Our Tea Journal

 

Here you will find a compilation of all the stories we have to share about our experiences with herbs, teas, the Japanese Tea Ceremony and so much more. 

Please feel free to peruse them all and don't forget to like and leave a comment. 😊


Anyone who knows me knows just how much I love trees.

I am a very tree lover.


There is just something mystical and magical about these beautiful Earthly creations.


So when I heard that there was a huge tea tree just a few hours away from where I now live in Japan I knew I had to go see it.


FUN FACT: This big tea tree is actually located in a city called 'Ureshino' [which translates to 'Happy City' in English].


A part of my mission on returning to Japan has been not only to learn more about the Japanese Tea Ceremony but also to explore the history and culture of tea in Japan.


So with my handy navigation system (i.e. Google Maps) as my guide I set out on my big tea tree adventure.


After driving for about 2 or 3 hours I eventually found a sign which confirmed that I was on the right track.

Or so I thought...

After turning back around 3 times because of navigational issues, with perseverance (i.e. stubbornness) and good old common sense I eventually arrived at another sign which confirmed that the Big Tea Tree was not too far ahead.

Thank goodness!




About the BIG TEA TREE:

Other names: Daichanoki; Daichaju; 大茶樹;ダイチャノキ

Age: over 360 years old

Height: 4.6 metres (15 feet)

Crown: 70 - 80 square metres




On October 20, 1926, this huge tree in Saga Prefecture was designated by the national government as a National Natural Monument/ Important Natural Property. It is a symbolic tree of the City of Ureshino. It is said to have been planted by Shinbei Yoshimura, the father of Ureshino tea, some time between the years 1648 to 1652.


ABOUT TEA AND URESHINO

“Tea production in Ureshino is said to have been started by the Chinese of the Ming dynasty who travelled to the region around 550 years ago. In the Sarayadani valley of Mount Fudo, where Chinese people are said to have settled, there are tea fields stretching as far as the eye can see.”

“Ureshino was visited by many people during the Edo Period as it served as a post station along the Nagasaki Kaido and a place of healing through hot spring bathing.”

Source: www.saga-tripgenius.com/tourism_search/daichaju-large-tea-plant.html

Eventually, I found the big tea tree and I must say that it is by far the largest tea tree I have ever seen in my life.


In fact, the tree is so big that its branches have to be supported.




Before leaving, I also had to take a barrage of videos and photos

(selfies included).




My Happy City adventure concluded with a relaxing visit to one of Ureshino's popular onsens and a chance visit to a mysterious hundred year old sakura tree under the Full Moon.




All in all I would say it was a day well spent.

The Big Tea Tree Lover

Nadya Dee



2 views

On Saturday, May 13, 2017, Iyashi Herbs ventured up into the mountains of Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, to a town called Yame -- renown for its delicious green tea -- to learn more about the process of picking and preparing organic green tea.


The Yame Region is blessed with ideal conditions for cultivating fine quality tea. Not only does it have a cool climate that envelops the tea plants in misty rains, but its high altitude also deters harmful insects. In summer, fireflies flicker in the clear streams near the tea plantations, creating a picture-perfect landscape.



Organic Green Tea Leaf Picking


Whilst it is customary for larger tea farms to use machines to harvest new tea leaves, it is a long-held belief that hand-picked tea leaves have a richer and fuller flavour than those not picked by hand, especially organic tea leaves. It was a great joy to take part in such a culturally enriching ritual.


The Process


Once the leaves are picked they go through a 10-12 step process of sifting, steaming, shaking, rolling and drying to bring out the highest taste and flavour of the tea leaves.


<insert video>



The Final Product



Japanese TV Feature

As luck would have it, we were caught on camera picking tea leaves and eventually interviewed about the taste of the green tea. Of course, we expressed how delicious we thought it was.

See clips from the TV programme below.








Sky Tea House




We are grateful to Jiro, owner of the Sky Tea House, for organizing the Yame Tea Tour as well as opening his doors to us for the night. The Sky Tea House is a traditional Japanese house in the mountains surrounded by tea farms and wonderful scenery. There's even a small waterfall a short distance from the Sky Tea House --

the definition of iyashi.




For more information on the Sky Tea House feel free to visit their website: https://www.skyteahouse.com/



2 views