Monday, April 18, 2011

What can you do with the scraps of tea leaves that are left behind after brewing?

Yesterday, I attended a tea workshop held in my city. The workshop was entitled “Japanese Tea for Ladies”. It was a short session which was good for 30 min, only. The instructor lectured about following:
A,) The efficacies of green tea for beautiful skin and diet;
B,) The difference between regular sencha and deep-steamed sencha;
C,) A demonstration of how to brew deep-steamed sencha.

We actually got a chance to try testing both regular and deep-steamed sencha in the workshop.


What I was most interested about was eating the scraps of tea leaves that are left behind after brewing. Usually, these scraps are thrown away. But you can also eat the tea leaves after they have been brewed for tea. You put them on a small plate or bowl and put dry tuna flakes as topping. You can eat them with soy-based sauce. It can be enjoyed as a side dish.

I have tried eating the scraps of gyokuro. In addition this instructor also introduced eating scraps of tea leaves out of sencha. Thus, not only tea leaves from gyokuro can be eaten but also those from sencha. The leaves of high-quality tea or the first tea of the season are soft and good for eating. Low-grade tea or late-picked tea is hard and not good for eating. What we had at the workshop was the first sencha of this year from Yakushima. It was lighter in taste than gyokuor’s. I quite liked the sencha scraps. Actually, I prefer sencha rather than gyokuro for eating. I want to try it home sometime.

This tea-leaf dish is similar to a common Japanese dish, which is often made of spinach or rapeseed flowers. It is familiar to us but eating tea leaves may be strange for you (^^;; Wanna try it?


  1. This actually sounds really interesting! Do you think it could work for Chinese green teas, scuh a longjing etc? There is a dish with involves cooking shrimp with longjing tea leaves - sadly, I've never had the chance to try it. But I guess the principal is similar. I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on it. I definitely want to try this!!

  2. Hi, pekingtea-san, Thanks for your comments! I have ever tried only one kind of Chinese green tea. So, I don’t know much about it. The Chinese green tea that I have tried looked different from Japanese sencha. Does Chinese green tea leaves get soft after brewing? As you say, the principal is the same. So, it’s going to be a very interesting experiment. Please let me know if you have tried it ^^

  3. No problems ^-^ Thank you for providing such an informative blog here! I have added you to my blogroll, so that there is a link to your blog on my page. As I said, I specialise in Chinese teas, so if anybody who was reading my page wanted to know more about Japanese teas, they can ind your blog directly from my page.

    Which Chinese tea was it that you tried? In my experience, the teas that go through more complex processing, such as with oolongs or pu'er teas, are definitely not suitable for this kind of usage. But something like a high-grade longjing, or baicha may well work. I'm going to do a little more reading up on it, as this blogpost has really got me thinking now. I'm really hoping that it's possible - and I will definitely let you know if I try it!

  4. Also - I have several Chinese friends, who have told me if their fathers have had a little bit too much to drink, their mothers will advise them to chew tea leaves, as it may help neutralise the alcohol! I have no idea how effective it is - but I presume since it's used in this way for "medicinal" purposes, it could more than likely be enjoyed as a dish.

  5. Thank you so much for adding me on your blogroll. I’m so flattered.
    I don’t know the English name for the Chinese green tea I tried, but it was something like 得雨活茶 if I remember it correct^^ I agree with you; fermented teas may not be suitable for this usage and I think green tea is better.
    Interesting! Chewing tea leaves for neutralizing alcohol. You can open a pub that serves tea leaves. You can get people drink more alcohol, and earn more! But, how unattractive “Pub with Tea” is … haha^^

  6. What about consuming fresh teas from teavana?

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