September 2022 Newsletter
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）
Creating fertilizer. Part 1
For any crops, sunlight energy helps the growth cycle infinite. Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen are elements necessary for plants to grow but can be supplied naturally due to atmosphere and precipitation. When people harvest crops, it means removing other elements (nitrogen, calcium etc.) from the plants to grow. So we manually need to add the necessary elements and fertilizer to support the plants to keep growing.
Japanese agriculture mostly depends on imported fertilizer. However importing overseas can be risky and for the past few years world affairs and yen depreciation made many imported goods more expensive and that included fertilizer. So we thought how we can make fertilizer by ourselves.
Three points we had to complete this task was.
- Apply the necessary elements
- The materials are easy to use and original.
- Economical as possible (Unharming by river pollution, bad odor but strong against animal damage.
There are a lot of tasks to complete but we are trying out rice bran for our original fertilizer. We manage a rice field also so if everything goes well, we might be able to afford a tea growth cycle in our company. We would like to update on further progress.
Creating Black Tea With Japanese Tea Breed（by Azusa.U)
Every time I write a newsletter article, I always remember that the Japanese black tea we sell is popular. So I decided to write about Japanese black tea this month.
Japanese black tea is black tea made in Japan. It is not bitter compared to Assam and Darjeeling (which are breeds from India) tea so it is enjoyable without sugar. Did you know that the reason why Indian breeds are more bitter than Japanese breeds is because of the climate?
India has stronger sunlight compared to Japan and that helps the tea leaves mesophyll (part of leaf containing cells) grow thicker. Japanese trees have thinner mesophyll which shows the difference in the bitterness also.
Indian breeds focus on aroma and bitterness and Japanese black tea does not have much aroma but is able to enjoy the mellow taste.
Japan creates about 9,300 tons of black tea which is the eight most produced volume in the world. I was also surprised to find that Japan imports about forty-thousand tons of black tea, so not a lot of people know Japan produces black tea.
Not only is Japanese black tea drinkable but it is also popular due to the safetlyness of the tea itself.
Japanese black tea is also recommended by adding milk to it.
Here is an easy recipe of Japanese black milk tea.
- Add 50 to 80 ml of hot water to five grams of Japanese black tea and wait for three to five minutes.
- Add milk with your desired amount and enjoy!
I recommend extracting the tea longer than usual since milk will thinnen the taste of the tea. If there is not enough hot water it might be bitter than usual so please be careful.
This is my recommendation, Rose-hip Japanese black tea.
Lets go to a Tea Ceremony!（by Seiya.H）
Mainly in way-of-tea tea ceremonies, you enjoy the Japanese sweets and matcha along with the tea utensils prepared for this day. There might be a case where you are invited but not sure what to do, so I would like to describe how to enjoy a tea ceremony.
You do not need a kimono to attend ceremonies but I always recommend bringing a pair of clean white socks. Way-of tea world has this rule to relax the guests that the tea room is so clean even if you walk on the tatami mat the back of the white socks will remain white.
When the tea ceremony starts、 the host will start his or her procedure to create tea. Behind the host, the assistant (Hanto) will start to explain today's utensils, matcha, and sweets.
If it is your first time attending ceremonies, listening to names of tea utensils might be confusing but depending on the assistant, they will explain why the utensils here were chosen for the day including the sweets. Some assistants describe them easily to beginners also. The utensils you might see are precious and only able to be seen once in a lifetime. Enjoying the story along with delicious tea and sweets might be an enjoyable experience at tea ceremonies.
One rule in any tea ceremony is that you are not allowed to touch the utensils.
Depending on tea ceremonies there is a small kaiseki feast called tenshin where you can enjoy hot soba noodles or steamed fish cake in a hot fish based soup.
At school festivals some tea clubs organise tea ceremonies so if your school has a tea ceremony, please try and enjoy a new tea culture.
（During September, you can enjoy utensils with moon, crysanthymum and rabbits also）
Matcha beauty recipe No.4( by Natsuki)
I would like to introduce a new matcha recipe that is simple and enjoyable
This will be my fourth recipe. Today I would like to introduce a healthy breakfast, Mathca hot meal recipe using Samidori first flush matcha!
【Ingredients one serving】
・One teaspoon of matcha
・30 grams of oatmeal
・Occasional amount of milk, almond milk or oat milk
・Seasonal fruits (grapes for today)
1.Insert oatmeal, banana and into the frying pan and add milk until well soaked and start cooking.
2.Stir well while squishing the banana and make sure not to burn it.
3.After cooking thoroughly, serve on the plate and add yogurt and fruits.
4.Add matcha using a tea strainer.
This is a healthy breakfast full of nutrients and easy to enjoy during busy mornings. Thanks to the banana the hot oatmeal turns sweet and bitter matcha balances with the sweetness. Please do not cook the matcha since it is not good against heat and since you want to enjoy the color also.
I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast for the last three months, this changes my health in a good way by rapid energy and good satisfactionΩ. I tried many types of matcha but I recommend a brand that is not too bitter and doesn’t have a distinct taste. I tried grapes during the fall season and I like to enjoy oatmeal with strawberries during the spring.
D-matcha’s vegan cookie (by Ko)
Sweets in d-matcha uses a lot of rice oil. Rice oil contains many vitamin E which supports anti-aging and beautiful skin.
Using rice oil in cookies can help us intake what we need for our skin.
Rice oil has a flatter surface than butter, easy to create a brown color after baking with a chewy texture. If you use butter you can create soft, butter-taste cookies but rice oil can create firm cookies and also taste the flour since rice oils are tasteless and odourless.
Butter has shortening properties which makes it hard to produce gluten and prevents starch connecting to each other which makes cookies crispy. Rice oil does not have shortening properties so cookies do not become crispy.
Popular d:matcha snacks! (by Yuina)
We’ve recently produced a new flavor, brown rice energy bar since July. Although it is new, it is more popular than the matcha and roasted tea flavor that are already existing. The ingredients are oat-wheat almond, walnuts and honey so it is a healthy snack and breakfast.
・（Vegan Rice Flour Tea Biscuits）
All of the cookies are made from pesticide free tea and is enjoyable from five flavors.
・Matcha and coconuts
・Matcha and walnuts
・Roasted tea and ginger
・Brown rice tea
I like to recommend this cookie as a sovounier. Once bitten you might become irresistible
d:matcha Establishment Part 12 Finally Opening Day!～ (by Misato.T）
On April 22nd, 2017 we were finally able to open our d:matcha cafe. We were urgent to open before the golden week (First week of May and holidays in Japan).
We received a lot of flowers during the opening day. We were so confused with the new operation and felt so sorry for everyone for keeping them waiting due to our order taking time.
Syphon coffee was the toughest job. We were only able to serve a maximum of two at a time and we started brewing after receiving the order so that took a lot of time. Syphon coffee was unusual around this area and became extremely popular. Right after opening it was more of a coffee shop than a tea cafe (We ended up repealing the syphon coffee and sticked to dripping coffee)
↑↑This syphon used light to warm up the coffee instead of fire. It takes a lot of time to create the coffee but very delicious and fashionable
We were so exhausted after closing the first day and every day we went to purchase equipment after closing.
Another problem was the owner of the building complained to us that the food was slow and we needed to thank everyone around us even more. Since this cafe was going to be noticed by Wazuka, we were stressed by the pressure around us.
Few days after opening we were solving problems little by little and we had no time claiming everything we needed. We only had to handle trouble one by one.
6th year of Stanford GMIX programme (by Daiki.T）
Our company has been keeping in touch with Stanford University since 2017. Stanford has a program called Global Manegement Immersion Experience (GMIX for short) where students travel around the world to complete their internship. I am excited every year thanks to the entertaining and superior students who are interested in Japanese culture. The last two years we were only able to meet them online due to COVID.
This year, we welcomed two students, Makenzie and Alice to Wazuka. Over ten students applied for our program since we are a small family business in a tea county in Japan which is not something you can experience easily in the United States. We are not far from Nara, Kyoto and Osaka for tours and our program contains experience in Tokyo also.
This year we used our SNS more effectively for international customers and updated our tea stories even more. Another thing we worked on was supporting online repeaters by recommending other products to our customers.
I struggled with objectivity for my business though I started my first job in the consulting industry. Makenzie and Alice’s advices helped me a lot with this online programming so my goal now is to take action.
Busy but exciting summer thanks to the young students abroad.
Picture on the bottom is at a Eel restaurant in Shigaraki, Shiga
Representative Daiki Tanaka