Monday, July 11, 2011

Tosa Tea ④

How to drink Tosa-cha

   It takes more than simply pouring hot water on tea leaves to make delicious tea. Tea Advisors at Tosa-Cha Café teach customers how to brew Tosa tea for optimum scent and flavour. It is required to pass a certification course with the Nihoncha (Japanese tea) Instructor Association to gain the title of Tea Advisor. The Association also offers certification courses to become a tea instructor, a step above an advisor and something like the sommelier of tea. Unlike wine, however, Tosa-cha is not served with your meal. You will get simpler teas with your meal as the more sophisticated ones are to be savoured on its own or with dessert.

   To my surprise, the café also serves black Tosa tea called “Kaoru-cha.” It is said to be similar in taste to Darjeeling, though there is a distinctive difference in that the tea leaves come from the same trees as green tea; the tea leaves are simply processed differently. According to Ms Nakano, most customers drink it straight to enjoy the flavour, but milk, lemon, and sugar are available upon request.

   Finally, do not be fooled by their name. There is absolutely no coffee served in this “café!” This is to protect the delicate aroma of the teas from the overpowering aroma of coffee.

   With the concept “New discoveries for visitors. Rediscovery for residents. Dedication to local ingredients and Tosa Tea,” the hope of the Tosa-Cha Café is for the people of Kochi, as well as people all over Japan, to realise all that Kochi has to offer. As Ms Nakano puts it, “It would be wonderful for people to enjoy Tosa-cha, and from there, learn more about the culture that surrounds it.” Wouldn’t you like to try a kyūsu-poured cuppa?

Tosa-Cha Café Information
 Place: Obiyamachi 2-1-31, Kochi City
 Phone: 088-855-7753
 Open: 11am - 10pm ( Last order: 9:30pm)
 Close: Wednesday
 (Thursday if Wednesday is a national holiday)
 Seats available: 60

Taken from vol.42  published in July 2011 Tosa Tea Edition

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