Monday, August 30, 2010

Karigane tea (twig tea) at Iyemon salon in Kyoto

We went to Kyoto, again. I like visiting small rustic shrines or temples that have cozy Japanese garden. But this time, we visited some famous big temples.


We visited Nijo Castle, which was designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. It was built for the official Kyoto residence of Shogun (the leader of samurai), and it has good examples of Early Edo period building designs, lavish paintings, and carvings. Webpage (Japanese) >>> http://www.city.kyoto.jp/bunshi/nijojo/index.html




We also visited Iyemon salon, Japanese tea café. It is popular, and we had to wait for 20 minutes to get in. When we were seated, cold green tea was served. I had hamburger steak for the lunch.





Since Iyemon salon is Japanese tea café, I wanted to try some tea there. I ordered karigane tea, twig tea. When tea is produced, the leaves, twigs and fine broken leaves are sorted. The twigs are called, kukicha or karigane. Karigane is usually reasonable than leaves. But the price is depends on what tea the karigane is made from. Ofcause, the karigane from gyokuro is expensive, and the kregane from cheap sencha is reasonable. The tea came in the teapot, and I brewed it myself.








I waited for a minute, and poured the tea into the cup. The brewed tea is clear light yellow. My image of karigane tea is light and simple in the flavor, and it has delicate sweetness, but this karigane was different. It had nice umami and profound flavor. I found the umami that I had never tasted in karigane. I was surprised with the taste; it changed my image of karigane. I loved the tea (^-^) I guess I had drank some cheap karigane, and this karigane must have been made of some good tea.

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