My tea adventure began two hours into my recent Japan Airlines flight. The air hostess asked me if I would like a green tea with my meal. To which I replied, “yes please”. And then she asked, “hot or cold?”. Hot or cold?!! I had a choice? This was something my mum had taught me to appreciate since starting “Cuppa Cha”. I was humbled that this choice was offered to me without question. I found it freeing and with it, I was intrigued to encounter a tea journey on my visit to Japan. What followed was infectious. While my husband tasted Japanese craft beers, I tasted teas. I delighted in Japanese Sencha (green tea), Genmaicha, matcha lattes, green tea gelato, matcha ice creams, green tea mochi, Korean corn tea (both hot and cold), iced green tea served in Asahi mugs, and iced Oolongs. I must confess, I did skip the green tea flavoured donuts and the green tea mousse…
7Eleven’s housed overwhelming rows of bottled teas, while only stocking a single row of soft drinks. Street corners and train subway stations hosted vending machines exclusively stocking bottles of cold tea!! With a population of 20 million in Greater Tokyo, one can be spoilt for choice with the variety of tea on offer. And it was far too easy for me to be swept up in the tea culture.
I have since finished my eight day Japan journey, and am now counting down the days until I return to see what more Japan’s tea culture has to offer. But for now, I have the memories and the yearning to encounter more great tea experiences.