Wednesday May 9, 2018 | 3 comments
Is there anything new in the world of tea? Thank you for asking, of course, there is! What is old is what is new — that’s always for certain — but for the new, modern tea drinker, adaptations must be the rule.
Put young Japanese tea drinkers together with a Japanese tea master, and you’ll not only see what transpires — you’ll be able to taste it, too.
It was my own personal observation in 2011, in a life-changing trip to the magnificent tea-growing area of Japan known as the Shizuoka Prefecture, that well-established tea fields had been abandoned and left to grow wild.
For the tea fields that were actually being cultivated, it was often elderly couples, husbands, and wives, well into the seventies doing the physical work. The couples used a hand-held tealeaf cutter, walked up and down the bumpy rows of tea bushes, one on either side of the bush, and cut the tender tea leaves and simply allowed them to fall on the ground for compost.
If you will recall, 2011 was a tumultuous year for Japan. That was the year of the tsunami, the nuclear reactor incident, and the loss of 20,000 lives. Radioactive cesium was detected in tea leaves, so the fresh, young leaves were not used to make tea at many of the tea farms. Although Shizuoka is approximately 225 miles from Fukushima, the radiation traveled far and wide.
Not all the tea farms I saw were doing this, but the memory of seeing the elders working so hard because the younger people had little desire to be out in the tea fields harvesting something they considered old-fashioned and no longer relevant, tea. This was the reason many tea farms had been left unattended — before the tsunami and not because of the radiation.
Seven years later, we move on to happier stories in Shizuoka — to high school students working with a tea master to create a tea the younger generation would like — and they did it in a year!
It’s 100% natural, vegan, GMO-free and gluten-free — are you curious?
Premium Powdered Green Tea with Mikan
In case you miss a vital part of the Japanese Green Tea, I’m going to bring your attention to the style of farming from which the Premium Powdered Green Tea is made. I think you’ll be quite impressed.
To learn about the ancient CHAGUSABA method of sustainable farming, see here: How farmers use the Chagusaba method
When you get to this blog, there may be someone there you recognize.
Kei Nishida reached out to me a while ago and asked if he could send me some of this youth-inspired tea. Don’t you love getting those requests!
Have a look at the Premium Powdered Green Tea with Lemon
How does it taste? Oh, glad you asked that, too! I made the Mikan in hot water and the Lemon in cold water in less than a cup of water each. I know the younger people will like this matcha-tasting-matcha-looking version better than plain Matcha or plain Powdered Green Tea.
The Lemon version has a good hit of lemon, very lightly sweetened, and an enjoyable flavor. The hot water version of the Mikan, which is from the orange family of citrus, was much lighter; just enough to add a hint of flavor, make it a bit more exciting than plain Powdered Green Tea, and both would do well poured over ice here in North America.
I stirred both with a spoon and found the emulsion thorough, not something you could do with Matcha. I just happened to have a bamboo whisk handy and I did whisk it to make sure I was getting all the tea before sipping it.
In another tasting, I used one tablespoon of the Lemon Powdered Green Tea in a 16 oz. tea mug of cold water and found enough flavor to be satisfying indeed.
I got called away from my tea for a while and came back to finish it, cold, to discover it had changed color. Definitely oxidizing and getting darker, but tasted the same, still enjoyable. Therefore, making a pitcher of it ahead of time might not be a good idea — fresh is always best anyway.
What I find the most intriguing about this product is the intergenerational aspect. I love the younger generation using their brains, their creativity, and enthusiasm to work with their elders to create a tea product other young people will enjoy, thus ensuring the continued consumption of tea in their country. It won’t be in the tradition of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, but perhaps it’s the beginning of a new tradition that sparks the interest of the young and inspires the preservation of the old.