The story behind Matcha Yu Tea - blending a love of Japan and tea
This is the story of how I fell in love with Japan (and Matcha).
Almost 10 years ago, I made a decision that would change my life forever. I decided to pack my bags, hop on a plane and experience daily life in Kyoto, a magical ancient city of Japan.
Japan was a place I had been fascinated by ever since 13 year old me took my first Japanese class at high school.
Since then I had travelled to Japan for holidays but something deep down was telling me to take a leap of faith and experience living there once and for all.
Visiting our Award Winning Matcha Tea Farm in Uji, Japan
With the trip to Japan but a distant memory, it's time to reminisce and share what wonderful experiences I had while there.
Very much a standout was the tea farm visit in Uji. Uji is a quaint town about 20 mins by train south of Kyoto (if you were travelling to Nara you would pass through it)
In Uji you can wander through a street called Byodoin Omotesando and literally smell the aroma of Matcha Green Tea in the air ahhh!
But more on that another time!
The main reason for visiting Uji was to meet the family behind the Tea Farm our Premium Matcha is sourced from and witness Ichibancha (or first harvest) that takes place in May each year.
What's the secret to Award Winning Matcha Green Tea?
Our Emperor Award Winning Premium Matcha comes from Kifukuen family run tea farm in Uji, Japan.
This tea farm has been in the Terakawa family for 8 generations (over 200 years) and has a wealth of knowledge and experience growing top quality tea.
We are honoured to make their high quality tea available to you, hand picked with care just once a year in May, known as "Ichibancha" or "First Harvest".
Every year around this time, around 40 experienced workers return to the farm to carefully hand pick the new tea leaves that will be transformed to make Matcha powder.
Back from Japan and so much to share!
Matcha Yu Tea are just back from our trip to Japan and and easing into the daily routine again.
It was so lovely to return to a place which means so much personally, it really is like going back to a second home, full of wonderful memories and life long friendships.
One of the main purposes of us returning to Japan at this time was to get a rare chance to learn all about Ichibancha (otherwise known as first harvest) and witness this very important time in a tea farm's calendar when the tea that is covered with shade cloths and ultimately becomes Matcha is hand picked with care by a team of experienced hard workers.
Packing A Zero Waste Travel Kit
Very soon we here at Matcha Yu Tea will be saying Sayonara (goodbye) to Australia and a big Konnichiwa (hello) to Japan!
We're visiting Japan specifically to visit our Premium Matcha tea supplier as it's tea picking season but also to enjoy drinking a lot of Matcha and enjoying many tea inspired desserts!
Whenever we travel outside of the home, we make every effort to bring our own reusable items so as to avoid excessive plastic consumption.
So naturally we are thinking about the items we plan to take away to Japan to us to help us on this journey, being that we are very eco-aware.
We've narrowed it down to the items below and we really wanted to share our tips with you all as well, in case you may find them useful.
So, what exactly DO you put in a zero waste travel kit for Japan?
Read more here to find out...
Matcha Yu Culinary Matcha Review (By But First, Tea)
Here's another lovely review of our Culinary Matcha, this time from Sherstin from @butfirst_tea, an amazing tea community we absolutely love!
"Beautiful to drink but great to bake with as well"
"The packaging is eco-friendly and it's home compostable, the packaigng, the label, everything is packaging. Super eco-friendly and something to be honest is so rare, not a lot of tea companies are doing this".
Sherstin, we totally love the zig zag motion of the tea whisk too, a great technique!
Thank you for the kind words and so happy you enjoyed it!