9 Tasting Notes
My family actually brews Loquat tea in our house. My mom, after having been advised by a colleague of its health benefits, decided to gather Loquat leaves and brew the tea personally in a big double dutch oven pot in out kitchen. There is hardly any preparation of some sort, the leaves are as they are from the tree. They are not dried, fried, mortared and pestled. It is a simple preparation but long nonetheless. The fresh leaves of the Loquat tree are boiled for several hours resulting in a clear peach-colored substance.
The tea itself should be enjoyed without additives. It is best served hot, because the aroma itself is very inviting. It has a warm, vanilla-esque scent when it’s boiling. Very very mild flavor, a little woody (but maybe because it’s fresh…).
It’s good for you! It can cure some cancers!
Mugicha at my house, is often drank cold during meals in the summertime. It helps with digestion especially when you’ve eaten too much during dinner. To prepare Mugicha, the tea bag is cooled in a container for two hours then with boiling water brewed for about 15 minutes. Then the tea is cooled once again with ice. Once the process is finished the tea looks orangey-brown. This tea should not be drunk with any additives because the taste is so mild that any other additional flavorings will overwhelm it. Korean restaurants serve Mugicha or Boricha, it’s Korean name, to patrons who ask for tea.
I am currently reading up and teaching myself the traditional tea ceremony of Japan. Matcha comes in at least two varieties, one for summer and another for winter. The summer variety is usually light, though still thicker than other teas, and less concentrated with a little frothiness. I think that the ones sold on the market are this type.
Matcha is bitter, very bitter, which makes it a great companion with usually sweet Japanese desserts. Try drinking Matcha with azuki bean filled mochi, you’d find it very satsfying.
In contrast to the summer variety, the winter version of the tea is stronger, thicker, more bitter and foamier. Instead of matching it with desserts, it is usually accompanied by a several coursed meal, which is an inherent part of the traditional tea ceremony as well.
To prepare Matcha, it is not really necessary to be trained in tea ceremony. Tea ceremony is more or less the art of entertaining guests with tea. Usually, I would take the less stylistic approach when I want to drink this tea. I simply add the Matcha powder to hot water and use a little bamboo whisk to create the frothy appearance. I have also tried to mix it with bottled water. Give it a little shake and you can get Matcha to go. Matcha is also a flavor of ice cream. Try the green tea flavor of Maeda-en, I absolutely recommend it.