Day 16: Japanese Sencha

Happy Wednesday, folks!

We hope your December has been filled with peaceful moments and clarity- something that today’s tea almost demands of you from your first sip. Remember to give yourself breaks this holiday season that are just for you. You’re worth it. And so are we- ready?

Tea: Japanese Sencha

Description: Japanese monks were writing about tea in the 9th century, but the world had to wait until 1740 for Sencha, when a tea merchant named Nagatani perfected a new process of steaming, rolling and heat-drying green tea. The result? An emerald-green tea that’s refreshing and smooth. No wonder it’s Japan’s most popular drink.

Ingredients: Steamed Japanese green tea from Mount Fuji, Japan.

The first time Stacey and I had this tea was two years back- it was a cold blistery day and as soon as we took our first sips we immediately craved sushi. So, we did what any sane people do when in the dead of winter in the capital- we bundled up with our hats, mittens, and scarves and hustled into the cold wind to the nearest sushi restaurant. With our maki on its way, we indulged in this simple and delicious, light and caring, perfect green tea (Read about it here).

Today, however, we’re at it again with busy schedules and barely enough time to spend a few minutes together over Skype.

Brooke: Mmm- this one is so zen! I wish I was somewhere more peaceful.
Stacey: I am so brought back to our sushi adventure two years ago in the Byward Market. This is the kind of green tea you want to have in your cupboard.
Brooke: I appreciate its simplicity- very unlike DAVIDsTEA on the whole, yet so exceptional.
Stacey: It’s refreshing, really. Not everyone likes the crazy flavours. Though, not everyone likes this flavour, apparently. My mom said it tasted like smelly socks.
Brooke: What?! Was she drinking the same tea?
Stacey: I have no idea. I thought she would have liked it, it’s a green tea. I love it.
Brooke: Me too. It’s so lightly steeped, and so few leaves are needed to get the flavours you want. Mmm. I would want to have this at Spa Nordik .
Stacey: Oh yes!! You would want to have this in a bathrobe and get a massage afterward. I really like this one.
Brooke: I love how easy going it is. Can teas be easy going?
Stacey: Fun fact- while the tea is the same from two years ago, it looks like it’s from a different part of Japan!
Brooke: They’ve always got to change something…

Final thoughts:

Stacey: This tea is seems good for productivity, it’s a simple green tea which all you really need.  While my family may not enjoy it, I give it a thumbs up. Now I really am craving sushi again…

Brooke: This tea hides nothing and ask nothing in return. It’s simple, delightful, and would go perfectly with a warm hot bubble bath (if you aren’t feeling a glass of merlot). Cheers, David!

Twitter seemed pleased, too:

 Organic sencha is delightfully bright green! Smooth and vegetal, maybe a little fruity?
Day 16! Only eight more days of tea, I’m so sad. Today is a great, light green tea.
Day 16 tea is organic Japanese sencha and it’s a wonderful green tea! ❤
Don’t forget to take a moment for yourself, readers!
Until next tea,
Brooke and Stacey

Ahhhh.

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Day 9: Genmaicha

Good morning readers!

It is a SNOWY one out there today, with Ottawa expected to get 15-25cm tomorrow. When we do winter, we go all out. Today Stacey had to rush off to work uber early, so I sauntered into the kitchen with the tea kettle nice and warm, which was a perfect temperature for today’s tea….

Tea: Genmaicha

Description: Some people call Genmaicha popcorn tea because it contains whole roasted grains of brown rice, some of which have popped. Others call it the Rice Krispie of green teas. Either way, genmaicha was originally drunk by poor Japanese who used the rice as a filler because they couldn’t afford enough tea leaves. It soon became all the rage. Today, everyone is addicted to its sweet, toasted rice flavour.

Ingredients: Steamed green tea from Japan, roasted and popped rice.

Instructions: 1.25 tsp, 3-4 min, 85°C.

Stacey and I have reviewed this puppy last year, and yet again, the steeping instructions have drastically changed! An extra quarter of a teaspoon, an extra minute and 11 degrees hotter than last year. How strange!

After thoroughly enjoying our teas on their own during the day, Stacey and I discussed our feelings while making a tasty gnocci dinner together.

Brooke: Ugh, I really do love this one. I was so hesitant when I smelled the popcorn, I mean rice, but when you steep a tea for so few minutes, the tastes stay like small hints in the back of your mind and you get to really mellow out.
Stacey: Yes, it’s so toasty. Is that the right word? I’m using it. It’s very earthy and lovely.
Brooke: We use lovely too much!
Stacey: Fine, not lovely, it’s just that after I finished my morning work there was still some left in my thermos and it made me very happy.
Brooke: Ah, much more descriptive! I said it last year and I’ll say it again- this is an every day tea. It’s delicious.
Stacey: Oh yeah, you have this anywhere, Brooke! Writing your thesis, collecting data, going for a walk. Anywhere! 
Brooke:
 I think it would make a good staple for us. The popped rice may turn some people off, so if a guest asked for green I say we hide it from them and then give them the finished product and they’ll never know. Unless they’re our friend Desiree, because she may think there’s popcorn.

Tea Vibes:

The voice-type feature on Stacey’s phone has basically figured me out, and my tea vibe seemed well translated as I spoke:

Brooke: Despite its movie-like flavours, because of the popcorn, aids mellow tones. Brings you to a state of calmness that I would like to achieve daily. 9 and 10. (When I saw how well things were translated, I boasted:) I talked to wellman.

Stacey’s was NOT as well translated and got WAY off topic:

Stacey: I am a really good change up from regular green tea. Add crazy flavours, yeah! It’s warm. Inviting. You wanna have sex at 9 and 10? I do not speak welsh. (Stacey: Well that doesn’t paint the best picture of me does it. *Sigh*)

Who would have thought a tea blog could ever be this fun? We hope you’re enjoying it as much as we are making it! We’ll see you right back here tomorrow for another tasty blend.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stace

Making dinner, drinking tea, and playing video games together since ’07.