The Revival of Japanese Tea

I want to share with you a short tea video:

It’s about three years old, but still relevant today.

Many households in Japan don’t have a kyusu anymore. The convenience of bottled tea dealt a big hit to loose leaf tea.

Fortunately, the situation has improved over the past years. First it was due to the growing popularity of matcha, and then I believe that it was the result of the effort of tea lovers worldwide as well as members of the tea industry.

Now, a good opportunity for the revival of Japanese tea will be at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The government has a goal of 40 million incoming tourists that year. It would be a record.

Hopefully many of those tourist will experience Japanese loose leaf tea, and maybe some of them will fall in love with it.

All it took for me was to try a well made genmaicha from a friend while I was a foreign student in Japan. I didn’t even see the kyusu itself.

What was your first memorable contact with Japanese tea?

5 Comments

  1. Bill B
    July 3, 2019

    Entertaining video!
    Do you have some recommendations for a good kyusu that is affordable?
    I have seen some for over $200 USD.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      July 3, 2019

      Hi Bill

      The ones that I’ve used have always been below $100 USD. Look online, any kyusu made in Tokoname is a sure bet. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

      Reply
      1. Bill B
        July 4, 2019

        Perfect…thanks!

        Reply
  2. Paul
    July 16, 2019

    Although I had tried green tea in sushi restaurants and occasional matchas, until about a month ago I thought it was more of a novelty than a drink I would reach for over a good black tea or coffee. It’s probably because the teas I had were either very low quality or made weakly. I first truly started to enjoy it recently when I started to get into loose leaf black teas. The first three Japanese teas I experimented with were genmaicha, a white peach flavored bancha coated with matcha, and finally, a straight bancha. Once I realized how good even just a cheap loose leaf bancha was on its own, prepared correctly, I started to investigate other Japanese leaf teas and matcha with much more enthusiasm and respect! I realized they deserve their place alongside (and sometimes ahead) of coffee or black tea.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      July 16, 2019

      Hi Paul

      Sure, that’s the idea. Once you try a good quality tea, even if it isn’t green, you’ll begin to appreciate the other types of tea.

      While I mostly drink Japanese green tea, sometimes I also try different types of teas and from other origins.

      I hope that you have a good experience as you discover more teas that you like.

      Reply

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