My family and I are headed to Japan on Wednesday and I am so excited for this trip! This will be our first overseas trip with Sienna and although I'm sure we will have our challenges, I am determined to enjoy this trip as much as I can and fully immerse myself into a lot of unknown situations (I guess I'll really get to practice my "letting go of control" thing).
My parents and sibling are also coming with us and I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with them. As we all get older, it's gets harder to align our schedules enough to where we can all travel together, so this is definitely an opportunity that I am thankful for.
You guys all know how much I love green tea and how tea is one of my biggest interests. So, it's safe to say that what I am most excited about is ALL OF THE TEA that I will get to try on our trip.
I've done some research on some places that do tea ceremonies and I am definitely planning to attend one of those. In most traditional tea houses, tea is served with traditional sweets, also know as wagashi. I have never tried authentic wagashi so I am anxious to try it and see how Japanese people pair their tea.
For now, I've made a list of my favorite green teas to share with you all, I if come back from our trip with some new favorites, I'll make sure to update you of my recent discoveries.
*Matcha (also knowns as, The Empress of Health): Matcha is a green tea powder that comes from Tencha leaves. Matcha is a green tea that has more nutrients than others since you are consuming the entire leaf, hence, your body absorbs everything that the leaf has to offer. This tea is loaded with Vitamin A, E and antioxidants (14 more times than pomegranate!). I drink most of my teas plain (just water) and unsweetened, however, matcha is the one green tea that I really enjoy as a latte or added on to my smoothies.
*Genmaicha: This is by far my favorite "day to day" green tea. Genmaicha is green tea (usually Sencha) combined with roasted rice. This makes for a nutty flavor infusion. This tea is also knowns as "popcorn tea" and it is a great palate cleanser.
*Sencha: This is the most common green tea varietal in Japan. The quality of the tea depends on the grade which mostly depends on the processing method (how long the tea is steamed for). This is a very full bodied green tea. If brewed correctly, it should not be bitter.
*Gyokuro: This is a more expensive green tea that turns out to have a super silky texture when brewed. It is a tea that is shaded during the last month of it's harvest - this produces a sweeter and velvet-like taste.
I drink and purchase most of my teas in the form of loose-leaf and I am very careful about water temperature as well as steeping times (over steeped tea burns the leaves and creates that bitter taste). My favorite local tea shop is called Leaf & Kettle and I also purchase teas online from time to time.
Let me know if any of you would like to learn more about tea! It's something that I always enjoy chatting about!