Back in the late 90s I had several Japanese penpals, and I loved receiving letters in the mail from them, hearing about their lifestyle and seeing the photos that they sent me. Sometimes we would do swaps in the mail, I would send little gifts that were typically British, and they would send Japanese items – it was awesome to hold something in my hand that had come all the way from the other side of the world! Sadly, over the years, we lost touch, and, despite my best efforts to find them on Facebook, I’ve not been able to.
I have always wanted to visit Japan, it is the perfect mixture of the old world with the ancient architecture, and the modern, even futuristic world with the buzzing capital city, Tokyo. Right now, the closest I’ve been is the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, which is where all these photographs are from. I can spend quite a lot of time hanging out in this area, and hope to see Japan for real one day!
One of my favourite books is Memoirs of a Geisha, and I get totally lost in this secret world with all the traditions and ceremonies, and so, when Adagio Teas asked if I would like to sample some of their tea blends, my mind immediately went to the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and I fell in love (as much as you can with an inanimate object!) with this Toshima tea set, it’s made of cast iron and so, retains the heat for a long time; it’s also very heavy! I have to make sure that I dry it well so that it doesn’t rust, but we’ve enjoyed lots of lovely tea-times with it, and because it’s so stylish, it’s also a gorgeous kitchen decoration. There is a stainless steel infuser inside the tea pot which makes steeping and removing tea leaves easy and the pot holds 700ml, which is plenty for a few cups of tea.
6 Unusual Teas To Try Out
Since we went for afternoon tea last summer, hubs and I have enjoyed buying different teas, instead of the regular builder’s brew that we have! I picked several tea blends from Adagio Teas to try out – not all are Japanese, but there are so many different blends to choose from, it was rude not to sample other regions!
Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea
I love the smell of jasmine, and I’ve never tried white tea before, and this tea was gorgeously fragrant. White tea uses only the finest leaves from each tea bush with minimal amount of processing. It contains the highest amount of antioxidants and shares many chemical compounds with green tea. White tea is up there in the “good for you” stakes!
Jasmine Phoenix Pearls Green Tea
I picked another jasmine tea, this time a green one, and I have to admit, the photo of the tea leaves was enough for me to choose it – it looked so unusual! Green tea undergoes only minimal oxidation during processing, making it a rich source of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. I’m not a fan of the green teas that I’ve bought in the past, but this one was enjoyable, and I loved how the pearls unfurled in the hot water.
Citron Green Tea with Orange Peel & Sunflower petals
A fruity and flavourful tea, and I loved the flower petals in the bag of leaves.
Earl Grey Bravo Black Tea with Orange Peel & Cornflower Petals
I picked this tea as it sounded very much like the Lady Grey tea I drank at our afternoon tea last summer. I’ve yet to sample this, but it smells great . Earl Grey Bravo is a classic blend of artisan black tea from Sri Lanka, flavoured with bergamot (a citrus fruit).
Yunnan Gold Black Tea
Another tea which we’ve yet to sample is this black tea, which is described as having savoury cocoa and black pepper flavours. I’ll be interested to see if my palette picks that up.
Pu-Erh Spice Tea with Cinnamon Bark, Orange Peel, Ginger Root, Aniseed & Safflower
Pu-erh leaves are actually aged and go through a natural fermentation process before the tea is gently dried. This creates a cup with zero astringency and deep, rich body. In Asia, Pu-erh teas are also known for their slimming and medicinal properties. You might guess why I picked this particular tea – I’ll try anything to help me get slimmer! The tea smells so warm and fragrant, and great to drink on a cold afternoon.