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27 March 2016 @ 04:39 pm
Tea and sweet!  
softlykarou is out of town this week visiting friends so there's no Darker than Black, but I still bring you a post about food!

The first session of the LARP I joined is coming up in a week. It's a game of Scion where I'm playing a descendant of the Japanese god Izanagi, alongside softlykarou playing a descendant of Izanami--we were looking for a pair of deities that had a pre-existing relationship and which we felt culturally competent to play--and it finally inspired me to pull the trigger and order some matcha, along with a 茶筅 (chasen, "tea whisk") and a 茶杓 (chashaku, tea scoop). I didn't order a 茶碗 (chawan, "tea bowl") because I thought we already had one. It turned out that we did, but it was given to us by a friend and is currently sitting in our display cabinet and I probably shouldn't use it until i know what I'm doing.

Well, the tea came today, so I unboxed it, made sure that everything was in good condition, did a bit of googling to figure out what the proper ratio of matcha to water was, and went to work.


Aesthetically, I get at best a D. If you google matcha, you'll notice that the example photos that aren't the raw powder all have a nice light green foam on the top, but despite my whisking I couldn't get it to foam at all. It might be because I didn't whip it enough or vigorously enough, since the bowl I picked was more for aesthetics than for ease of preparation. It might be because I didn't sift the matcha to break it up before I put it in, since if it's finer it dissolves easier and makes a better foam. Also, I found some matcha at the bottom of the bowl that hadn't been absorbed. Oops.

It terms of taste, though, it was just as good as I remember it being. Not as bitter as some of the matcha I had in Japan, which probably means that I added too much water (or too little matcha, depending on how you're counting). It was very smooth, though, and contrasted really well with the sweets I had with it. The only problem I ran into was at the bottom of the cup where there were clumps of matcha that I hadn't mixed in well enough, but that's a problem of preparation that I know how to fix. Getting the foam...hmm. That might take longer.

It's like when I did some calligraphy at the Suzugamine Culture Festival. I can write 祭 just fine, but I didn't have any of the flair that a real master 書道家 would bring to the art.


No calligraphy to look at, but we do have a makeshift 床の間.

I didn't have any 和菓子 (wagashi, "Japanese sweets") and I'm not even sure where to get any without going to Mitsuwa and buying them directly from a bakery--with a quick search, yeah, looks that that's what I have to do--but the Asian grocery store down the street has a yuca and shredded coconut dessert (apparently from Malaysia?) that isn't Japanese at all but has a much more similar character to 和菓子 than, say, dark chocolate would. I alternated between bites of yuca, sips of matcha, and looking out the window, and it reminded me of how every time we'd see a sign in a temple that said "Tea and sweet," softlykarou and I would stop for a cup. And now I can make my own.

The ears on top of the tea are pretty cute, too. But I should probably buy my own tea bowl.
 
 
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Current Music: Kyoto Imperial Court Music Orchestra - Etenraku