. When she’s not growing her own fruits and vegetables or creating homemade recipes for her family, she likes wandering around and having different meetups with her friends. Even with a hectic schedule, she loves writing and editing articles for HomeRemedyBook, where she shares her knowledge about following a healthy lifestyle.



Tea Tasting: An Art for the Tea Lovers


Guest Post By: Rupal Sharma

Tea– As soon as the word ‘tea’ is heard, it recollects the image of warm water mixed with milk and sugar and all the other additives. Who would have known that the real teas are not the concocted liquors but the natural tea leaf extracts merged in warm water?

Tea Tasting Culture

Tea tasting has been an art since the very first cup of tea ever made in the world. However, the varieties of tea kept changing and evolved as the most preferred and beneficial health drinks all over the world.

Drinking tea has revolutionised and was made popular by not just being a drink over the taste buds of the tea consumers but reflecting joy on the faces. That joy was uncountable as the tea drinkers found their happiness in that one slurpy sip.

Emergence of Tea Tasting

Though tea is abundantly available in the current market and that too in different tastes, the tea drinkers have found their kind of art in tea tasting. The taste buds of these people have become so used to the taste of tea that in one sip they are able to detect the etymology of tea and its place of origination. They have reached a level of so much expertise that they possess a power to even convince the non-tea drinkers to enjoy tea with them.

Awareness of Tea as a Luxury Drink

If I talk about my personal experience, the art of tea tasting has been undoubtedly introduced in the place where I work. Being a tea lover, it has been a great experience in working with the core members of the tea business. I have tasted lots of varieties of tea as well as witnessed the tea tasting procedure; it has been a one of a kind experience as the tea experts guided me with approximately 20 kinds of teas and let me taste all of them. It is very rare that you would find a real tea connoisseur around you. But in my case, when I met Mr. Rishabh Dugar (founder of Te.Cha), I have always found him being involved in teas and explaining the art of consuming natural teas, just like a true tea connoisseur. Well, I have always had the tea with the addition of milk and sugar and other flavours, but the real magic of drinking natural tea has immaculately stunned me with the finesse in its taste.

Tea tasting has been compared to an art form as it is rarest of all that we could ever find anyone so much involved in tea that he thinks and talks only tea. The art of tea tasting reflects the voyage of the tea taster, and how much tea he or she has consumed and of how many varieties. Tasting different kinds of teas depend on the varieties of teas available in the market and these varieties are made from a very interesting and special technique, ‘cloning’. The clones of teas are being tested and then grown in different tea producing regions and they never fail to mesmerise the taste buds of the tea consumers.

Tea tasting has been a form of art for many decades and is growing at a rapid pace in today’s world. As the people from different places incline more towards living natural and healthy, tea has gained enormous popularity worldwide. It has become a natural source, where people find their leisure while drinking tea and sharing their happiness, get-togethers, formal or informal meetings, or any special occasion.

Tea has always been an art to consume whole-heartedly!


Author Bio: Rupal Sharma works at Te.Cha-Specialty Tea Boutique (www.techatea.com) in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India.

Writing has always been my passion and there is no other platform than sharing your thoughts through different write-ups and articles. I also have a fondness of singing and dancing and all other creative things that I find attractive and worth investing time for.

Success Mantra: ‘Smile as much as you can!’

Image Source

The post Tea Tasting: An Art for the Tea Lovers appeared first on T Ching.

Blast From the Past: Two styles of white tea


Author: Tiffany Williams

“Do not pick on the day that has seen rain nor when clouds spoil the sky. Pick tea only on a clear day.”
—Lu Yu

I hated my first white tea experience. It was a Lipton white tea blend in a tea bag and it put me off of white tea for years. Then I had real white tea: Silver Needle. Made with tea buds, Sliver Needle tea brews a rich delicate liquid with notes of fruit and honey – truly a robust flavor for a delicate light-colored tea. I fell in love with Silver Needle, but the high price stopped my budding addiction.

white_peonyThe most famous white teas originate in Fujian Province in China.  Fujian produces two main types of white tea: Silver Needle and White Peony.

Sliver Needle tea features long, tender, young tea buds with small hairs, carefully plucked after winter hibernation. In early spring, the tea bushes in Fujian sprout the first green leaves and buds. A stem has a new bud with two leaves below it. About three weeks before plucking, the tea bushes are shaded. Tea buds are picked on clear sunny days.

According to legend, young female virgins wearing silk gloves were the only ones to pick this special tea during Imperial China. Today, workers carefully pluck the best buds and let them wither in an open-air shaded area. Shading prevents further chlorophyll development from the sun. Drying the tea buds in the open air at a low temperature for about 24 hours allows the oxidation process to start. Over 10,000 tea buds can be found in one kilogram of Silver Needle tea, making it one of the most expensive teas in the world. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the emperor demanded this tea to be paid as tribute. However, there is a less expensive white tea you can enjoy – White Peony.

White Peony tea is a new leaf style white tea. This tea is made from the first bunch of new leaves located under a new tea bud. Tea masters blend a few different White Peony styles –  a tea bud and one leaf (the highest grade), the first leaf alone, a tea bud and an imperfect first leaf, and a tea bud and the first and second true leaves. The first leaf under the bud is porous, allowing for complete drying during the air-drying process. After plucking, White Peony tea leaves are dried in the shade and then baked. Because of the air drying, this tea is 8-15 percent oxidized.  White Peony varieties have the delicate flavors of flowers and honey.

So, how do you brew white tea? Heat filtered water until a column of steam rises. Pour the water over the tea leaves, cover, and steep for 90 seconds to two minutes. The amount of leaves in a cup is based on personal taste. Use more leaves for a stronger cup of tea. Do not use boiling or microwave water because the tea will taste bitter and burned.

White tea is a flavorful treat for all tea drinkers. Appreciate the specific plucking and manufacturing to create a flavorful and delicious cup. You can enjoy the traditional Silver Needle style and the new White Peony leaf style. Both are manufactured to tea perfection. Once I tasted high-quality, loose-leaf white teas, I became a fan. I like to drink white tea on hot days. It makes a great cold-brewed iced tea.

Image Source

This article was originally posted in February 2013.



You Can Eat Your Tea!


Infusing tea into every corner of your dining experience is not a new concept, but certainly a fun one. Tea is the perfect flavor complement in baked cookies, stir-fries, rubs, salad dressing, and even popcorn! Eating various teas can provide a unique profile and sweet or savory flavor personality that is sure to enhance your dining experience.

I greatly enjoy DAVIDsTEA Soup Teas. And, to my TEAlight, I discovered how Spicy Rasam’s blended soup packet—with green tea, cumin, turmeric, and spicy chili—gives an irresistible South Indian-style curry kick to my food. The light touch of fire is a perfect complement for my Pear and Mixed Green Salad, as well as a delicious addition sprinkled over my popcorn.

TEAlicious Salad dressing

2 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of DAVIDsTEA Spicy Rasam Soup Tea

  • Whisk ingredients together for a few minutes until blended.

Pear and Mixed Green Salad.

Mixed greens: arugula, baby spinach, dandelion greens
Baby beet tops
Chunks of Bosc pear

  • Mix chunks of Bosc pear, baby beet tops, and mixed greens together.
  • Pour TEAlicious Salad Dressing onto the salad.
  • Toss lightly until dressing thoroughly coats all ingredients.

Enjoy!

Spicy Rasam Popcorn

1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (for popping)
2 tablespoons DAVIDsTEA Spicy Rasam Soup Tea

Select a pot large enough to account for the expanding popcorn. The pot should also be on the thin side. Turn the heat up to high and place 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into the pot. Test readiness by adding two kernels of popcorn. Cover the pot and wait. When the two kernels pop, remove the pot from the heat, scoop out the two popped kernels, and then add the remaining unpopped kernels. Cover the pot and give it a good shake. Let the kernels sit for one minute. This allows the kernels to heat up evenly.

Once popped, pour the popcorn into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle Spicy Rasam onto the popcorn while hot and then toss lightly until evenly coated. I chose not to use butter on my popcorn. But, If you choose to do so, add melted butter before you sprinkling on the Spicy Rasam soup packet.

Relax and enjoy this flavorful treat!

Discover more recipe ideas and edible teas here: http://blog.davidstea.com/en/introducing-soup-teas/

Interested in individually designed tea reviews? Weaving compelling visual stories for social media is a passion of mine. I love creating immersive illustrated reviews that awaken people to tea and culture. If you desire an illustrated review to engage your followers, please contact me.



How A Japanese Tea Farm is Fighting Against Japan’s Biggest Problem – Age – Part One


The Japanese tea industry is facing a huge problem.

This problem is hitting many of the respected tea farmers who have been in the industry for decades or even centuries. 

The problem is: Japanese people are getting old.

In particular, tea drinkers in Japan are getting old. This article will show you why the green tea industry is facing the problem and a story of how one tea farmer is trying to combat the problem today.

Japanese tea drinkers are getting old

The average age of a Japanese green tea drinker is said to be 55 years old.  In 2018, the Japanese population had the second highest median age in the world next to Monaco. Based on 2014 estimates, 33% of the Japanese population is above the age of 60.  

Green tea is typically enjoyed by the older generation in Japan, and younger populations tend to be favoring other kinds of drinks such as coffee, soda and other sweet drinks, including fruit juice. 

If you stop on any corner in Tokyo, the self-serving vending machines show you the truth of this favoring. Although green tea is still the most common beverage in Japan, when you stop at stations such as Harajuku where the younger generation tends to hang out more, you see lines of “sweet drinks” in the vending machines.   (I wrote a comprehensive article about vending machine culture and green tea trend in Japan here.)

There is even a word for this in Japan now.  Ochabanare (お茶離れ), which literally means “leaving tea trend,” which describes young people leaving the culture and drinking of tea.

Due to the younger generation not drinking green tea, consumption of green tea in Japan has been decreasing year after year. 

As of 2018, Japan is the eighth largest tea producer in the world (88900 tons/year); however, tea farming itself has unfortunately decreased in recent years.

According to statistics released by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in 2016, the area used for tea farming has decreased from 46200 hectares in 2011 to 43100 hectares in 2016.  That is a 7% decrease in just 5 years.  This is said to be due to multiple reasons:

  1. Imports of tea from other countries such as China is increasing, reducing the price of tea.
  2. Also, farming in general is lacking young labor forces.  Farming is viewed as not “trendy” among the young population, causing a reduction in the labor force.
  3. The younger generation not drinking green tea is surely another main reason for this decline.  

Since tea was introduced to Japan from China in the 7th century, a unique tea culture has evolved in Japan. (Read more about unique Japanese tea culture in my other article.) Tea was initially valued as medicine due to its health benefits and was only available to the rich. Because tea was valued so highly and such a novel product, a unique culture evolved around tea in Japan; a good example is tea ceremonies which were practiced initially among high-class and rich people.    

Because of this novel status, tea farmers have been one of the most respected farmers in Japan for a very long time. Anywhere or any time in history where there are more resources, more inventions happen. A variety of different cultivation methods have evolved in tea industries in Japan over time to get the best tea available to the consumers. One of the most well-known examples of this is Matcha.

Matcha is cultivated by shading tea before harvesting, which increases many health-beneficial chemicals by basically “hungering” the tea plant to crave more sunlight. (Read more about matcha trivia here.)

Another example of such cultivation method is the Chagusaba method( 茶草場). This is a labor-intensive cultivation method commonly practiced over centuries in Shizuoka prefecture where dirt around tea leaves is covered by shrubs of different plants to protect roots from freezing in winter and making the tea taste sweeter. (Try green tea grown by Chagusaba method.)

Though this cultivation method is being designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System by the United Nations, due to the above-mentioned reasons, farmers are not able to sustain the method. (Read more about Chagusaba method.)

Though faced with many challenges, Japanese tea farmers are finding new ways to survive and thrive. Arahataen Green Tea Farms has been one of the most innovative leaders of tea farms in Japan, and very well respected by peer tea farmers.    

Arahataen has always been the first brave tea farm to try out new systems in the tea industry.  For example, they were the first farm to use a deep steaming method (Fukamushi 深蒸し) back in 60s to combat the problem of harder tea leaves due to excessive sun in the region. By successfully steaming tea for longer durations, they were able to introduce better tasting tea which was exposed to more sunlight. (Read more about deep steaming here.)

Arahataen was one of the first ones in Japan to adopt “mail subscription” services when TV shopping became popular in Japan, and of course one of the first to utilize the “online subscription” system. This made them the tea company with the highest online sales in Japan in 2016.

Images provided by author.

To Be Continued Tomorrow…