Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Making your own blend tea 2

We were a party of three, my wife Hiro, mother Akiko, and me. We wanted to make the own tea, one of each. Hiro wanted to make a tea with very mellow and rich flavor like gyokuro. Akiko wanted profound flavor, which is often found in deep steamed sencha. I wanted a light refreshing tea with sweetness, like sencha. The instructor served some single breed teas for each of us. We sheared the tea each other, so I could try many different breeds. I guess I tried ten kinds. It was so much fun. Each tea was unique. Some were bitter, and some were sweet. Some were mellow and some were rich. We enjoyed talking and tasting different breeds of sencha, kabusecha, and gyokuro. I think there is no other place that you can try so many different breed teas.

Hiro liked Goko breed of kabusecha and Goko breed of gyokuro. Hiro wondered the proportion of the teas. 10 % difference of the ratio makes a certain difference on the result. She tried three different ratios, 50:50, 30:70, and 70:30 of kabusecha and Gyokuro. She liked the proportion of 70% of Goko kabusecha to 30% of Goko gyokuro.

Akiko chose one sencha and one gyokuro. The sencha she chose doesn’t have special breed name. They called it “zairai 1”. Gyokuro was Goko breed. Akiko tried the ratio of 50:50 and 40:60 of sencha and gyokuro. She didn’t like much gyokuro flavor in her tea, so she decide with 50:50.

I wanted to make a refreshing tea with sweetness, so I thought I would choose two sencha. But I actually chose one sencha and one kabusecha. I chose zairai 1 sencha. The taste of zairai 1 was very natural and it was something that I was looking for. The breed I chose from kabusecha was Fukamidori breed, which had nice umami and sweetness. I loved the Fukamidori, and I thought the Fukamidori will add good sweetness into the zairai 1 sencha. I tried the blend of 50% (zairai 1) and 50% (Fukamidori). I instantly loved it. I was very happy making the tea that I wanted. We bought our own teas to take them home. The price depends on how many breed you taste and what tea you blend. I bought 60g of my tea, and it was about 1800yen. Hiro’s tea was 2000yen/60g. Akiko’s tea was 1900yen/60g. We were so excited and enjoyed all the process of making our own tea. We all had a great time.

I don’t know any other place that you can try this kind of maniac tea experience. If you are a Japanese tea freak, you will really enjoy the tea blending. You gotta try it. But if you are not so much into Japanese tea yet, I’ll recommend some other activity that you can try at Fukujuen. How about a casual tea ceremony? They have a tea room and you can experience the casual tea ceremony. It will be fun.

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