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Matcha, Matcha A Journey to Perfecting The Art of Well Being

 

Matcha, Matcha A Journey to Perfecting The Art of Well Being
 

Flashback: As I whisk my morning's ritual of organic "Uji" matcha, it took me back to 1986 of my very first cup of what looks like a "thick green broth of dirt" served in a bowl better known as "Koicha."

Koicha is a very thick form of ceremonial grade matcha that the Japanese people had drank by sipping this broth and shifting the tea cup x2 to the left and x2 to the right in about two hours duration.

This Japanese etiquette, I've been informed by my Japanese hostess and host:

Mihoki, a kabuki dancer and television reporter as well as her Male companion of Asahi newspaper at the time.

I was to be dressed in a proper tight "Kimono" when dining and drinking amongst other Japanese Men. And as my photo hung on their trophy walls; "I thought to myself, where are all the Japanese Women?"

I was just a kid on a solo journey in the mid-eighties and alls I know of Japanese Culture is that the country is quite safe to travel for Women during the day or at night time.

Transportation by rail was seamless back then; I would follow the green, red, or yellow line for directions until it ends and my 10 days would start at 630 am and upon returning at 11 pm daily.

Fast forward: Matcha is the art of finely ground powder specifically grown green tea in Japan known as the "butcher block" of the finest tea leaves that is unlike the Chinese methods which is roasted and pan fried. Matcha is prepared by whisking the tea powder in hot water. Historically, it was in 1911 that the Chinese methods of preparing powdered teas in Zen monasteries was brought into Japan. 

The shaded green tea leaves are used to make Gyokuro matcha whereby tencha may be de-veined, de-stemmed, and then stone-ground into a fine, bright, green, talk like powdered matcha.

The better flavors and health benefits are found in matcha are: vitamins, minerals, rich in antioxidants which may protect heart disease, regulate blood sugar and boost metabolism and slowed growth of cancer cells.

Nowadays, the use of matcha in modern dishes may be had in ice creams, lattes, cupcakes,soba, sushi rolls as well as in liquor which are just as delicious tasting in the palate.

In my quest for matcha, I've traveled to Fukuoka where the best of the best matcha are famous since the Japanese only imports one percent of their green teas around the globe.

Fukuoka is the capital city in Kyushu, Northern Isle which is famous for the Gyokuro style matcha although the Uji style matcha had reportedly also won an acclaimed awards.

Down by the beautiful river side, in "Rengo" Yanagibashi quality fish market,there is one seller who will let you sample the fresh farmed tea varieties as translated by a Japanese Man educated in Australia.

My husband and I,have traveled further down from Fukuoka on his first "Shinkansen or bullet train" journey to Kumamoto, to the countryside only to discover "Sumo Orange."

The Japanese created this super sweet, seedless, giant, ugly (as he calls them) Seasonal Mandarin Orange which are easily peeled and so delicious and juicy!

They were made into jello, ice Popsicles and tiny confectionaries and thus, another quest for our health and well beings,

Cheers!

 

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