Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Ofukucha is not a name for a type of Japanese tea. It is sencha with pickled plum and dried kelp (seaweed) in it. It is enjoyed as a lucky-charm tea in Kyoto or some other areas on New Year’s days. I have not seen it in my region, but I was able to try it buring the tea workshop.

Ofukucha is originated from the tea served about a century ago. When the epidemic was spreading in Kyoto, a monk served the tea with pickled plum and dried kelp to the people. It is also said that the Emperor at that time had the tea as well. Ofukucha is appreciated at New Year’s nowadays as a lucky and healthy charm tea. This is the oldest story regarding the tea for people in Japan, but nobody knows whether this is true or not.

At the workshop, we put a pickled plum and dried kelp in a cup and poured brewed sencha. The tea looked nice with colorful hue. The taste was sencha with a slight salty flavor of the plum and kelp added. After drinking the sencha, the plum and kelp were left in the cup.

We refilled the cup with the second brewed sencha. This time, I broke the plum in the tea, and gave the tea more flavor of the plum. The kelp also released more flavor on the second serving. I liked the second serving better, because it has stronger flavors of plum which is sour and umami of kelp.

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