Well, I’m back from my long trip to Japan — where I didn’t drink nearly as much tea as you might think. Meals in Tokyo are pretty Westernized, it turns out, even when having fairly traditional foods. I had to ask for tea almost everywhere we went, and with the exception of one conveyor sushi bar and one soba shop, none of it was at all remarkable. But, I did drink a lot of matcha in Liz’s apartment trying to keep warm.

I was unable to read steepster while I was away, so if something important happened to you I should know about and missed, please get in touch.

So here I am back in Houston where we’ve been having some unusually cold weather (for Houston) and so I have tea in my hand pretty much any time I’m awake.

This experimental option from Verdant has been a lot of fun, so far. I’m on my second day of gongfu steeping sessions and enjoying the leaf very much.

Somewhere between the rich, chocolate extravagance of Laoshan black and the pleasant bite of Wuyi oolong, this tea has a complex flavor profile and a thick, full mouth feel.

Even early steepings don’t come off as dark you expect them to, given the look of the dry and wet leaf (and the enormous aroma they offer), but that is not to say what you find in your cup is either thin or subtle. The chocolate and malt definitely dominate the cup, but there is more to the picture, here. Unsalted cashews. Orange zest. Buckwheat honey.

This is a cold, rainy day tea if ever there was one.

This is a crisp, sunny Winter day tea if ever there was one.

But I also suspect it would be fabulous as an iced tea in the Summer’s heat.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Hesper June

Welcome home!

Bonnie

Glad you are well! Your tea stash is happy too!

Steven

Where have you been in Japan? I went there many times for work, and really enjoyed it. I have a couple of favorite conveyor sushi places (kaiten-zushi) in Shibuya I always go to while I’m there.

Jim Marks

Liz is living in Tokyo and my visit at this time didn’t allow (budget wise) for travel outside the city (transit is crushingly expensive, there). She’s a vegetarian, so we didn’t do a lot of sushi, but we did hit one of the two kaiten in her neighborhood and also a nice proper sushi bar in Akiba.

My favorite meal by far was the nabe we had in Koenji. And there’s a fantastic bar in Koenji that is my favorite bar on earth.

Steven

I know right? I’m glad I wasn’t paying for my transportation.

What’s nice about the food in Japan is no matter what price you pay, it’s always good and well presented.

I’m glad you had a good time. I can’t wait to go back.

ashmanra

Welcome back! We look forward to some tasting notes and more anecdotes!

LadyLondonderry

Welcome back, Jim! Good to read about your tea adventures at home as well as abroad!

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Comments

Hesper June

Welcome home!

Bonnie

Glad you are well! Your tea stash is happy too!

Steven

Where have you been in Japan? I went there many times for work, and really enjoyed it. I have a couple of favorite conveyor sushi places (kaiten-zushi) in Shibuya I always go to while I’m there.

Jim Marks

Liz is living in Tokyo and my visit at this time didn’t allow (budget wise) for travel outside the city (transit is crushingly expensive, there). She’s a vegetarian, so we didn’t do a lot of sushi, but we did hit one of the two kaiten in her neighborhood and also a nice proper sushi bar in Akiba.

My favorite meal by far was the nabe we had in Koenji. And there’s a fantastic bar in Koenji that is my favorite bar on earth.

Steven

I know right? I’m glad I wasn’t paying for my transportation.

What’s nice about the food in Japan is no matter what price you pay, it’s always good and well presented.

I’m glad you had a good time. I can’t wait to go back.

ashmanra

Welcome back! We look forward to some tasting notes and more anecdotes!

LadyLondonderry

Welcome back, Jim! Good to read about your tea adventures at home as well as abroad!

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I am rarely, if ever, active here. But I do return from time to time to talk about a very special tea I’ve come across.

You can hear the music I compose here:
http://jimjohnmarks.bandcamp.com

I have a chapter in this book of popular philosophy
http://amzn.com/0812697316

I blog about cooking here https://dungeonsandkitchens.wordpress.com

I blog about composing music and gardening here
http://jimjohnmarks.wordpress.com

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