Monday, December 22, 2014

Morning Tea - Japanese Style

Part way up the mountain, our guide thought we might enjoy a spot of morning tea, so we stopped at a 400 year old tea house. Tea is the national drink in Japan. The above is cherry blossom tea, quite pleasant, even if a little on the salty side, especially when getting to the bottom.

Along with the tea came some food. I have no idea what I was eating, just that some of it was sweet, and some of it was disgusting, all very pasty and thick. The eating implement was also interesting, if not a little dangerous. The brown powder at the back was like a mix of brown sugar and cinnamon and very sweet. I think we were supposed to pick up some of the paste and dunk it in the sweet powder. Though that sweet powder did nothing to help that green paste!

Now we get to green. I found a lot of green processed food in my travels, and now think that they may have been green tea flavoured. Green tea is huge in Japan, but it is nothing like the green tea I am used to here at home. The green tea that I experienced was bright green, opaque, and very frothy. I might also add not to my taste!

Coffee, now that is another story again! I do drink coffee, and love a good percolated coffee with milk. Cappuccinos, lattes and iced coffee also go down well. So when travelling on the Shinkansen train the day before, I was surprised to see an iced coffee sign ( in English! ) on the food trolley that came around. As I was hot and thirsty, I ordered one. Mmmmmmm...................not good!  Iced coffee Japanese style is hot percolated coffee poured over half a glass of ice cubes! I did get a tiny finger nail sized container of milk to put into it, but that didn't do much to help!

My next experience of coffee was at breakfast the next morning. Percolated coffee, that was way too strong to drink .Mmmm........................... I decided that Japan cannot do coffee and from then on drank normal roasted black tea. When I say that Japan cannot do coffee, I will give them credit for having Starbucks, and for the little coffee shop we found a few days later that did a great cappuccino!

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