Hello, thank you for supporting d:matcha Kyoto. This newsletter is filled with monthly updates from our team in Wazuka, Kyoto. We hope that you enjoy reading our content!
About farming（by Aka）
Second flush Pestidice-free tea farming
Last month I wrote about pesticide-free tencha during the second flush. We were able to harvest tencha half the amount we expected. However due to being pesticide-free we were able to maintain the quality reasonable. Our tea trees suffered loss due to pests eating our leaves. Luckily, we didn't see many ticks. However our trees suffered from many diseases. Their names are anthrax, black rot, leaf gall (bumps on leaves) were main reasons for illness along with new treetops dying from wither. We always expect the rainy season during the second flush. However this year we started with many sunny days and we had rainy days after covering the leaves. Normally, the more rain we get, the less pests we see and more diseases occur. This time for the second flush season. What was unlucky was that before covering the leaves it was eaten by the pests due to the first dry season and after covering the leaves it suffered from illness. This year was a very strict situation for pesticide-free tea farming. This experience gave us new ideas for farming next year. We will try our best not to drop to tree vigour and keep harvesting and preparing for the next season.
Where we saw the most damage from pests and illness
The amount of caffeine（by Azusa.U)
I was in Ueno Tokyo from June 27th until July 18th and did a collaboration green tea fair.
We staffs were able to experience enjoyable days thanks to everyone who helped us with this collaboration.
During the event in Tokyo, we did roasted tea, Japanese black tea and sencha tasting. The customers who enjoyed our tastings said they thought roasted and black tea were beverages during the winter. Pyrazine is in roasted tea and Theaflavin is in black tea. Both components help blood flow and warm up our bodies which is why these two teas are known to enjoy during the winter.
On the other hand, sencha is known to cool down our bodies due to caffeine.
The amount of caffeine for 100ml
Japanese black tea 30mg
Roasted tea 20mg
caffeine dissolves at hot water over 80 degrees so there is not a lot of caffeine with cold brew tea. Please come to d:matcha to enjoy our summer tea since there are more hot days coming up.
Traveling around Japan for ceramics（by Seiya.H）
Although the same tea, depending on the climate and region they have different taste.
Tea bowls and tea cups are essential when it comes to drinking tea. Most of these utensils are made by ceramics and their features are different depending on the region the ceramics are made.
There are several types of ceramics made in Kyoto and are mainly used for matcha. Raku, Kyo and Asahi are all from Kyoto. Their main shape, the type of clay and how to bake the pottery are very different. Some rare ceramics are extremely valuable and the ceramists have high commitment on their own projects. They might look the same as first sight but some tea bowls are created that it is easier to whisk matcha or easier to hold.
Outside of Kyoto, Bizen is a ceramic famous in the Okayama prefecture. Seto from Aichi is mainly used for tea containers and Akahada is a common ceramic born in Nara. My favorite ceramic is Hagi and I love it so much I went to Yamaguchi prefecture to enjoy the home of Hagi ceramics.
On the other hand, sencha utensils contain tea cups from Saga prefecture called Arita and Aichi prefecture is home to tea pots called Tokoname.
Daily utensils, plates and even vases can be created from Japanese ceramics. There might be some around our houses without knowing which ceramic it is. Enjoying your favorite tea with your favorite ceramic might be a new experience to enjoy tea.
Recently at d:matcha we bought plates that are Shigaraki style which is in Shiga prefecture. Please enjoy our new ceramics along with our dessert.
I created this tea bowl when I was a student. This is a Shigaraki tea bowl.
Matcha beauty recipe No.3( by Natsuki)
I would like to introduce a new matcha recipe that is simple and enjoyable
This will be my third recipe. Today I would like to introduce Healthy Mathca Sweet Sake(甘酒 , amazake)that is enjoyable during the hot season!
Ingredients (2 to 3 servings)
3 tea-spoons of Yabukita Mathca first flush 200 grams of dried malted rice
200 grams of steamed rice
450 grams of hot water (60 degrees Celsius )
【Utensils】 Rice-cooker Thermometer Thin cloth
【How to cook】
1.Cook the rice and keep it warm after cooking.
2.Warm the water up to 58 °C
3.Pour the hot water in the rice cooker and soften the rice with hot water.
4.Add the dried malted rice while softening it into the rice cooker.
5.Keep the lid of the rice cooker open, cover it with a thin cloth and ferment it for 7 hours.
Make sure everything is under 60 °C or else the enzymes in the malted rice will die
The reason why we open the lid of the rice cooker is to forbid the temperature to rise.
Please check once in a while and stir the rice. Especially two hours after first fermenting and keeping it warm.
【Matcha Sweet Sake】
1.When finished fermenting, cool it down in the refrigerator.
2.Strain the matcha with the tea strainer on the sweet sake and stir well.
3.Pour into the glass container and enjoy with cold ice!
My advice is to use first flush matcha because it is more sweet and matches with the umami.
At d:matcha we sell brown rice matcha sweet sake!
We used home-made brown rice full of nutrients mixed in the matcha sweet sake! The packages are new also and easier to drink! Please enjoy the new sweet sake with brown rice only!
d-matcha’s Tiramisu- (by Ko)
We use mascarpone which is a cheese that is not too sour, not too salty but sweet and full of dairy. Mascarpone is mainly used for sweets and matches very well with bitter ingredients and alcohol.
Tea, coffee, chocolate, brandy and wine are examples of good matchups with mascarpone.
Cream cheese looks like a thin creamy color, it is soft and smooth like butter and more sour and salty compared to mascarpone. The country of origin is unknown but cream cheese is known to be one of the most ancient cheeses in the world.
Thick texture, and the saltiness and sourness is the feature of cream cheese and is used in many cheesecake and sweets.
Both Mascarpone and cream cheese are fresh-type cheeses so we can enjoy them without ripening.
How to store tea and enjoy old tea.-(by Yuina)
May I ask how everyone stores your own tea-leaves?
Tea is extremely delicate and doesn't do well against light, oxygen and humidity. Tea is mainly saved in sealable containers and stored in cold dark storages like the refrigerator. It is known that ultraviolet rays can destroy catechin and other nutrients. Tea is also known to absorb other food around itself and can ruin the tea aroma. So I advise you to enjoy your tea right after opening your packages.
The picture down below shows tea leaves that were placed outside for a long time. It looks a little bit red and when I tried pouring hot water the water color turned out red also.
But don’t worry! Just because it is aged doesn’t mean it is no longer drinkable. We can roast the old tea and enjoy roasted tea. If you have a frying pan in you kitchen, please try it out and enjoy!
Establishing d:matcha part 11 Developing the menu for the store (by Misato.T）
When creating the menu, we first needed to develop an individual cafe menu to show the originality of d:matcha.
What we needed was something only in d:matcha that uses tea from Wazuka or else the customers will think they have different options for a cafe. The cafes around us in Wazuka were selling tea rice, tea-soba-noodles and Japanese sweets. We decided we should focus on western sweets like pasta and bread.
As a newcomer, our popularity was still low and we figured it is not easy to attract tourists so we decided first to focus on customers living around Wazuka. Many of the local people were enjoying bread with coffee at the convenience store so we chose to do the same.
Our food menu started off with Tan-tan noodles without soup, Curry rice with deer and boar sausages and three types of pasta (spaghetti aglio e olio, pesto genovese sauce and meat sauce)
For dessert we had matcha parfait, ice cream and about ten types of snack breads.
Our beverage menu was a comparison of sencha and matcha, coffee, matcha latte, fresh juice and other drinks.
Coffee was created by the siphon style and fresh juice was made by the juicer after taking the order.
Our lesson afterwards was to offer an operation that can be created soon as possible, and not to waste ingredients as possible.
These two we needed to be more careful about but while we were quickly creating the menu, buying furnishings and preparing the food, the first opening day came sooner than we thought.
Our first menu. We ordered sausages from the local butcher shop. Pasta menu changed every day. We focused more on food menu than desserts.
↑We baked these bread ourselves.
Moving to Yubune! New business coming up! (by Daiki.T）
Moving to Yubune! New business coming up!
This December, we are planning to move our main store to Yubune district which is where most of our tea farms are planted.
We will be closer to the tea farms than we are now in Kamatsuka district and I strongly believe that at our new store we can develop more seamless atmosphere and service with the tea fields. I am also planning on creating a guest house and power generation function using energy from nature.
I have been planning this for a long time but it is not a simple decision moving to Yubune. One huge reason is that Yubune is a marginal village where the population is decreasing at a high rate compared to other districts in Wazuka. We only have one public transportation in Yubune which is the bus and that will be abolished next March.
My plan now is to raise the business in Yubune and show the beauty of land between mountains. I also want to think about how to save the landscape and the worthiness of Yubune by showing what we can do only in Yubune.