Translated by Verity Lane
Learn How to Make the Perfect Cup of Japanese Tea at Asakusa’s Sensoji Temple
Written by MATCHA
Want to make the perfect cup of Japanese tea? Visit Asakusa’s Sensoji Temple on Saturday. ITO EN will hold an event just to show you how!
Do you know how to make the perfect cup of Japanese tea? If not, visit Asakusa’s Sensoji Temple on Saturday. The major Japanese tea company ITO EN will hold an event just to show you how.
It’s a special seminar where you can learn the art of tea making. It's called "oishii ocha no irekata seminar" in Japanese (means delicious tea making seminar) and it’s completely free to join. There is a special booth set up where you can buy tea. Free cups of tea are also handed out at the event.
Tea specialists on hand to guide you
At the event, a tea specialist, known as a tea taster, will be on site to give you instructions on how to make the perfect brew.
We will learn how to make a cup of reicha (cold tea). Firstly, put the tea leaves into the kyusu (teapot).
Now add some ice, and after that add some cold water. It’s recommended that you use soft water as it is good for extracting the tea component.
Close the lid and give the pot a little shake so as to mix together the contents inside. Leave the pot to stand for about 3 minutes.
For those who are none the wiser, a special method is needed when making more than one cup of tea.
Let’s imagine that you are going to pour tea into three cups each marked A, B, and C. If you pour tea into each cup (working your way in order from A to C), then there is a huge chance that each cup of tea will end up tasting completely different.
The trick is to pour just a small amount of tea into each cup at a time, working your way from cup A to cup C, and then back again, adding small amounts as you go. Continue like this until there is no tea left in the pot. This method guarantees that each cup will be of the same consistency and great flavor.
One pot of tea can be used up to 3 times.
Ready-made tea is served to guests at the event as an example of how a well-made cup of tea should taste.
See how velvety smooth the tea is when you give it a try. You will be amazed at how great it tastes, and this is achieved simply by adding cold water and ice.
Pamphlets that include written information on how to make a great cup of tea are available in various languages at the venue. The tea tasters also speak both English and Chinese, so Japanese language skills are not necessary. If you have any questions, it’s probably best to ask after the tea-making demonstration.
Drink tea for free, without participating in the seminar
Cups of free tea are also handed out to people who are not participating in the seminar.
In past events, it’s believed that around 3,000 cups were handed out in just one day.
Tea is on sale at the venue, so if you have a taste for the tea you are drinking, you can go right ahead and buy it.
There are various hard-to-come-by packages of tea that are quite popular.
The instant Ryokucha (green tea) stick of popular Japanese tea "Oi Ocha" is also sold at the event. It is a kind of Ryokucha (green tea) but with matcha. Dissolve it in hot/cold water and you can make a great cup of tea in minutes. One package contains 50 instant tea sticks!
Teabags and other tea-related goods are also on sale.
Conveying the wonders of Japanese tea to the masses
The seminar started with the premise that many people could learn about Japanese tea. The event will be going on until mid-November this year (2015), so please drop by if you are in the Asakusa area. You’ll definitely come across a Japanese tea that’s your cup of tea.
Autumn Tea Making Event
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Event schedule: 11:00- / 13:00- / 14:30-
Takes place every Saturday (until November 14th)
Credit Cards: It is not known whether credit cards are accepted at the venue.
Language Support: Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean
Nearest Station(s): Asakusa Station
Access: 4-min walk from Asakusa Station
Phone Number：+81(0)3-5371-7111(main line for Itoen)
Official Website： ITO EN