Awaken at the foot of mount Fuji

Mr. Mitsugi Koyanagi was the first to have gotten media attention on his incredible creation of icho, oxidized sencha green tea, where majority of tea in the market was non oxidized.  Given that icho tea can not be mass produced, there were almost no tea vender would buy his tea, but, he kept on making believing in his creation of this beautifully crafted sencha with subtle scent of wisteria flower.  His tea garden being on the mountain, the harvest is just about the time when wisteria blooms and mountain is full of wild oak tree flowers.  My mother describes this spring mountain with large patches of light beige as "mountain is laughing".  So today was a beautiful sunny day to witness full of mountain laugh and flowers.  Mr Koyanagi was in the process of finishing his black tea version of this tea.  

He kindly accepted my unannounced abrupt visit, showed me his equipment.  While he continued with his tea making, I asked to visit his tea garden just behind his house... He said to follow the rail for tea carrier along the steep hill, so I did.  After about 10 min of short yet sharp hike, I reached his moderate size tea garden, just been harvested.  Along the way, I smelled this sweet scent in the air very familiar... On the hike down, I spotted some kind of citrus trees just like pomelo flowers I saw many in Rui Sui, Taiwan.  Maybe it's just an coincidence,, but, I saw pomelo flowers in Rui Sui where the sweet and fragrant honey black tea is produced.   

Most of all, I was touched by generosity and kindness of Mr. Koyanagi, a humble tea maker.  I would have to wait for another 10 days or so to receive his tea as the teas are being made.  He gave me a small bag of samples from last year.  The scent was so so incredibly elegant and sweet.  I am dying to try this when I reach my home in Miyazaki with my mother.

I just experienced nice sweet kindness yet again through teas.  I just wanted to share this moment with you all tea lovers.

Posted on May 6, 2015 .

Date palm flowers were the usual suspect...

I thought the sweet jasmine smell in the air all over the tea orchard was from the tea plants, but, I think they are largely from the data palm flowers.  Sheltered by these palm trees with such sweet smell, no wonder these teas grown here have rich layer of sweet fragrance.  So any one can confirm this?  Data palm flowers releases sweet jasmine like smell?

Posted on August 24, 2014 .

Hard water makes tea weak and bland.......

Characteristics of water really matter to the outcome of the brew....

So I visited my dear friends in the greater New York area, and brought Yamabijin, my favorite black tea.  Beautiful brilliant amber color of the brew and gentle yet assertive flavor of this tea was supposed to make an easy introduction to often frowned upon, bitter, stiff, unfriendly green tea.... But, the result was rather disappointing... The watercolor was rather dull dark red more like black rather than being blight amber red, and it really tasted brand.   Just lost all the good profile it supposed to express.  I realized I have to take the characteristics of water in the region to make recommendation. One of my summer reading has been on history of black tea, and it all makes sense to me how the hard water in Europe made the gentle Chinese green tea rather brand, and more pungent black tea was received with immediate popularity.  So for those who brew teas with tap water or filtered tap water in the region where water tend to be on the hard side, probably need tangy teas rather.  Probably the Guri cha from Kumamoto will probably works out beautifully. 

I need to do more testing with different water.  Please write your comment about the characteristics of water affecting the tea brew from your experience.  

Posted on August 6, 2014 .

Tea presso ..... how is that going to be!!!

Apparently a electric appliance maker in japan started selling something called, Ocha presso, a machine that grinds the tea leaves and brew matcha, like the espresso machine would do to create espresso from the coffee beans.  I am just curious how this one works... Can beat the years of mastery matcha making, but, seems like a fun gimmick!!!...  Gotta tried it out.  Any of you out there tried it out or seen it?

Posted on May 22, 2014 .

Japanese green tea - full of anti oxidant.

Japanese green tea do not let the leaves wilt, but, kills the enzyme and stop oxidation at harvest to preserve its beautiful green colour.  So any expert out there can answer my question?  Does green tea have more anti oxidant than other teas?  If yes, why?  and by how much?

All I know is..... I had green tea every day, all day long last month while I was in Japan, and my friends say my skin condition is fantastic.  Let's wait to hear from an expert on this... anyone??

Posted on May 20, 2014 .

Cha Do Raku will be featuring a mini tea demonstration at Halitatea cafe in Jerusalem

Cha Do Raku is super excited as Gabriel, a sweet sweet woman who runs specialized tea shop in tree lined chic part of Jerusalem agreed to host our mini tea demonstration on March 27.  If you are in the neighbourhood by any chance, please stop by to share the joy of tea!!!  Cha Do Raku is expecting special tea sample sent as we speak, from an artisanal tea farmer in Makinohara, Japan.  

What a exciting spring this is.  So much is happening that 24hours is just not enough to embrace them all!!!  

Most likely candidates for this tasting will be Kamairi by Koorogi, Sencha from Kirei en, Maccha from Koyamaen, White tea and Kabuse from Makino hare, and more.

Posted on February 17, 2014 .