Matcha Demonstration at T2

Posted April 27th, 2015 in Perth WA | No Comments »

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Matcha – finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea – is known as one of traditional Japanese tea and I get to see lots of “matcha”  products everywhere in the world such as matcha ice cream, matcha latte (I miss it!!), and matcha cheese cake, just to name a few.  However I don’t think many people actually know what matcha really is and how real matcha tastes like, and especially how to prepare and drink matcha.  Do you?

Well, guess what.  I actually do not know how to prepare matcha (even though I’m Japanese!) in the way it’s supposed to be, and I don’t think many Japanese people do either.  So it was not a surprise for me when I was told that some staff at T2, one of Australia’s largest tea shops, did not know what to prepare and drink matcha.
Nowadays you will need to go to some class to learn sadou (茶道 : the traditional etiquette of preparing and drinking tea) if you’d like to learn how to prepare matcha.

Eisetsu-san, a Japanese tea ceremony instructor who lives here in Perth, approached T2 after seeing 2 jugs of matcha green tea at their tasting counter – one was matcha x lemonnade, and another was matcha with some cut fruits in it.  Well, you probably can drink matcha like this and it could be an “Australian style” or a new way of drinking matcha, but it was far from matcha’s original method of drinking.  Drinking matcha actually involves preparation as well, and Eisetsu-san wanted to introduce Perth people the whole process of matcha making.

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Her first matcha demonstration was held on 26th of March this year at T2 in Claremont Quarter, and she served 32 bowls of matcha to guests.  Her demonstration brought more people into the store, and now she is having other matcha demonstrations across Perth.  Her schedule is listed below;

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03/May/2015      Hinata Cafe in Bibra Lake @ 10:00AM~4:00PM
07/May/2015      T2 in Claremont Quarter shopping centre @ 3:00PM
16/May/2015      Green Tea House in Subiaco @ 2:00PM

She is also receiving some offers from high schools and university for demonstration.

If you have interest in sadou  (茶道) – Japanese tea ceremony -, please contact her.  She runs classes on occasional bases in Perth (which I’d like to join in future).
eiko2525hiyuli<at>gmail.com

 


Cafe for Tea Lovers

Posted March 14th, 2012 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

Since I wrote about this place Chapels on Whatley, they have transformed their tea shop into a nice, attractive tea-featured cafe .

This shops is located right in front of Maylands train station.  They were originally selling just ornaments, tea leaves, and tea-related products, but now they added cafe corner with great drinks and foods.

When I arrived there I could see from outside that many customers enjoying their food and drinks. Outside tables were all taken. When entered inside I was surprised to see how crowded the cafe is with customers and cafe staff moving around busily. They made the cafe counter in the centre of the shop, and there’re tables inside, outside, and at the back yard.

The shop still sells houseware, kitchenware and tea items inside and also at the detached room. We bought 3 teacups made of bamboo. It was $2.80 each.

I wanted to try the food and drinks as they were beautifully dished and looked so yummy, but I couldn’t find any seat available so I left the shop with just three bamboo cups. I definitely want to come back there for food and drinks near future – probably with my girlfriends 🙂


Yummy Japanese Drinks at Starbucks

Posted January 12th, 2012 in Japan | 2 Comments »

Today my friend picked us up and went out to had little snack at Starbucks. Unlikely I didn’t feel like having coffee (I’d already had 2 cups this mowning) so I ordered Double-squeezed Fruits Juice ¥220 (Starbucks brand drink in a paper pack). I didn’t feel like sweets either coz I had 2 donuts this morning, so ordered chicken and roots vegetable salad wrap ¥290.

The location is lovely – this Starbucks is located just near Biwako Lake shore, and I could see many cute ducks floating on the water throu a window. Because it was cold there’s no one siting on the chairs outside. Drive-thru got lots of cars with people wanting to get hot drinks.

My fried ordered caramel latte, cheese cake and pancakes. Looks yummy 🙂

My wrap was smaller than I thought : it was just half size. But I felt good eating salad and root vegetables because I’ve been eating meat and fish most of the time here.

It tasted ok. 🙂

It was shame I didn’t feel like sweets because I saw a big board with a photo of delicious-looking drinks!

Azuki Matcha Latte…

Matcha White Chocolate!

Soy Ho-ji-cha Tea Latte!

There are cold version of Azuki Matcha Latte & Soy Azuki Matcha as well, but in this cold weather people will go for hot drinks (unless they are thirsty or feel already warm after exercise).


Unique Japanese Drinks

Posted January 9th, 2012 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Suntory, one of Japan’s leading beverage companies, is selling something that some people were looking for…..  All Free!  This All Free is a drink with no calorie, no sugar, and no alcohol.  Yap, all free.

Some may ask what’s the reason of drinking this…  Why don’t you drink water or herval tea instead?  Well, this All Free is actually a non-alcohol beer.  It tastes like beer, but has no alcohol, sugar, or calorie.  This is selling well in this busy drinking season…

Georgia, a popular brand of coffee-flavored beverages sold by The Coca-Cola Company in Japan, sells this unique can of coffee.  It’s a mixture of “coffee” x “green tea”.  It’s not green tea latte.  It still has color of coffee, brown, and contains matcha powder from Uji in Kyoto.

Pepsi in Japan sells these unique flavour drinks.  Azuki, Cucumber and Shiso!  I’ve never tried these, but I think shiso may taste better than others.  It’s just my guess…

I love that cute little tirol chocolate – love the cute little square shape, and their variety of flavours.  But I didn’t know that this popular chocolate snack “tirol chocolate” has its drink version!  Tirol chocolate drink tastes like its original chocolate.  It should taste very rich?


Strawberry Infused Iced Tea

Posted October 2nd, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

While in Japan, there was at least a jug of cold tea being stand-by in my house during summer.  The tea is usually mugi-cha (barley tea). Mugi-cha is the flavour of summer in Japan, and everyone at school brought a bottle of home-brewd mugi-cha to drink during the break and after school activities.

I didn’t have a nice jug here, so I bought one from T2 to make cold drinks in coming season.  The jug I bought is Takeya jug, and it’s meant to be for iced tea.  I love this jug, because the airtight lid prevents spills or splashes and locks in freshness, especially when storing in the fridge.  The lid is so airtight that the jug can stand upright or lay down, and is completely leak proof.   This means that we can bring it for picnic too.

D loved the tea he tried at the store, so we made at home too.  Strawberry infused rose tea.  It’s so lovely.

The strawberries I had were red and ripe, and are so sweet.  They gave great sweetness to the tea.  I mashed them lightly so that all the juice and flavours come out and blend with tea.

I made the tea with cold brew method, which you simply fill the jug with filtered water and tea bags (or leaves) then place in refrigerator until cold.

Meanwhile I picked few leaves of mint from the garden.  I thought refreshing mint would go with the tea, and it did. 🙂  Great for lazy afternoon.

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Addicted to Coffee

Posted August 28th, 2011 in Food | 5 Comments »

I’ve been drinking lots of coffee… again. I love coffee, and always had at least one cup a day – since I was a teenager. It may be because of my dad. He loves coffee too, and drinks few cups a day. He goes to a cafe very often, and if he can’t got o a cafe, he gets a can of black coffee from a vending machine which is in front of my house. Vending machines can be found everywhere in Japan, so he is always in the environment where he can get coffee easily.
Oh, he makes instant coffee by himself at home too, sometimes. But I don’t remember seeing him drinking instant coffee as much as seeing him drinking a can if black coffee

I love black coffee (I mentioned about this long time ago on this blog). No sugar nor milk. I love drinking black coffee in the morning, after each meal, with some sweet, and before bed time.

Strangely my passion for coffee stopped while I was pregnant with Hiro. I could drink decaf if I wanted, but I didn’t even want to smell coffee. I was surprised about it because I remember how much I loved the smell of coffee every time I walked pass a cafe.

Now, however, I’m addicted to coffee again.  Just want to say it’s decaf coffee I drink now… because I’m still breastfeeding.  It’s strange, isn’t it? Usually, people can’t stop drinking coffee because they need caffeine fix, or are addicted to it. Decaf coffee doesn’t contain caffeine, but I can’t stop drinking it. Caffeine is not the thing my body is after? Maybe I just like black colored water? :p

Ummm, It will be hard in Japan because they don’t have “decaf” coffee at normal cafes or available from vending machines. They sell only standard coffee with caffeine. I guess I can drink a cup a day, or get non-caffeine coffee or tea from special shops.  I want to try “tampopo (dandelion) coffee” – this is non caffeine drink made from roots of dandelion.  It’s called “coffee”, but it’s not made from coffee beans.  Pregnant women, breastfeeding mums, and people who are into healthy stuff drink this, and I’m curious how it tastes like.  I’m looking at photos on google, but it really looks like coffee.

Talking about coffee – it’s only 6am but I already had a cup of black… with pancakes.

Eating sweets like this makes me long for hot black coffee.  To me, black coffee is the best accompaniment to sweets!

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Sparkling Drink

Posted August 21st, 2011 in Japan | No Comments »

Many people would probably long for soda drink when they are thirsty.  Coke, pepsi, Mountain Due, Fanta… there are so many kinds in the market.  But, did you know there’re more unique sparkling drinks sold in Japan?

Coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit juice….  you can find them in sparkling version in Japan.  I wonder how they taste like….  I’m sure some of them are not great.  For example, when I’m thirsty I wouldn’t want to drink sweet chocolate.  I would definitely go for a can of coke or soda water.

Kirin, one of the largest beverage company in Japan, started selling this sparkling green tea in their Nama-Cha range few months ago.  This sparkling green tea is lightly fragranced with yuzu juice.  As being a green-tea-lover, I wouldn’t mind drinking this!  It’s not sweet like chocolate.  Well, it’s green tea, so it should be healthier than other soda drinks, right?

Oh, in Japan, ocha (green tea / Japanese tea) is not sweet.  There is nothing added – just tea leaf and hot water.  I really hate sweet tea….  I don’t mean those English tea like earl grey, I mean some sweet Asian tea like Jasmine Green Tea….  Pokka used to sell (or, maybe they are still selling) genmaicha, oolong tea and mint green tea with SUGAR here in Perth.  They are too sweet.  It’s not tea to me!

So, if you think Japanese people drink those sweet tea like Jasmine green tea everyday, you are wrong….  We drink unsweetened tea daily.  Personally I can’t drink sweet beverage with rice and miso soup.

I remember D told me the other day that there’re supermarkets in America selling only soda drinks.  Then I told him “well, I’m not surprised.  If you go to Japan you will see lots and lots of kinds of tea sold there.”.  Even at a convenience store, you will find many kinds of tera drinks, both cold and hot.

I’m sure it’s not only in Japan.  South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries may be the same.  In fact, there are so many kinds of Chinese tea in Japan and they are very popular.

Ummm  I sometimes miss the convenience of living in Japan.  When you are thirsty just look for a vending machine or convenience store, and grab a bottle of dink with one coin.

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Tea During Pregnancy

Posted December 13th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

I used to be a heavy coffee consumer before I got pregnant.  I loved having a cup of strong black coffee in the morning, after each meal, and before going to bed.  Drinking coffee was part of my lifestyle, and there’s not even one day that I didn’t have coffee as far back as I can remember.  My dad also loves black coffee and I think that’s the reason why I love coffee so much.  Going to cafes is our thing when I’m in Japan.

Now, since I’m pregnant, I don’t drink coffee anymore.  I could still drink few cups a day, or decaffeinated ones, but I actually don’t feel like coffee at the moment.  I like the smell of coffee, but when I imagine drinking it I know I will have strong heartburn.  It actually stops me drinking coffee.

I still feel like drinking something besides water, soda and juice, and in that case tea is another option for me.  Western tea (e.g. English breakfast, earl grey tea) wasn’t really my drink, but I grew up with lots and lots of Japanese tea since I was a kid.  I searched about teas in Japan and I found that some Japanese tea contain very little caffein, and there are few non-caffein teas too.

Teas made from cereals, such as barley tea (mugi cha) and black bean tea (kuromame cha), contain no caffein.  Barley tea is the most common drink consumed in Japan during summer.  After making the tea we chill it and keep one or two bottles in the fridge.   Black bean tea (kuromame cha) has such distinct aroma and I love the flavor of roasted bean.  Very delicious and healthy.  I’ve never seen kuromame cha in Perth, do you know if any shop sells this tea?

According to “Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition”, Gyokuro (玉露) contains the highest level of caffein.

There are quite big differences between each kind of tea!  I never cared about the quantity of caffein in a drink, as drinking black coffee didn’t affect my sleep at all, and my blood pressure is normally low so drinking coffee actually helped me to focus on something every day.
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You can also drink herb tea while pregnant.  Rosehip and nettle are the good ones.  Rosehip helps absorbing iron, vitamin and mineral to the body, and nettle helps to prevent anemia.  If you have strong morning sickness, lemon balm tea may calm you down.  Sage and lavender are not recommended for early pregnancy as they actually have an effect of shrinking the womb.
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Until I feel like drinking coffee I will be drinking lots of mugi-cha, I think.  This is a perfect season to drink mugi-cha and you can buy the tea leaves / tea bags at Asian grocery shops. (look for a Japanese food section) 🙂

Happy Soda

Posted December 3rd, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

If you go to Indonesian restaurant (e.g. Bintang Cafe 1 / 2 ) you can find this drink on the menu – happy soda.  It’s a soda drink with sweet milky taste… It tastes quite similar to Japanese melon soda.  The difference is that melon soda is green color, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream floats on top of soda drink.

To make happy soda, you will need red syrup – we had been hunting for this syrup, and finally found at an Asian grocery shop in Market City, Canning Vale.  If you are looking for something Indonesian or middle-eastern Asian food, you may find it at this shop. 🙂

First, you pour 1~2 tsp of condensed milk in a glass.

Then, pour 1~2 tsp of the syrup.  You can adjust the amount of milk and syrup to your liking.

Add 6~7 ice cubes, and top up with soda water.

Nice refreshing summer drink (sweet!) for hot afternoon. 😀

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Maccha Banana Shake

Posted July 21st, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

As I bought lots of banana from a market and they started to turn black already, I decided to finish them up by making a banana drink!

I didn’t have much ingredients to use in the fridge, so I just added milk and honey to taste.  With a dash of maccha green tea powder, it turned out to be delicious 🙂

It was little thick, just how I like it.

<Maccha Banana Shake> makes 1 glass

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  • 1 monkey banana (or 1/2 normal banana)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp Maccha powder
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  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix until combined.
  2. Pour into a glass, and dust with extra maccha powder.
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