Last Sunday I joined in a tea tasting party with some of my friends. Do you know M&P’s Tea? http://mptea.com/ It’s a tea company established about 10 years ago in Nagoya, Japan. I visited their Tea House in Moriyama Ward for the party.
They not only sell their tea but also have wonderful Tea Concerts about two times a year. At each Tea Concerts, the participants can enjoy the music, of course, and then also many kinds of tea with delicious cake and snacks. So whenever they have the concert, I always join them with my mom. I went to their Tea Concerts more than 5 times, but it was my first time to have joined in a tea tasting party.
There were about 15 people in the party. And each one tried to describe the features: name, leaf appearance, color of liquor, aroma, and flavor of each tea on the tasting sheet. We tasted 8 kinds of tea! Darjeeling Castleton first flush and the second flush, Keemun Hao ya A and B, Ceylon Uva, Ceylon Dimbula, Elephant Assam, and Earl Gray.
The participants started with Darjeeling Castleton first flush. According to Paul, the president of M&P’s Tea, Castleton is one of the greatest areas that produce good quality tea leaves stably. First flush teas are picked in spring. It smelled to me like grass. Paul recommended having it with smoke salmon sandwiches. And we did! Hmmm, delicious!
Next we tried Keemun Hao Ya A. Keemun is preventative in Chinese tea. Hao Ya means tip of bud in Chinese, that is, unopened baby leaves. So, each of the Darjeeling’s tea leaves are quite big, but Keemun’s is very small. According to Paul, Keemun became famous because of winning the gold medal at Panama Expo in 1915. Speaking of Expo, Aichi Expo was held two years ago and I went there over 40 times. That was fun…Anyway, we had the tea with sweet cake! Hmmm, delicious!
The three of most famous teas in the world are Darjeeling, Keemun, and Uva. So, we had Uva next. I like the Sri Lankan tea because of its flowery and fruity aroma. Paul recommended having the tea with cucumber sandwiches. So, we did! Hmmm, delicious!
Look at this picture! Paul has two tea pots: the dark red on the left is Darjeeling second flush and the golden orange on the right is Darjeeling first flush. Second flush teas are picked in early summer. They are the same Darjeeling teas produced in the same estate Castleton. Only picking seasons are different. But the leaf appearance, the color of liquor, the aroma and the flavor were totally different!
Paul said to me like this. “There are many kinds of teas and each one has features and matching food. We can choose tea as to food and time. That makes our lives richer.” I think he is a kind of missionary of tea…
Anyway, all the teas and foods were excellent! I had a wonderful time!
＊M&P’s Tea: http://mptea.com/