I received a wonderful gift recently. One of my loves; fresh Japanese green tea. For me there is no better green tea than the first spring cutting from Japan. I do like Chinese teas as well but they just aren't the same as this. I was so pleased to receive this gift of tea and more. In the can is a high grade new crop 2008 tea. This shin-cha, new tea, was picked in April from just the new growing tips of the tea plants. It is a special taste. In the bag is a green kukicha which is a blend of green tea made from the stems and stalks. Kukicha means twig tea. It has a nutty creamy flavor that is a little bit different than the tea leaves.
With the tea I also received a Japanese tea pot and set of five tea cups. What better way to enjoy the flavors of Japan than with true Japanese utensils. By the way, you always see Asian dishes in sets of five. Even numbers are bad luck.
I brewed up some of the kukicha. You can see it has a nice golden yellow/green color. It has a nice grassy flavor and aroma with a creaminess that coated the mouth.
Along with the tea I also received some special sakes. Two are shown in the "Aladin" bottles below. One is a clear sake and the other is unfiltered. Both are meant to be drunk cold. The large bottle is a Wakatake Onikoroshi Junmai Daiginjo sake. It is made from rice that has been polished 60%. The only other ingredients are water and koji, the mold that converts the starch in the rice to fermentable sugars. I can't wait to try these.
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