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Matcha Beer Garden

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Beer and matcha lovers, take note: two of your favorites together at last! The following article translated from Mynavi News may be of interest to some of you.

Green beer!? The beer garden with 10 different types of matcha beer is now open for business.

Summer is the time of year when we thirst for beer. There are a number of beer gardens where you can drink delicious beer, but surely only one where you can taste green beer. ‘Green Tea Restaurant 1899 Ochanomizu’ in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo opens a matcha beer garden during the summer months from June-September, complete with all drinks, food and sweets being made from tea.

The matcha beer garden is entering its third summer season this year, after being hugely successful last summer – around 7,200 glasses of matcha beer were served. Visually matcha beer delivers a strong impact, but customers have said that the beer has a mild and delicious flavour, and that it is ‘healthy even though it’s beer.’

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In addition to light and dark regular beers, the beer garden serves 10 types of all you can drink beverages such as matcha beer, hojicha dark beer, and matcha wine. Since they will still also have their regular beers on tap, it might be nice to try a regular beer with a tea flavored one to compare.

This year, two new flavors of original tea beer are being introduced: Japanese black tea beer and Japanese dark black tea beer. The natural sweetness and splendid aroma of black tea mixes harmoniously with the bitterness of beer to create a new and exciting blend of flavors. As it is also primarily a tea restaurant, the food and sweets are also made using tea. Sencha potatoes and matcha cake are just a couple of examples of the extensive tea-based menu.

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Green Tea Restaurant 1899 Ochanomizu is located on the first floor of the Ryumeikan main building, 3-4 Kanda Surugadai in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. The first seating begins from 5-6pm, and the second seating from 7:30-8pm. The all you can drink service has a limit of 2 hours, and costs 3,500‎¥ (*approximately $40 Canadian as of this translation.)”

I certainly wouldn’t complain if my meal and drinks were all matcha flavored, so I’m adding this to my list of future places to visit. I really miss the amount of restaurants in Japan with all you can drink/all you can eat deals, too. Have any of you gone to this matcha beer garden, or plan to this summer? You can find the original article here if you’d like to see the original Japanese version.

Next week I’ll be making a post about matcha and tea shops in New York City, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!

 

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Drinking the Last Sip: An Expression of Appreciation

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My first koicha (“thick tea”) at Ippodo tea room, Kyoto. 

Michiko Osawa runs a relaxed matcha classroom in Yokohama, and also maintains an excellent blog that delves into the deeper enjoyment that participating in a tea ceremony can bring. Her other objective is to bring that enjoyment into our daily lives, thus bringing the special experience of a traditional tea ceremony to our regular kitchen table.

Showing respect to the host who made your tea is an important part of the tea ceremony, and Michiko talks about a small but important detail that we might easily overlook: what to do with those last few remaining drops in our tea bowl.

“Have you ever been bothered by the bottom of your tea bowl after you finish drinking matcha? When someone has prepared matcha for you, it is courteous to drink the tea without delay and while it is still fresh and delicious. One other point: drinking your matcha to the very last drop is an expression of appreciation toward the person who made it for you.

As people aren’t machines, there may be times when the matcha has not been well mixed and dissolved. But once you realize this, you can still slurp in the last sip with some force and completely finish the tea. If you do this, the act of finishing your matcha is beautiful.

If you don’t finish your matcha to the last drop, your tea bowl may end up looking like this: 

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One last point: When there is some thick matcha left on the bottom of the bowl, the problem may sometimes be due to the person preparing, and other times may be due to the guest drinking in a carefree way.

Without worrying about who is to blame, it would be nice to drink our matcha to the last drop.”

This was interesting to read, because in many cultures slurping the last drop of liquid from a glass or bowl is considered rude, and it’s important to know that (at least in Japanese culture) it’s seen as a sign of respect and appreciation. If someone is going through the trouble of making me a delicious bowl of tea, I want to enjoy it to the fullest! So let’s slurp away, fellow matcha fans 😀

The original article is here, and you can find many other excellent Japanese articles by Michiko at her blog, O-Matcha Happylife. Thanks for reading!