Tea Scoop and Tea Dipper
I’ll concentrate on getting the tea to yield a taste I like.
In the late 90’s and early 2000 I spent a few years going back and forth to Nagano. (site of 1998 winter Olympics). My main contact at Fujitsu was an ardent tea buff. As much as he/we tried I never developed a taste for Japanese tea. … So now here I am in South China for Christmas and New Year, I have decided to revisit Japanese tea. Last week in Hong Kong I picked up a few utensils/essentials to aid my quest. The Great food Court in Pacific Place (basement level) is an Aladdin’s cave of; food and beverage from around the world. Cha-no-yu (茶の湯, literally "hot water for tea") Usually refers to a single ceremony or ritual, while: Sado or Chado (茶道, or "the way of tea") refers to the study or doctrine of tea ceremony.
Synopsis of selected Japanese Teas:
Most popular type of Green Tea. About 85% of Japanese teas are SENCHA. In both quality and price SENCHA has a wide variety. High quality ones are served only on special occasions. Average qualities are for everyday use. Tea buds begin growing in April and the leaves are mature in May. Immediately after the leaves are picked, they are steamed, rolled, and then dried until the become like green needles. The resulting tea is a mixture of subtle sweetness, bitterness and fresh green scent. The soup is a light green.
GYOKURO This is the best Japanese Tea. It is a precious tea and is served as a treat to visitors. GYOKURO means "the dew of jewels". GYOKURO has a stronger flavor and aroma with less bitterness than SENCHA, however it has a darker green - blackish colour. Te leaf is thicker than that of high quality Sencha. This is because when the buds are about to come out, near the end of April,the teas bushes are shaded from sunlight. When harvested only the soft leaves are selected for picking.
BANCHA The lowest grade of TEA, but some BANCHA is very nice as a different meaning. It has a very simple taste, so it is pleasing to drink after meals or to drink when thirsty.
GENMAICHA A mixture of BANCHA and popped GENMAI (hulled rice kernels). It makes a light brown tea with a savory flavor, for everyday use
This is a roasted BANCHA. It has a brown color and unique toasted flavor, and light golden beer color when steeped. It is also pleasant to drink after meals or when thirsty.
KUKICHA It's tea stems are also selected while refining. It has a light taste and fresh flavor, also everyday use.
MACCHA This is used for the TEA CEREMONY. This is a type of tea ground to a fine powder. To make MACCHA tea is mixed in hot water with a bamboo whisk.
MECHA It's tea buds are selected while refining SENCHA or GYOKURO. It has strong flavor and taste. It is better than coffee to keep you awake.