Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meeting a new tea

The host who appeared into the tea room was not wearing kimono.  I was a bit surprised.  What she was dressed in was a school uniform.  One of the ceremonies that I attended this weekend was held by high school students. 

Despite of a strained look on the young lady’s face, she prepared the tea smoothly and flawlessly.  Once the tea for the main guest was served, some assistants, also students brought the bowls of tea for other guests prepared at the back.  They moved carefully not to bump into each other in the small room.  The assistants then, depending on the number of guests and the situation, pass the bowl around as they see fit.  I could tell that they have practiced well for this ceremony.
I wish I could show you the photos of the active students in the tea room, but taking photo during a ceremony is not considered polite.  This is the flower from one of the ceremonies on the day.

Even though I was preoccupied with their splendid performance, my forces shifted to the taste of tea once I sipped it.  At this kind of local tea ceremony, the tea is often from a local tea shop.  I noticed that the flavor of the served tea was not something I was familiar with.  It may not be from one of the local shops.  It was as good as my favorite matcha, but it was much clearer in flavor.  The rounded green sweetness grew on my palate.  This could be a pure flavor of matcha that it should be.  I loved this matcha.  I asked one of the staff the name and the maker of the tea.  It is Shoun-no-mukashi from Hekien.   

I searched on the internet about Hekien, but I didn’t find a satisfying site.  It could be a small shop that doesn’t have a webpage.  But, there seem to be a shop in Toyota-shi called Hekien.  It could be the one.  I want to visit there when I have chance to be in Toyota.  Meeting a new tea is always delightful.  


  1. Wow, sounds great. I have not tried many different kinds of matcha. And I have to admit, I sometimes have to taste something several times before my mouth can tell the differences. The times I have tried other matchas other than my teacher's, I've only tried them once. I need to work on my tasting skills!

    1. I also have one same tea over and over at home and at the school. This tea has become my standard flavor of matcha. So, when I try something different, I can tell it. Since you have the same tea for a quite while, I think that your palate has built your own criterion. When you try other tea for the next time, I believe that you can tell the differences. (^-^)