Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wine bottle??

Have you ever won a prize? I never have. But this summer, I got a bottle as a prize for my magazine entry! Yeah! Do you want to know what this bottle is for? It is a filter-in bottle to prepare cold green tea!

This bottle has a tea strainer at the inside of the bottleneck. Put 15 grams (0.5oz) of tea leaves and 750ml (26oz) of cold water in the bottle and just leave it in the refrigerator for 3-6 hours. You can prepare cold sencha very easily and it’s quite practical!! If you want to do it with an ordinary teapot with handle and spout, it’s difficult because the pot will be unstable and obstruct entry in the fridge. This is quite a useful item for people like me who drink cold green tea regularly.

It looks like a wine bottle. The design is simple and it looks good on the table. It might make you feel like enjoying the tea in a wine glass. I actually tried it, hahaha. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Matcha is not about the price or origin

Yesterday, I had a chance to drive by Yoshimitsu, a confectionery shop with a good reputation on excellent tasteing sweets. I got their sweets, and on the way back home I wanted to stop by my favorite tea shop to buy some matcha. You know, you got to have matcha when you have a nice confectionery. But unfortunately, the tea shop was closed so I went to another store and bought matcha

What I wanted to write about is not sweets. It’s about matcha. The matcha I bought yesterday cost 1575yen (20g) and it's from Uji, Kyoto. When I think of the price, I was not satisfied with the tea, because it lacks the kick of umami. The flavor consists of grassy bitterness but not umami. It is like "senchatic" flavor and I wanted more richness and depth in taste.

My standard matcha is 1050yen (20g) from Toyota, Aichi. It has much nicer rounded flavor with mouth-filling sweetness, which is less expensive than the tea I bought yesterday. Toyota is a minor matcha producing region compared to Uji, which is very popular. When you shop for matcha and find tea from Toyota and Uji, you might want to go with the tea from Uji for safer choice. But you have to keep in mind that you can’t simply determine the quality of tea just by the price or production region. They can be deceiving. This tea reminded me about it. 

I’m not saying that matcha from Uji is not good. Of course, I have tried excellent tea from Uji, too.