Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Today, two very exciting things happened, both of them tea related. 

For those who don't know, I am a big tea fan. I usually drink around a half a dozen cups of tea a day. I'm very lucky to have two things that help facilitate my love of tea: my husband and an excellent local tea store, Tea Trekker, in Northampton.

I have a lot of tea, and lately, I've been wondering how I can keep the wonderful tea I purchase in the best possible condition. I know that after a month or so, the tea is not supposed to stay super fresh if stored in the bags they give you at the store. 

I expressed this to Seth and explained how I wasn't sure what to do. After all, washi tea tins can be expensive. As usual, Seth came to the rescue! As a wonderful surprise, he ordered me six beautiful glass jars from Adagio to show off my tea in. The jars are UV protected and air tight to keep my tea the freshest. I immediately loaded them up with my tea (minus one that broke in shipping), and they look amazing.

(Tea from top to bottom left to right: Silver Needle white, Sencha green, Jasmine Pearl scented green, Tou Tian Xiang oolong, and Chai black)

Inspired by the exciting tea items, I made a trip to the tea store this afternoon after work. I came home with this.

As a new tea adventure, I had been wanting to try making matcha. I purchased a matcha bowl, wisk, and tea. 

Using the excellent instructions for making matcha on the Tea Trekker website, I made my matcha.

In sum, matcha is Japanese powdered green tea cultivated under a very specific set of conditions. There are many types of powdered tea but only a specific set is considered matcha if you're a purist (which the couple at the tea store definitely are -- they are so excellent!).

I loved the semi-involved process of making matcha at home. As matcha is involved in Japanese tea ritual, I think it makes sense that even making it for causal use involve some sense of ceremony.

To me, matcha tastes very unique, even compared with other tea. I found the matcha to have a very vegetative, even ever so slightly bitter, foretaste. This was accompanied by  a somewhat grassy smell, which reminded me a little bit of the Sencha Japanese green tea I have. The aftertaste was very pleasant with a lingering faint sweetness in the mouth. 

Making matcha was a very unique experience. I look forward to repeating it again soon!

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