Japan Tea Appreciation Workshop: An Experiential Journey into the Wonders of Japanese Tea

Rooted in ancient traditions, the Japanese tea culture goes beyond the act of drinking tea. It embodies a philosophy of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. To carry that tradition on in our modern society and as a great start to the new year, the Japan Tea Central Public Interest Incorporated Association has generously organized and hosted Malaysia’s annual Japan Tea Week, and the first Japanese Tea Appreciation Workshop on the 15th January 2024, supported by Secai Marche.

As the clock struck 2 in the afternoon and our cherished guests took their seats at the bar counter, Cheryl Lee, a professional barista and an internationally certified judge in the world of baristas, began her presentation of our specially imported tea leaves and powders.

In the serene ambience of Afloat Coffee Roasters’ cafe, Cheryl skillfully navigated the modern art of tea-making, transforming the mundane into an elegant performance while narrating each step with detailed instructions, educating all that were present. The precision in measuring each scoop of matcha powder reveals a rarely seen depth of the craft as finely sifted matcha powder cascades gracefully into the bowl, followed by the trickling of hot water that was meticulously heated at 85°C. The vibrant green of matcha powder slowly blended into a silky, frothy elixir as the sound of the bamboo Cha-sen chafing against the ceramic bowl. An aroma of freshly whisked Honyama Matcha No.3 permeates the air, releasing a harmonious blend of earthiness and umami as it is carefully poured into glass-like tasting cups.

Cheryl also introduced a variety of unconventional ingredients that unveils different layers of our Honyama Matcha No.3 and No.6. The addition of cinnamon stirs up a warm and aromatic note that creates a sensory balance that is both comforting and invigorating. She also demonstrated how the sweet embrace of honey intertwined with the tea’s inherent earthiness produces a velvety richness on the palate. Whereas the addition of freshly squeezed calamansi injects a burst of citrussy brightness, enlivening the palate of our guests with each sip. The emotional expressions on our guests’ faces mirror a harmonious blend of surprise and satisfaction, making this workshop a memorable journey of discovery and indulgence.

This informative and exciting workshop was then concluded with sweet delights of pastries and desserts infused with the matcha and hojicha powders from Honyama and Hoshino, Japan. We enjoyed a fusion of East and West in the forms of a matcha danish, matcha croissant, delicate french madeleine and even a hojicha chocolate tart, all of which were delicately prepared by JY Food Lab and Oui Bakehouse, and were pleasurably enjoyed by our guests. As sweet as desserts get, the bittersweetness of matcha and hojicha created a sublime balance, toning the sweetness down but retaining the richness of umami and texture.

Our journey into the heart of Japanese tea culture was not merely an exploration of flavor but also a celebration of tradition, innovation and the shared pleasure of discovering the extraordinary, leaving an indelible mark on our palates and hearts, and most importantly, a smile on our faces.

We welcome you to follow our event page to find out more about Japan Tea Week Malaysia 2024, our selection of tea leaves and matcha powder straight from the tea farms in Japan, and also how to redeem a secret free gift from our ongoing Japan Tea Dining Experience event, where there will be a selection of 5 different limited-time menu from 5 different cafes/bakery in Klang Valley for you to explore and enjoy an adventurous journey of cafe-hopping with your family and friends.