Monday, July 17, 2006

Delicious Japanese tea sweets

Teaparker brought these fine sweets for us to enjoy this Sunday. They are made by a Taipei pastry chef who learned in Japan. I think he will soon report about it on his website. (I'll put the link when he does).
They were really delicious. Not too sweet and also not sticky like the Chinese MoaJi, but maybe not the best fit to the tea we had. We were practicing matcha in Sung Dynasty style again. This time, Teaparker brought a green tea powder called 'Wu Shang', which meand 'none above'. This self proclaimed king of matcha was really finer and more subtle than the others we've had so far. The fine bubbles on top of the Tenmoku were almost white. Such a tea is so good, I think it's better enjoyed on its own. Even though we've later had Dong Ding Oolong and old arbor Shui Xian, I still felt the matcha's aftertaste as I headed home.

Above, you can also see a small Yuan Dynasty (at least) pot that Teaparker recently purchased for my fellow student. She'll use it to store her fresh matcha. Since the old lid doesn't fit perfectly, she uses plastic foil to further wrap it when she stores it in the fridge. I asked Teaparker if he also had one for me. He asked me to come back next week to find out!

7 comments:

mf said...

ohhh those sweets look delicious.. Let me know if/when you have the link

Axel said...

Are there historical records of the type of sweets served alongside tea in Sung times? And if this is the case, has anyone tried to make them? It would certainly be an interesting experience.

After reading about how the bubbles of the tea preparation were almost white in colour, I recalled reading about something similar, and after a quick browse through my books, found the following, which is an extract from emperor Hui Tsung's treatise on tea, as quoted in J. Blofeld's The Chinese Art of Tea: "tea that turns white on infusion is best. Bluish grey is next best; greyish white comes third, and yellowish white fourth". The text then goes on to describe how the colour of the tea reflects picking conditions and the care observed during the different processing stages.

Steph said...

I'm looking for a good source of sweets to pair with green tea. Do you have any recommendations?

Stephane said...

What kind of green tea? For Japanese sencha, I'd recommend Japanese raw fish! Maybe not what you had in mind...

In general, it should be very light and not too sweet so that it doesn't overshadow the tea.

For Lung Jin, something based on hazelnut, like a hazelnut cake for instance.

Steph said...

I had not responded to thank you for your recommendations...so let me do that now. I just might give the fish a try. :-)

Dr.Gray said...

Steph you could also try some wagashi. It is not always true that it must be light in sweetness. If you are having something like matcha all sweets fit to me.

Stephane said...

I've had some Hakata Seiyo Wagashi recently, and, even for my sweet tooth, they were a little too sweet for me. The good thing about them, though, is that they make you thirsty for a lot of tea!