Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another tea tasting event

I've just returned from the teahouse in which two previous tastings, one of Meng Ding teas and the other of WuYi oolongs took place.
This time, the tasting was especially interesting for me, as Japanese teas, more accurately those produced by Marukyu Koyamaen, were the theme.
I don't remember how many kinds of tea we drunk; I took photos of just those that caught my attention the most. I guess there were about six teas, both hot and cold (as Marukyu Koyamaen produces one Sencha specially adapted for brewing as ice tea). It was really great and refreshing to switch between hot and cold teas, as the sun was shining and the weather was... truly summer.
We had two grades of fresh Shincha, one or two Gyokuros, one Sencha (or two?) and one Konacha, if I remember right.

This is packaging of one single Shincha - the lower grade produced by Koyamaen. This somehow reminded me of a conversation we had with Matt under this post on his blog.
I enjoyed just touching that hand made paper, small brochure in Japanese and all the other proofs of true art of packaging nations like Japan and Korea illustrate.

And this is what you find after opening the package.

In the end, we drank this tea - tea that somehow stood aside of others.
This is the highest grade of Gyokuro produced by Marukyu Koyamaen, Chitose no Homare.
Just a reference, cost of this tea is 12,285yen for 90 gram package - that's something about 110 euro.
Very nice experience.


  1. Gyokuro is still on my list of teas to try.
    I am still more focused on chinese and taiwanese teas at present.
    I like to focus on one region at a time to delve into their culture and tastes.
    Were these all handmade or machine made?
    I think shinchas are mostly picked and processed by hand, no?

  2. Finding Handmade teas in Japan is rare compared to Korea where one can find many small farms producing hand picked and hand processed teas. Plus, organically grown! Both these countries are expensive and the cost of living is high. Most Shincha is not hand processed.

    Michal, you probably know Daniel from You might want to try his Hwagae Saejak. He told me it was very good and the price is reasonable.

  3. Ho Go,
    yes, and when you find handmade Japanese green tea, the price is usually so high that you can sometimes find even better machine-processed tea for half of the price.
    I had the opportunity to try handmade Shincha (and the price was quite corresponding, too)this year, though I also tried machine-processed Shincha from Kagoshima - the difference was really noticeable, especially on quality of leaves after infusion.

    I do not know Daniel personally, but I know his shop and saw that he offer fresh Saejak tea - the tea looks really wonderful and isn't expensive for the quality. I'm going to order some other teas and accessories from him soon, so I will consider ordering it, too ;)

  4. Hi Michal,

    I though that I take part at this degustation in Bratislava and now I am sorry that I was not able to be there...the gyokuro looks tasty.

    I can also recoment Hwagae Saejak from Daniel. It is great!

  5. Petr,

    it's an honor seeing you here, I saw some of your works on and they are really wonderful!

    Čajový dom organizes similar degustations two times a month - there were three of them until now and all of them were great, with loads of wonderful tea and interesting informations. I can only recommend you attending it someday!
    And this Gyokuro is probably one of the best teas I've ever tried. Though I drink a lot of Japanese tea, its taste really surprised me - in best possible way.