Welcome to burning hot Sydney and a welcome hot spa. In Japan, traditional spas are called onsen. And right about now, it would be supremely nice to enjoying onsen! But I am at work and my work is tea and until the tea is drunk, there’s work to be done. So let me go and make some wonderful tea and I will be right back.
Kyoto. Now there’s a fine city. It used to be the ancient capital of Japan on account of the emperor pitching his tent there and everything. Not that, it made any difference to the Daimyo and their samurai. But still, as a result, Kyoto became a center of finely crafted green tea like sencha. In particular it is known for Gyokuro. That’s what the emperor drinks. Now, they don’t grow Gyokuro in Kyoto, more in the surrounding hills and fields. What Kyoto has is tradition and for a tea merchant like me, Kyoto has retained a lot of the tea traditions from the Chinese Tang and Song Dynasties. In deed, many people say, that to drink Japanese tea in Kyoto is like stepping back into the past. Not just the Japanese past but the Chinese one as well.
Now Kyoto does have a modern side and it takes a Zen mind to appreciate it when compared to the busier towns of Tokyo and Osaka. And as I recall, from my trip there many years ago, it was like seeing weeds sprouting up around the boulders in a zen garden and marveling that the weeds look perfectly in place.
And that reminds me. My fantasy Geisha is waiting to serve me in the form of me pouring my own. Oh, how I wish to be back there now: Outside the sky is clear. The breeze is cool. And me, the brash samurai drinking tea in the teahouse with my best manners on. Always alert for signs of action while calmly composed.
Actually, this cup of Gyokuro in my palm is very nice. Would you like some?
Gyokuro Japanese Green Tea is available on our website now.