Green Tea = MATCHA? What’s the difference?

Hi there! How are you doing? This time, I want to make a series of green tea, I want to dig down the topic 3 times here. Hope you enjoy exploring the beauty of the traditional tea world with me. Green tea is becoming popular all over the world as it is zero calorie and so healthy, and not only that green tea sounds so very Japan. But I want to give you more tips of the green tea for you. Many of you might think green tea is same as MATCHA. However, it’s not quite true.

みなさん、こんにちは。如何お過ごしでしょうか?今回は 三回に分けて、Green Tea 、緑茶及び抹茶について書いてみたいと思います。Green Tea は世界的な健康ブームと、日本って何だかクールで乙でカッコイイという憧れにも支えられ、世界中で人気があります。緑茶も抹茶も英語では Green Tea と翻訳されているので、ここではその違いを説明してゆきたいと思います。

Japanese people drink green tea every single day and we never add any sugar nor sweetener. It is called Ryokucha. On the other hand, Matcha is powdered green tea we serve for tea ceremony. For Matcha, we put some green tea powder into a tea bowl and pour hot water then stir it with a bamboo tea whisk. In Fukuoka prefecture, there is Yame city that is famous for green tea producing. I once visited there and so impressed with the beautiful scenery.

日本人が毎日飲むお茶は砂糖が入っていない緑茶で、抹茶はお茶っ葉を粉末にしてお湯で少し薄めて茶筅で少し泡立てて飲むものです。福岡県には、八女というお茶の産地があり、新緑の季節にお茶摘みをしている茶畑を訪れたことがあります。

I got so excited to see this stunning view. The whole 360 degrees was nothing but the green tea field. Can you see the small huts in the middle of the filed? They are green tea watchers’ huts. There are many grades for Green Tea, both Ryokucha and Matcha. If you have a chance to enjoy the very best Ryokucha of the season, you will be impressed and make a big sigh with the fragrant aroma. The first baby leaf of each year is always the best. In my daily life, I drink Ryokucha green tea that cost 500-800 yen per 200 grams.

360度広がる茶畑に歓声の声をあげ、心弾むドライブを楽しみました。小さな小屋が奥の方に見えますが、それらはお茶畑の見守りをする番小屋だそうです。緑茶にもそれぞれ等級があって、その年の一番初めに出てくる茶っ葉を摘んだ初摘みの玉露は特に珍重され、香り高く爽やかでしみじみと美味しいものがあります。普段の暮らしで毎日飲むお茶は、ひとパック200グラム入りで500円〜800円くらいの値段です。

Matcha green tea is not for every day. Often the case, we serve it for guests in special occasions. Japanese Tea Ceremony has long history that is more than 1300 years. And there are authentic manners for the tea ceremony and I learned some form my mother. But I like to prepare Matcha green tea for myself and I always enjoy it with my own way.

抹茶は、一般的に言って毎日飲むというものではありません。お客さんが来た時や、少し特別な時に点てて飲みます。長い歴史を持つ茶道には、お点前と言って抹茶には人に出す時にお茶を点てるという特別な所作がありますが、私は母から少し習っただけで、あとは亜流で点てて飲んでいます。

This Matcha green tea bowl was created by my mother’s friend who is learning pottery. My mother made a request and he made it especially for me. The clay is called Ruri and the dark navy blue is so beautiful. The other day, my niece told us that she learned the tea ceremony at her preschool. So she and I went to buy Japanese confectionery for tea ceremony and we threw a little tea party.  She is only six but she served me the tea that she stirred up and kneeled down and made a big bow, following the special manner. She even handled the tea bowl several times in her both hands. Wow, she was seeing the tea ceremony service so attentively. To play with my cutest niece in the Japanese traditional culture was absolutely so special.

この抹茶茶碗は、母の友人が陶芸教室で私のために作ってくださった手びねりの瑠璃の器。抹茶は、こういう茶碗で両手で抱えていただくものです。先日、姪っ子ちゃんが保育園でお茶を習って来たということで、一緒に和菓子を買いに行って、お抹茶を点てて小さな茶話会を開きました。姪っ子ちゃんは神妙な顔つきをして、私に正座をしてお茶を出してくれて、大きくお辞儀をしてくれました。飲む時は、ちゃんとお茶碗を両手で回していましたよ。こうやって日本文化の中で遊ぶのもとても楽しいものです。

For tea ceremony, we have a tasteful way of serving called Nodate. We go hiking to a mountain and have a tea ceremony in the nature while enjoying the breeze and the smell of greenery and the sounds of birds chirping.

また、野点という情趣のある文化もあり、ハイキングのように山などへ出かけて行って、緑の香りを楽しみそよ風を感じ鳥の鳴き声を聴きながら、自然の中でお茶を点てるという雅なる遊びもあります。

Our daily life is so restless. But from time to time, we need to stop and take a breath. Enjoy tea ceremony made me proud of Japan once again. Well, that’s all for today. Abundant blessings to each one of you! See you soon!

忙しない現代の暮らしの中で時に立ち止まり、静かに心豊かにお抹茶を点てると、日本がとても誇らしく愛おしく思えて来ます。それでは、みなさんに豊かな祝福がありますように!ではまた!

 

 

 

 

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