Have you ever bought a CD or record because of the attractive jacket even if you don’t know the artist or its contents? This action is called jake-gai in Japanese slang. It is a diminutive form of Jacket-gai (gai means buy in Japanese). Nowadays, people can listen to samples and buy music online. So, Jake-gai may be an obsolete phrase.
However, I have a tea that I bought in jake-gai this year. In June, I went to Shizuoka prefecture, the biggest tea-producing region in Japan. At a tea store, they have a large selection of Shiuoka teas and I found one which is nicely displayed. I instantly fell in love with its cool package. It was kabusecha and a 60g pack costs 1,575yen which is more expensive than my budget. But, I decided to buy it because of the cover. It’s a typical example of jake-gai. Ha,ha,ha^^
When I opened the package at home, a nice sweet aroma of kabusecha pleased my senses. The leaves are very fine so I think they are deep-steamed. The brewed tea was beautiful greenish-yellow. It has refined sweetness and umami. One thing that I wasn’t expecting though was the bold bitterness, which was different from what I wanted. It is one of the fun parts of jake-gai. Sometimes, your expectation leads to disappointment and sometimes you find a great piece!