Friday, April 20, 2007

Blending green tea and hojicha (roasted green tea)

The Kikuchi, Kumamoto, branch of the Japan Agriculture Association announced they are releasing a loose-leaf green tea product that blends green tea with hojicha (roasted green tea).

(This story was reported in Japanese in the April 14th online edition of the Nihon Nogyo Shinbun [Japan Agricultural Newspaper; in Japanese only].)

I haven't tried JA's tea, but it is easy enough to create your own blend: Just put a pinch of Monk's Choice or Top Leaf Green Tea into your teapot or your permanent tea filter along with a pinch of our Hojicha and—voilĂ —there you are. It's fun to experiment with different blends of green teas. Give it a try.

Also, notice I said a "pinch" of green tea. I was being intentionally vague: Brewing tea is an art, not a science, and teatime is a time for relaxation, not for stressing over exact amounts of tea or water, exact water temperature, or exact brewing time. Remember, grasshopper, the ultimate goal is to brew the perfect cup of tea—that is, your perfect cup of tea—instinctively and intuitively.

The great Bruce Lee said about his fighting style, "I do not hit. It [his fist] hits all by itself." That's what a Mellow Monk tea master should strive for—the "all by itself" part, not the hitting part.

His hand hit all by itself, but could it brew green tea all by itself?

—Mellow Monk

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