Monday, June 29, 2009

Are you thirsTEA?

When it is not water I am drinking, it would most likely be tea. I love tea but that was not always the case. Back in the Philippines, I was more into coffee. My tea intake was limited to TCB&TL's chai latte which was always the perfect drink while bonding with girlfriends. That all changed upon moving to Japan. I spent the first three months in language school where all our meals were accompanied by tea! Being used to drinking water at meals, I was shocked that there were no glasses set at our table. Instead, there was a kettle and tiny cups at one end of the table. One of my tablemates kindly poured me a cup of hot tea and it was love at first sip. The tea tasted simple and clean; just the right drink for any meal. Ever since, I've always had my meals with cups of tea. I feel lucky to have been able to go to a couple tea ceremonies!

{Sadou: 茶道}

The ceremony follows a set of etiquette; the movements are precise; and each detail has meaning and significance. We even had trial sessions the day before to make sure we knew what to do and what to say. Other than trying not to forget my lines, the ceremony was lovely and calming. The deliciously thick bitter taste of the tea was perfect with these pretty sweets.

{Too pretty to eat :P}

One of my favorite things working in a Japanese company is that I can have tea anytime. There is always a fresh pot in the pantry and during summer, there is a pitcher of green tea chilling in the fridge. It is more awesome knowing that the tea we drink comes from local plantations. Biking around, I'd sometimes stop to look at pretty tea fields.

{I love green.}

Matcha flavored sweets are also aplenty. There are tons of cakes, pastries, mochi, ice cream, and chocolate to choose from. While the simple green tea is recommended daily, I think it is perfectly okay to indulge in these sweets from time to time. :)


How about you, do you love tea? Or do you prefer coffee instead? Are you also crazy with matcha flavored goodies?


  1. LOVE tea. I've never been a coffee person, I don't like the taste, but I drink tea daily. I'm so interested in your tea ceremonies! Attending one of those would be so cool.

    - Sagan

  2. Very interesting! Now in Japan is the tea sweetened like it is in some countries, or drunk plain? I like sweetened tea but the regular stuff is just "ok"... but I know its full of antioxidants so I try to drink it often anyway!

  3. Love tea, and would probably love tea even more in Japan. I like coffee as well, but am cutting back. While both are caffeinated, coffee doesn't always sit well in my stomach. I get too jittery from it as well, even with decaf. It's unfortunate since I love the smell and taste of a dark brew.

  4. Sagan: Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Yes, attending a tea ceremony is a truly unique experience.

    Val: Tea is drunk unsweetened here. It's just tea leaves and water. Even bottled tea sold in groceries and vending machines are plain.

  5. I love your's so fascinating and fun to read. :)

    I seem to switch over in what I enjoy the the winter I drink a lot of tea, while in the summer I enjoy iced coffees. But I love your idea of chilling green tea in the fridge in the summer. It's such a healthy, refreshing drink, and I think I'll make some for tomorrow. :D

  6. Hello--thanks for the comment on my blog! I like yours too! I am still new to the whole blog thing, so I get so excited when people comment on my blog. It makes my day! haha

    -As for tea and coffee, I am more of a coffee girl, but I wish I was a tea girl because I have read it is much better for you.

  7. Interesting post! I LOVE green tea!

  8. I am CRAZY about matcha. I LOVE it, and I make matcha oats every morning, and stir in a teaspoon of matcha into my coffee (try that, it's GOOD!!).

  9. I'm convinced matcha is an acquired taste...I love it, but I brought back some matcha flavored stuff from our trip to Tokyo and no one liked it :(
    I heart bottles of Oi Ocha!

  10. I'm a lover of both tea and coffee, and cannot live without either. I have never tried a matcha flavoured sweet, but the one in the picture looks absolutely delicious!