Sunday, February 21, 2016

We’re going Japanese, again!

At last night’s tea gathering, the group and I revisited Japan. I’ve always preferred Japanese green teas over Chinese green teas, so this was an event I was really looking forward to. It’s not that the Chinese teas are bad, but, I just find the Japanese teas fresher and greener. I love the grassy, vegetal, and seaweed flavours and scents that are far stronger in Japanese green teas. To me at least. 


I heart Tencha!

Our host came prepared with Banchas, Senchas, and Matchas, as well as a couple of surprises. One of those surprises were maps of Japan to show us where the teas originated, and logbooks with checklists for tea evaluation. Cool! Though, I was a little concerned we might get a pop quiz at the end! Ugh! 

Keeping notes!

Some of the teas we drank included:
  • Genmaicha
  • Bata Bata Bancha
  • Tosa Bancha
  • Matcha-dusted Sencha
  • Giant Leaf Sencha
  • Tencha
  • A Spring, Summer, and Fall Matcha
  • A Guatemalan Black Tea

Genmaicha wet leaves.

Naturally, since we congregated at our usual hangout, Infuse Café, we had two versions of some of the teas. A traditional brew and a BKON brew. For the most part, both versions worked very well. The BKON infusions, as usual, were more intense.

I’m a big fan of Matcha, unlike some of my fellow tea comrades. It’s so flavourful and healthy, but, yes, it is an acquired taste. It was nice to get a tasting of three different brews based on the season each was harvested. You could really see the difference in colour with the greener one harvested in Spring. The Spring picked leaves were also more flavourful with strong vegetal and earthy notes. I liked it.

The Matcha trio!


Matcha-dusted Sencha.

A surprise tea we were treated to was a Guatemalan Black Tea. Yup! We steered off the map of Japan. The tea leaves were twice-aged in a barrel that once stored Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. Thus, the tea leaves took on some of the aroma and flavour of the rum. Not enough to get us plastered! It was quite good. It was sweet and spicy with hints of caramel. A perfect drink to end off a wonderful evening!

Roll out the barrel!




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