Tea tasting: Arabiki Genmaicha (Wakohen / Wakoen Global)
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
1w ago
It’s been awhile since I last had genmaicha in loose leaf form, and I don’t think I’ve had any powdered one before. Basically it’s green tea with roasted rice, and in loose leaf form, you get to see those bits of rice pops that add an extra crunch to your tea if you choose to consume the used leaves after you’re done drinking it. I wouldn’t advise eating those that come in teabags though, but maybe I’m just biased. Do whatever you want to. So this genmaicha is one of Wakoen’s powdered tea series. I had previously tried their Arabikicha (which is technically kabusecha or shaded tea) and their ..read more
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Tea tasting: Sawamizuka cultivar (Hagiri Tea)
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
2w ago
Happy new year! Here’s hoping that 2023 be an awesome year for all of us! For fellow tea lovers, may our cups be abundantly filled with great tea! Today I’m writing about this sencha that I’ve opened last month. I’ve bought it sometime in October. Usually I don’t buy sencha this late in the year, but I was drawn to the cultivar after a tea friend in Japan told me about it. I’m not one to pass the chance to try different cultivars that I’ve not tasted before. Sawamizuka was developed at the Shizuoka Prefectural Tea Research Station in 1966 from crossing ‘Yabukita’ and ‘Fujimidori’ and selectin ..read more
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Tea tasting: Organic black tea (Nukumori-en Yururi)
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
2M ago
This tea was one of several Shizuoka black tea gifts that I received recently. Nukumori-en Yururi is a traditional farm in Ogouchi village, Shimizu Ward, central Shizuoka, operated by the Nishiyama family. The closest train station would be Okitsu Station on the Tokaido line, but you’d need a car to reach the place. The Nishiyamas began using the land that was originally a mikan or mandarin orange plantation to plant tea in 2001, and they are also growing crops with a focus on protecting the natural environment. Since 2015, it is also a farmhouse inn, with accommodation and meals provided. Nuk ..read more
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Tea tasting: Koganemidori sencha (Koganemidori Chaen)
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
2M ago
Revisiting the taste of this unique hakuyoucha or white-leaf tea after I have first tasted it in November 2019. To learn more about the previous tasting experience, click HERE. Koganemidori, just like its name ‘golden green’ implies, is characterised by its golden-coloured leaves that don’t look like any regular tea leaves. However, it is still a Camellia Sinensis plant. The soft buds on top are golden while the harder leaves on the bottom are green. It was a natural mutation that occurred about 35 years ago, and the farmer Hiromitsu Sato-san had developed and cultivated it to become its own d ..read more
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Tea tasting: Houjicha powder (Wakohen / Wakoen Global)
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
2M ago
My mom finally realised how tasty powdered tea could be in pancakes that these days she could not make them without adding some tea powder in the flour mix. But she doesn’t make them too often and doesn’t use a lot of powder at one time, so I didn’t think it would be worthwhile to get just culinary grade tea powder. I want the powder to be good and tasty enough as a drink too. At the same time I don’t want to sacrifice good matcha for the purpose. Of course, I remember Wakoen’s green tea powder known as Arabikicha, which I have tried a couple of years ago. It’s good for both drinking and culin ..read more
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World Green Tea Contest 2022 results
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
3M ago
I should have put this up earlier but it’s never too late. The World Green Tea Contest 2022 was held on August 17 and 18 this year. It is an annual competitive exhibition that showcases “innovative products that point to the future of tea”, organised by the World Green Tea Association headquartered in Shizuoka, Japan. This year, there were a total of 95 tea products submitted for the contest, and out of that, 34 won. The Grand Gold Prize and the other prizes were decided from the viewpoints of marketability and quality. The evaluation and scoring include packaging (concept, naming, design and ..read more
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Japan Tea Week Malaysia 2022 (World Ocha Festival special!)
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
3M ago
I was feeling kinda down because I couldn’t make it to this year’s World Ocha Festival, which is currently happening in Shizuoka. I thought I could make it there, but as August crept by, I knew I couldn’t get any affordable flights to Japan even if it reopens fully before the festival (for a recap of the previous edition of the festival, click to HERE). However, I guess it could be a blessing in disguise that I couldn’t book anything because my country is suddenly going to the polls next month (November 19 to be exact) and my company had already frozen all our annual leave days. So even if I h ..read more
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Tea tasting: Daisen no Kaori Kuroboku Bancha (Nagata Chamise)
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
3M ago
Tottori is Japan’s least populated prefecture, and probably most well-known for its sand dunes, which had inspired Abe Kobo’s 1962 classic novel ‘Suna no Onna’ or ‘The Woman in the Dunes’. Other than that, it’s also known for its Mizuki Shigeru connection in the port city of Sakaiminato. Occasionally it appears in some list of ‘boring’ or ‘unattractive’ prefectures. As most of us know, such rankings can be pretty subjective and do its subjects no justice. Whatever it is, Tottori is definitely not known to be a major tea-producing area. However, in my search for bancha (coarse tea, late harvest ..read more
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Tea tasting: Ureshino Saemidori Mikkou Koucha (Ota Shigeki Seicha Kojo)
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
5M ago
Mikkou koucha or honey-scented black tea is one of the more unusual black teas from Japan. Honey-scented here doesn’t mean adding any fragrance or flavouring to the tea, but is a natural occurence after tea leaves are bitten by an insect known as unka or planthopper that usually appear during the summer. A famous bug-bitten tea is the Taiwanese baihao oolong known as Oriental Beauty or Dongfang Meiren. In Japan, it’s not very mainstream as many farms still employ conventional farming methods. This was one of the few bug-bitten Japanese teas I’ve bought last year. I’ve written about two others ..read more
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In the news: Matcha improves sleep quality, social cognitive function
The Floating Tea Stem
by Mei
6M ago
Good news for matcha lovers! We know theanine contained in matcha has been previously reported to be effective in relieving stress, improving sleep, and improving working memory.   This time, it was officially confirmed in the world’s first clinical trial that matcha is not only delicious, but also good in several important ways. Tea producer Ito En and a venture corporation founded by the University of Tsukuba called MCBI, recently announced the results of a year-long clinical trial investigating the effects of sustained daily intake of matcha. A total of 939 men and women aged between 60 ..read more
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