Nishio in Aichi prefecture is one of the biggest matcha-producing regions in Japan. Last Saturday, I joined a tea event held in Nishio. Japanese Tea Instructor Association has a booth and we opened a café serving high quality sencha, which is a higher-ranking winner at a tea fair. This was the first time for me to prepare tea as a Japanese tea adviser in public.
At the café, we don’t only take the tea set to every table like what a waiter does; but we also prepare and serve the tea in front of guests. Moreover, we also gave a little instruction with some tips for brewing delicious tea as we demonstrate the most difficult part of it.
Let me introduce the recipe that we used. It was different from ordinary sencha preparation. To bring out mellowness and richness of this high quality sencha, we used a small sencha cup and brewed it with lukewarm water.
Tea leaves: 2g
Water 40ml (1.4oz)
Water temperature: 50C (122F)
Brewing time: 2min30sec
I attended a preliminary meeting to practice the procedures and instructions. I also did imaginary rehearsals everyday at home. I prepared well for the serving at the café.
It was raining on that day, but many people visited the event as well as our café. At that time, my debut has finally come. I walked with the tea set towards the table of my first guests who were two gentlemen. I welcomed them with a greeting. I started to prepare the tea and explained some tips as I practiced. But, one of them said “I don’t need any instructions. Just serve it for me.” He gave me his business card and it says he is a president of some kind of tea industry association. Wow, I realized that it's no longer necessary to teach a fish how to swim! I said “O.. Okay, as you wish, sir.” It was such an awkward debut in public, hahaha(^^;;