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Matcha Detox

Spring is coming –  prepare yourself for a Matcha Detox

The powdered tea (Matcha) from the tea ceremony is not just delicious, but also has a high concentration of chlorophyll and catechins, which is a highly antioxidant poliphenol. These substances help the different organs to liberate themselves from toxic substances. Spring is the perfect time to help your body to get rid of the toxins, which have accumulated over the time.



  1. Put one or two spoons of Matcha in a Chawan (ceramic bowl, Muesli size)
  2. Pour water at 50-60°C onto Matcha and fill the Chawan one third full
  3. Beat with a Chasen (bamboo wisk) in circles until it foams on top
  4. Enjoy your Matcha







Did you know that Matcha is 10 times more antioxidant than green tea? For the same effect of one Matcha you have to drink 10 cups of tea, which already is rich in antioxidants and lots of vitamins and minerals.

Drinking green everyday, keeps the doctor away



Whilst tea is not a replacement for fruit and vegetables, studies have shown that drinking two to four cups of tea a day has approximately the same antioxidant “potency” as eating 6 apples! As well as contributing to fluid and antioxidant intake, drinking four cups of tea a day can provide certain vitamins and minerals, which are proven to promote health and well being. The most common vitamins and minerals found in tea are Vitamin C, B, E, calcium, zinc, potassium and manganese.


See our Matcha Accessories


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Morimotos visit of Portugal



A dream became true: together with our main Japanese tea producer, Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto, we conducted a tea tasting in the Casa de Chá (Teahouse) in Leça da Palmeira/Porto. This emblematic building of the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira is build right on top of the rocky beach and makes you feel being part of the wild sea outside. As the architecture reminds very much of traditional Japanese tea houses, it is the perfect place to enjoy Japanese teas.



We served a nice selection of the organic teas from Morimotos, starting with the comforting Bancha Yangicha (a tea with a natural low caffeine content). The extremely green colour and fresh tast of the Sencha with Matcha was a surprise for most of the guests, which have never seen such a really green tea. Than we prepared a surprise tea from a neighbor of the Morimoto: Kamairicha Kadocha limited edition. When last year we visited the Morimotos we went together to the neighbor to learn how to produce not steamed teas (Kamairicha). Contrasting to this complex tea with a full body  the next tea Shiraore represents the lightness of Japanese green teas. Shiraore is shaded tea (Kabuse) from the very first harvest. The very delicate and green little stems are selected together with the very fine leaves for this exceptional fresh tea.

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The preparation of the GO EN in traditional ceramic teapots (Kyusu) was definitely on of the highlights of the tea tasting. These very simple, but at the same time very artistic, Kyusus do not to have stainless steel strainers and therefore do not alter the delicate flavours of the sensitive high quality teas like the GO EN. The GO EN is a type of Tamaryokucha (slightly curled tea produced the traditional, “old style” way), which was shaded for a long period and therefore has deep flavours with a lot of Umami. On top of such a high quality tea you can just serve a Matcha to complete a Japanese tea tasting. For the very first time we served the new Morimoto Matcha Gyokujou – a very fine Matcha quality with creamy texture. The base for this Matcha are the shaded leaves form the Okumidori tea plants, which give this Matcha a nice sweetness.

 IMG_6034 1200Morimoto Matcha was also used by the team of the restaurante Boa Nova of Chef Rui Paula, which after the tea tasting treated us with beautiful and tasty delicacies. Of course at this time we had to include some wines to accompany the dishes, but in the end we went back to have a refreshing Mizudashi (cold green tea).

A great honor for all of us was the participation of the Japanese Ambassador in Portugal, Hiroshi Azuma, and his secretary, Manabu Kanaya. It seems that both enjoyed the teas of the Morimotos, which made us all very happy.


The next morning we visited our little tea plantation together. We were lucky as the rain stopped right when we arrived at the farm. We had a good walk around and Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto had a closer look at the older plants, which they had already seen one and a half years ago. Both had a good impression on the development and gave us some advices also for the plants we have just planted recently.




With us all stays the dream of  one day making good tea together here in Portugal… still we need some patience as the plants have to grow…. good things take their time

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Kamairicha – Japanese not steemed tea

Kamairicha is a japanese tea whose leaves are heated dry and not steamed. The name refers to ” Kama “, which is an iron pan. So Kamairicha means ” the tea of the pan”. Nowadays, it is very rare to prepare the Kamairicha by hand in the pan. Sometimes it is done, but only for teaching purposes or championships. Over time machines were used in the production process but even that is rare nowadays. The amount of Kamairicha is only 1 % of the total Japanese green tea production.


In 2015, on our trip to Japan, we visited Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto. To learn more about the production of tea, they suggested to visit a neighbour, who produces green tea without vaporization (Kamairicha), as it was done before. With great curiosity we went together to visit his small tea plantation. We were surprised to see how it is possible to produce such delicate and unique green tea with simple means and without vaporization. Enthusiastic, we bought a small amount to share this experience with our tea friends back in Portugal. Right now, we only have a limited amount of 90 packs of 100g but we hope to continue this cooperation in the future.


Later we did meet another producer of very good quality Kamairicha and decided to include his tea also on our list to be able to show the differenced in Japanese not steemed teas.

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Tea and caffeine

Many people refuse green or black tea because of its caffeine content. While it is true that tea contains caffeine, the caffeine in tea is not harmful. In tea, the caffeine is present with catechins (tannins), which diminish the effect of the caffeine Also, there are several qualities of tea with different amounts of caffeine, which can stimulate, but do not cause nervousness. By contrast, in coffee, caffeine appears linked to chlorogenic acid, which can cause stomach discomfort and effect the nervous system.


There are two three types of Japanese green tea with low caffeine:

– Bancha is produced from the most mature leaves and therefore contains very little caffeine but does contain a high concentration of iron, zinc and other minerals. It is strongly recommended during pregnancy and can be drunk by the whole family during the day. Also, Bancha has a slightly sweet and refreshing taste which makes it a very suitable evening drink.

– Houjicha is made from the larger leaves of the summer crop and some stems, which are gently roasted . The roasting process eliminates the already low caffeine level from this tea. Due to the warm flavours it’s considered an excellent tea in cold weather.

– Kukicha is made of stems that have practically no caffeine, which are mixed with some fine leaves. Therefore Kukicha is naturally low on caffeine.


For those looking for energy, the best tea is Sencha – it is the most balanced tea in terms of caffeine, minerals and vitamins. Sencha comes in various qualities depending on the time of harvest, the selection of the leaves and the production method.

For a tea with stronger stimulating properties, the best tea is Gyokuru; it is produced from the youngest leaves of the first harvest, grown in the shade and has a high amount of caffeine. Matcha, the powdered tea from the Japanese tea ceremony has also a high amount of caffeine, as it is produced from the youngest leaves, which grow in the shade and are then ground until they reach an extremely fine texture.


For those who wish to avoid caffeine altogether: when preparing the tea, pour the water over the leaves and then immediately discard the water and replace with fresh hot water. This way 80% of caffeine is removed but none of the essential substances.

There is nothing better than to experiment!


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Paris not just the city of love…. but also of tea

Mariage Frères

Who enters the main shop with museum of Mariage Frères, rue du Bourg-Tibourg, should be prepared to travel back in time… since over 160 years this teahouse stands for a wide variety of teas selected all over the world. An old map on the wall of the small wooden staircase shows where from Mariage Frères brings tea to France. Upstairs in the dusty museum with the even older looking tea samples makes you feel going back in time at least some decades.

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Back downstairs you find yourself in front of the wooden shelves with the black iconic tins, which show long tradition. There is a very big selection of pure teas and you see almost nothing of our days fashioned flavoured tea blends. We decide for the following teas:

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– Darjeeling 1st Flush Ambootia 2015, flowery complex nose as we like Darjeelings, no bitterness and just a very delicate black tea flavour with a very long sweet and flowery aftertaste.

– Tamaryokucha which for Japanese tea is intense, but still very well balanced. The second brewing shows even better than the first, which is uncommon for Japanese teas.

– Jade Himalaya from Nepal, which has curly leaves with a lot of silver tips, a vey delicate black tea remembering of Darjeeling, but still having its own character. Some say, that Nepal is becoming the new Darjeeling, and this tea shows some of the potential.


Les Palais des Thés

Next we go to Le Palais des Thés, Rue vieille-du-temple 64, the other institution in Paris. Le Palais des Thés started out when François-Xavier Delmas, at the head of a group of forty-five tea enthusiasts, decided to create their own business in 1986 with the goal to democratize tea and help the Occident to learn more about its cultural and gastronomical aspects. In 1990 François-Xavier Delmas acquired his partners’ shares in order to work full-time on its project.

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Entering the shop is like calming down, leaving the hectic of the city outside. The wooden shelves and the wooden floor make you feel comfortable. In the first showroom you find colourful tins with the flavoured blends, than passing through a small room with some nice tea ceramics you enter the main room, where you find exclusively pure teas. Over 300 references are stored in the big green tea tins, which make it difficult to select. We are surprised to find several Shinchas 2015 (first Japanese tea of the year) and so we start comparing the different Shinchas from different regions and different tea bush varieties. Finally we decide for:

Kirishima Shincha Ichiban 2015: Very nice dark green needle shape tea leaves with the fresh nose just shown by Japanese steamed teas. The brewing is delicate as it is typical for the Shinchas and shows light green in the cup.

Jukro Vert from Corea: Not steamed Korean tea with a wonderful green deep flavour, delicate and at the same time intense. Korean teas in general are starting to show more and more personality.

Wen Shan Bao Zhong Premium from Taiwan: Oolong in whole curly leaves, extremely nicely worked. A very good example of an Oolong not being green nor black tea, but a category of its own.

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The next teashop to go is the relatively new Neo.T close to the Sacre Coeur. The former journalist Valerie Stalport opened it 8 years ago to start a new life. We already now Valerie who is a big green tea lover and has also a deep fascination for Japanese teas. She welcomes us with the tea I was looking for the whole day: A very delicate and fruity Premium Mao Feng with small curled leaves. She makes one brewing after the other and surprisingly the tea does not get week.

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Valerie’s focus is definitely green tea, but she is also getting more and more interested in the complex category of fermented Pu Erh teas. She also shares a big interest in tea ceramics and recently started to cooperate with a French ceramist, who is also doing Raku (Japanese pottery burned in open fire designated for the tea ceremony).


Finally we decide to take the following teas:


– Jing Shan Premium Mao Feng from China: very delicate hand picked small leaves, which are curled. Fruity nose and flavour with delicate, not a little bit bitter, green tea notes, which stay and stay in the mouth.

– Pu Erh ancient 1970 from China: as we just bought a 5g package for one use, we didn’t taste it yet… we have to wait for a special occasion to celebrate this special tea with time to make several brewings.

– Tie Guan Yin from China: Rolled, very green rolled whole leaves, fresh green smell, flowery slightly sweet flavours. A really good Tie Guan Yin quality for every day.

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Maison des trois Thés

Last but not least we arrive at the famous Maison des trois Thés, a teahouse founded in the mid 1980s by Madame Tseng. Here you can prepare and drink a proper tea in a very Asian ambience. On every table you find a big dark teapot with boiling water on a stove. Then you get a tea menu, which is almost a book. Over 1.000 teas are stored in the cellar of Maison des trois Thés, mainly Oolongs and Pu Erhs, which are the most appropriate qualities for aging.


We chose Ali Shan Mountain Oolong, which comes in the typical little orange clay teapots and is prepared with hot water you have to pour until it overflows. After a minute you pour it in another porcelain teapot to cool the tea down before serving in small cups. The nose is very elegant, flowery with some deeper notes of wood and fruits. We do five brewings, one better than the other.

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The other tea of our choice is a fresh green Chinese 2015 Taiping Hou Kui. We have never seen leaves like that… each leave, after firing, is hand-rolled lengthwise and placed on a cloth. Than they are pressed with a small roller, leaving them flattened and larger. It is prepared by first pouring a bit cold water in the gaiwan (white porcelain cup with lid), than filling it up with hot water. For our taste the first brewing is a bit smokey, but from brewing to brewing it is getting finer and finer.

Choosing tea at this teahouse is like going into a treasure chamber… not easy to choose:

– Ba Ling Fu Yan, biodynamic Taiwanese Oolong: Whole open leaves, showing brown to green at the same leave. Fine cinnamon and earthy nose, very delicate tannins and a sweet long aftertaste.

– An Ji Bai Cha 2015 from China: flat needle shape leaves, light shining green. Hand picked tea of the very small buds, not steamed… but the nose is extremely fresh and green, remembering of steamed fresh tealeaves. On the palate it is extremely light and green, having a delicate touch of sweetness remembering of the very best white teas.

– Pu Erh 1984 from China: loose leave Pu Erh aged to elegant earthy perfection.

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It’s summer time… it’s Mizudashi time

No summer without a proper cold tea… Mizudashi is a very common tea in Japan, prepared with cold water. The mixture of a high quality Sencha and tea powder – Matcha – makes it a perfect isotonic drink. Due to its fresh and mild flavor it’s perfect for hot days and very easy to prepare.




All you need is a jar with good quality water, some ice cubes and a spoon. Put one Mizudashi tea bag in 700ml max. 1 litre and leave it for approx. 10 minutes. The best way is to take natural or slightly cool water (in very cold water the process takes much longer). Than take the spoon and squeeze the teabag (don’t worry, it won’t tear) to get out flavor and colour. 03 Deixe 10 minutos em infusão 04 Espreme bem a saqueta… 05 … para sair cor e sabor da saqueta   You can add ice cubes before serving, if you wish . 06 Adicione cubos de gelo para arrefescar o chá 07 Serve em copos de vidro Leave the tea bag in the water. The longer the tea stays in contact with the water, the more flavor will be extracted from the leaves… depending on your taste, you can add more water. 08 Pronto para apreciar nos dias quentes Enjoy 😉

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Back home happy to see our tea plants

After a really long travel we arrived well back home in Porto. Of course I can’t wait long to see how is our little tea plantation a bit outside Porto. What I finally see theres, makes me very happy…

01 Imaginar cebe

The plants are healthy green and have grown a lot since I saw them. For the first time I start seeing how finally the plants will grow together two form a uniform hedge. As it has rained a lot the whole farm is looking really green. The recently planted lemon trees for our blend Sencha Limão, the flowers for the bees around the lemon trees and the roses for our blend Sencha Rosa are also looking good.

05 Limoeiro feliz 06 Rosa feliz

For lunch I have very aromatic wild strawberries, which grow all over in big quantities. It’s a pity, that it takes ages to pick a resonable quantity and that they don’t keep for long. But on the other hand, they show us how good life can be, when you live the moment.

04 Melhor almoço


Later we take care of the little plants, which have grown out of seeds, we have taken from our own tea plants in October. It’s real magic to see what can develop out of a small brown ball, called seed. All plants are now in an own big pot to develop until we plant them probably next year in the field. Good things take their time and everything connected to tea has to do with patience.

02 As mais pequenas

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Getting in closer touch with wonderful pottery from Jeju Island

For the last day on Jeju Island we rent a car for exploring a bit more of the inland. We have heard of Seong Chul Kang, a ceramist who is inspired by the traditional Jeju Island pottery, but developing his own style. Surprisingly easy we find his studio and see him in front of his house. At first he doesn’t seem to happy to see visitors, but after explaining that we work with tea in Portugal, he opens the door inviting us to his exhibition room, which has a wonderful inspiring and cosy atmosphere.


The exhibition room is also a coffee shop. And yes I mean coffee, as in Korea like in other Asian countries, coffee is getting more and more fashion. Seong Chul Kang seems happy to hear that we really like tea, he starts preparing a green tea from a tea producer in his neighbourhood. The tea has a light green colour with an elegant nose and a wonderful sweetness in the complex palate. It reminds us of the more delicate Chinese teas, but still has an own caracter.



I am excited to see the wonderful tea ceramics, which have very well balanced dimensions. Seong Chul Kang explains me, that all his ceramic is linked to the Onggi pottery style, which uses just local clay. Originally these ceramics are bigger pots with lids to store food like rice and ferment vegetables. In front of his studio we can see the big Onggi pots, which reflect all brown earth colours. In contrast the small tea pots are very delicate. The dominating colours are brown and black. The ceramist explains that in general he do not use glaze, all the different tones are coming from different burnings. For example the black pieces he burns again and again until the colour is perfect.


For better communication he calls his wife Mi Sun Jung, who helps explaining us some more details. She herself is ceramist, but makes more sculptures. As they are busy reorganizing the studio, they have to search for more pieces, which are stored in big boxes. It all takes a while and it is not easy to choose between all the nice, but also expensive, pieces. We decide to also take some ceramics with us to start selling it in Portugal. Mi Sun Jung and me start negotiating and it takes us a while to transform the prices into dollar, but we manage.


I really have to stop myself buying more and more as I like too many pieces. We all have to laugh and drink more and more tea. In the end the two offer us a beautiful black tea container and we say good bye, hoping to see each other again.



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Learning more about Korean tea at Osulloc tea plantations and museum

Curious to learn more about Korean tea we start into the day. Korea is known as a relatively young tea producing country… but it has a long history. Aldready in the 7th century Buddhist monks brought tea plants do Korea and started cultivating tea. In the 14th century with the political change to Confucianism, Buddhism was banned and temples and also tea plantations were abandoned and some destroyed. Just in the time after independence in 1945 koreans started cultivating tea again. In the South of Korean mainland some of the old plantations managed to be reactivated and today Korean tea culture is getting stronger and stronger.


Mr. Moon from the Osulloc Tea company picks us up and explains that Seo Seong-Hwan already in 1979 started to plant tea in bigger scale on the mainland and on Jeju Island, which is considered to have the most favourable climate for tea in Korea. In the 1960s Seo Seong-Hwan had travelled a lot in Asia where he saw the rich and deeply rooted tea cultures. With the vision to reactivate Korean tea culture he looked out for the best place to plant tea. Jeju Island has a rich volcanic soil and a subtropical climate. As it is an island it also has the advantage to be away from any pollution. To start to plant tea at Jeju Island must have been hard, as there was not even electricity on the island by that time. In the Osulloc Museum, which is visited by almost 1,5 million people per year, we find a book in the life of Seo Seong-Hwan, who must have been a visionary.


In the museu we can see tea production by hand in a fired pan. A closer look to the teas shows that most of the pure teas are green, some vaporized, some produced dry or how the Koreans call it: roasted. There is also a great range of flavoured teas and Mr. Moon explains us, that at the moment it is a bit fashion in Korea to drink flavoured teas. Like us he sees this development very critical and tries to convince people to stay or go back to the pure teas. Then he invites us to with him to the Tea Stone, which is a beautiful building integrated very well in a forest like surrounding. The inspiration for its architecture was the very typical Asian ink stones, which were used to grind ink before mixing it with water.


Everywhere we can see, that somebody with great care fore architecture has planned all the buildings, most designed by famous Korean architects, but there is one of Portuguese origin. The headquarter building in Seoul, which not just includes the tea branch, but also a very strong cosmetic branch, was designed by the Alvaro Siza Vieira. The chairman Seo Kyung-Bae, who has a great passion for architecture and design, invited the famous Portuguese Pritzker Architect to realize that building in Seoul.


Back in the Tea Stone, we are gently invited to have a tea master class. The material used in the interior all is natural and the atmosphere is calm and concentrated. The big windows show a beautiful view on the garden. Everything is well prepared for the tasting and we are invited to prepare the teas ourselves. It is easy to see the difference as the steamed teas have the typical Japanese needle shape and smell of seaweeds. Osulloc has planted a big quantity of the Japanese variety Yabukita and also uses a lot of Japanese tea production machines. The other green tea is more curled as is not steamed and also lacks the last machine, which makes the leaves needle shape. It tastes also fresh, but more intense than a steamed tea.


Osulloc all together has 300 hectars of teagardens: more or less half on the Korean mainland, half on Jeju Island. On the island there is three plantations. Dosun, which by coincidence we have visited yesterday, is the oldest. It is considered the plantation with the most Japanese like tea. Most tea plants are Yabukita and the teas have a nice green colour and fresh umami taste. Close by the Tea Museum there is the Seo-Kwang teagarden, where green tea and also a little amount of black tea is produced.


As at the Dosun plantation a lot of the tea is shaded with the black nets, we know from Japan. Mr. Lee who is in charge for the production explains us that about 60% of the teas are shaded for getting finer teas. The shading time is surprisingly long with three weeks as we know it from Gyokuro production. The very first picking for the supreme Master’s Tea is done by hand as well as the production in a fired pan. Approximately 400 kilogram Master’s Tea are created every year, while Osulloc has a yearly production of 600 tons.


Than Mr. Lee shows us the tea plant nursery, where he is experimenting with new varieties. From the remains of old Korean tea plants they managed to create new plants, which they already have planted also at the Seo Kwang tea garden. As the tea bushes, which normally are created out of cuttings, get week when they are about 40 years old, he already has to think about when and how to start replant tea plantations in the future. Together we have a look at a two years old tea field, which is not looking to happy. Mr. Lee explains that Jeju Island has more difficulties with frost than for example Japan. Therefore they have also installed the Japanese style ventilators for blowing away cool air when there is risk of frost. But sometimes that is not enough. Therefore all the tea fields have water sprinklers, which not just help out in dry times, but also help to fight frost.


Finally Mr. Moon invites us to go again to the Dosun Tea Plantation, where we try the tea produced yesterday. It is not yet final heated and therefore very delicate and elegant. We are very happy that we can take with us samples of this freshly made tea for a special tea tasting we plan to give when we are back in Porto.




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Finally finding the tea plantations on Jeju Island

We wake up with sun and have breakfast with a very nice view on the ocean. I am getting optimistic, that today we will find the tea plantations. We have a map and an idea where they are and after a ride with nice views on the central volcanic mountain of Jeju Island we finally see the sign to the Jeu Island Green Tea Farm.

The tea plants look less straight cut than we are used from the tea plantations in Japan. Some are with just little leaves, but the view on the surrounding mountains and the sea is just stunning. All in all the arrangement of the plants planted in rows look similar to the japanese tea plantations. We go to the little teahouse and shop, where we are invited to taste the green panfired tea.


It is interesting to see how the tea is prepared and served in comparison to Japan. In Korea they hotter water for preparing the tea in a little teapot with an integrated strainer. After a short time they pour the tea into a cooling vessel to prevent that it is getting bitter. Form the vessel they serve the tea into small tea cups. In Japan it would be the other way around. The water would first go into the cooling vessel, for than preparing the tea with the just slightly hot water in the also small teapot (kyusu) with the handle on the side.


We are pretty much surprised of the fresh green flavour of the tea. At first we are a bit irritated that they name it roasted green tea. The delicate flavour has nothing to do with the slightly roasted Houjicha tea we know from Japan. Than we get to know Mr. Go, who works already for a long time at the plantation. He explains to us, that these teas are not steamed, but prepared in a fired pan like in China. That explains why they name their teas roasted tea.


Mr. Go tells us, that the whole plantation was planted at once 20 years ago all plants are the japanese variety Yabukita. In Jeju Tea Maze Garden all teas are hand picked and than produced by hand in the fired pans. Out of 1 kilogram picked leaves they get about 200g tea. For the premium tea they just pick the very tiny buts. Than these fragile leaves are processed with biggest care. We buy a 20g bag of this very expensive tea and another bay of the medium and average quality, which we are looking forward to taste.

Than we have Korean lunch and green tea ice cream for desert, which is not as delicious and creamy as we know it from Japan.


With new energy we start searching for the other tea plantation, we have heard of. It takes us a while to find it, but than we see the big shaded (kabuse) fields, we know from Japan. A bit unsure, if we can drive through or not, we pass the open gate without any sign. We are pretty much surprised by the extension of the tea fields, which are almost all covered by black shading nets. In the distance we see working three of the harvesting machines we know from Japan. The dimension of this tea plantation is really big.


When we reach the tea fabric we see a truck unloading the tealeaves. It smells and looks very much like Yabukita. Unfortunately it is not possible to communicate to the workers as they don’t speak English. Later two young Korean ladies, which are here on holiday, explain us that we can not bur tea here at the fabric, but at the Shop at the Ossoluc Tea Museum. It looks like that the tea harvested and produced here is part of the Ossoluc tea production. For tomorrow we have an appointment at Ossoluc and for sure will find out more details. We are curious to taste more Korean green tea and are looking very much forward for tomorrow.



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Arriving at Jeju Island

After a long journey we arrived well on Jeju Island. The South Korean Island is very close to Kyushu and also of volcanic origem. But unfortunately from Miyazaki we can’t go straight to Jeju Island. We have to take three flights and for approximately 400km areal distance, we take more than 12 hours. We arrive in the darkness of the night at the hotel, but in the morning the sun wakes us up.

03 Dirk Scooter 02 Dirk & Nina Scooter

As the island is bigger than we have imagined, we decide to rent a car or a motorcycle. As it is the Golden Week, the main holiday for Japanese and Korean people, it is not so easy to get something and we end up with a scooter. We start exploring the island, but instead of tea we find oranges, oranges and more oranges. They are planted all over and a lot of them are grown in green houses. The wonderful perfume of the orange flowers is with us almost the whole day. And we discover very delicate dried oranges and all kind of orange sweets.


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Visiting Shutaro Hayashi in Kirishima and having a wonderful tea tasting

We have to get up early in the morning. Saying good bye to the Morimotos is not easy, but they will stay in our hearts as they are.


Together with Tobias we drive the two hours to Kirishima, where we meet Shutaro Hayashi, the producer of our new Tennen Gyokuro. He receives us at the little tasting room in his families tea shop. He is the fifth generation of the family tea business and the first, who studied tea making. With great concentration he starts preparing teas for us.


We taste several Senchas, he produces of the different tea bush varieties. His family does not make blends, but sells the different qualities separately. They send the teas for the final heating to a specialized company. In contrast to almost all other tea producers they leave out this last production process for the very first tea of the year (Shincha). It has a wonderful fresh taste and vibrant smell of the freshly picked tealeaves, but is not as stable as other teas. Therefore the Hayashis just sell it just for one month.


After several very elegant and complex green teas, Shutaro san prepares a very delicious and creamy Matcha from a friend with a teagarden nearby and in the end surprises us with a black tea (Koucha) produced by him from the Benifuki tea bushes, which has a wonderful flowery nose.


After having lunch together we visit the teagarden, which has a big field with 100 year old Zairaishu plants, which in contrast to modern plants where grown out of seeds. These tea bushes are more robust and therefore get much older. As all the plants are a bit different they grow not homogeneously. It is not so easy to decide when to pick the leaves, as some plants are more and others less developed. The great diversity of different leave than is processed together to tea, which has a very own character.


On our way through the tea fields we meet a goat, which Shutaro san has bought with the idea to defend the weeds. As the goat also like the young tea leaves, he next wants to see if sheep could do the job. He is a smart guy, continuing the tradition of his family, but also trying to find his own new way.

Than we drive to Miyazaki, where we have to say good bye to Tobias, who will stay some more days with the Morimotos to help finish the first picking and to prepare the shipment of the teas. Dirk and me have a simple, but very delicious dinner. Tomorrow we will leave to Jeju Island in Korea. We are a bit sad to leave Japan, but we keep so many good memories of inspiring moments, which fore sure will stay with us for a long time.