Monday, 6 December 2010
Should we drink green tea in Winter? I suppose the energetic purists amongst us would say no, it's not the season for it. Winter is dark, cold and is all about root vegetables as opposed to a nice fresh salad. But we live in a land of loft insulation and radiators so why not crank up the heating and enjoy something green? As you can see by my pictures I have something new to drink tea out of and I thought I'd show it off a bit.
Hagi ware (or Blobby-ware™) was something I was quite unsure about when I first saw it whilst perusing various tea blogs (the Sip-Tip was the likely source). I have to admit I thought it looked rather naff. Time went by though and those chaotic blobs started to grow on me but the fact that I didn't really like matcha too much and I associate Hagi with that unusual green frothy brew more so than regular green tea, meant that I didn't bother purchasing a bowl. The prices on various websites for Hagi put me right off too!
I must admit to having a rather large bag of rather awful matcha. Occasionally I would froth some up with my electric whisker gadget and gulp it down with the knowledge that it was good for me as opposed to actually interesting my taste buds. I finally got around to purchasing a chasen whisk and despite my most frantic efforts I couldn't get the damn stuff to froth up with it!
There must be more to this though I pondered so I decided to shell out for some better matcha. Without a clear idea where to actually buy good matcha I went to Jing UK to purchase theirs. **edit** Sure, Jing UK have been accused for marking up their pu erh prices as noted by the blogging stalwart Hobbes, but the tea they sell is always reasonable at the very least and the postage quick. **edit-see comments**
I was genuinely surprised just how much difference there was, this time around the matcha was smooth, it frothed well and had a decent green pea flavour. All of a sudden I'm interested and in my flurry of interest I got myself my new Blobby-ware™ bowl from Japan. The textures of the bowl makes the experience a more tactile affair but I wish it was heavier and gravity left me really grasping it's odd surface. The price of matcha makes repeated bowls an insanely expensive tipple so I don't have much chance to really appreciate the moment, it's a little fleeting.
I would like to delve a little deeper into both matcha and Hagi.. where would you suggest?