Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Second Edition)

Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties provides a fantastic gateway to enter the world of tea. This is the book I recommend for any tea drinkers who are about to start a journey as a tea drinker.

Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Second Edition)

I met this book while I was working at Barnes & Noble as a part-timer when I was in college back in 2015. For people who are not familiar with Barnes & Noble, it’s a bookseller brand with the largest number of book retail stores in the United States. 

Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Third Edition)

I found this book while I was walking around the store floor out of boredom and slowness. The moment was almost like finding an oasis in a desert. At first, I was intrigued by the cool book design. Soon after, I was fascinated by the fact what tea really was! 

Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Third Edition)

It’s been more than 7 years and now there’s a 3rd edition for this book (I read 2nd edition). Whether it’s 1st, 2nd, or 3rd edition, it’s a great book to learn about tea without feeling overwhelmed. 

Tea book recommendation - Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Third Edition)

The book covers black, green, white, yellow, oolong, pu’er, perfumed, aromatic and smoked teas and includes:

  • An overview of the history of tea
  • Tea families, varieties, cultivars and grades
  • How tea is grown, harvested and processed
  • The tea trade worldwide
  • Profile interviews with tea industry personalities.

Special features that loyal tea drinkers will especially enjoy are:

  • Local tastes and methods of preparing tea (e.g. macha)
  • Tasting notes and infusion accessories
  • Teapot recommendations
  • Caffeine, antioxidant and biochemical properties of 35 teas
  • 15 gourmet recipes using tea
  • A directory of 42 select teas.
I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (4)

Guided Meditation for Anxiety & Stress (COVID-19 Vaccine Panic Attack) Relief 😱🧘🏿

Did you know some COVID-19 vaccine reactions, including fainting, dizziness and nausea, were due to anxiety, not the shots themselves?

If you are about to get vaccinated whether it’s Pfizer, Astrazeneca, Moderna, it’s natural to feel anxious.

For me, getting the COVID-19 vaccine was one of the most scary experience I ever experienced!

I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (6)

I wanted to chill. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about the tiny possibility of getting the severe side effects.  

Something was pressuring my left chest. 

I couldn’t breathe. 

I wasn’t myself. 

Although I knew there was a little chance for me to get a severe side effect like heart failure or death, I felt like I was going to die…

  • What if I have underlying disease that I am not aware of? 
  • What if my heart fails? 
  • What if I get a severe allergy reaction? 
  • What if I die? Who’s gonna look after all my belonging and mess!? 
  • What was my medical, life insurance policy? 
  • Wow. There are so many things I said I would do, yet didn’t do. 
  • Why do I feel so scared? 
  • Where is this fear originated from? 
  • Does this mean I love my life so much? Why am I terrified? 

I tried my best to cut the negative thoughts in my head. However, my brain wouldn’t shut. 

My mind and brain created a living hell out of me. 

I was doomed.  

There were times I wanted to kill myself. However, this was the first time I wanted to live, but feel like I was going to die. 

Later I found out I was experiencing a panic attack. 


“If you felt like you were gonna die because of the vaccine, why did you register for the COVID-19 vaccine?” 


Yeah, I could wait. 

I could skip. 

However, I didn’t want to run away.

It’s been more than a year since the pandemic happened. The COVID-19 is still interfering with my daily life. I didn’t want to live under fear of getting COVID neither. 

  • I made sure my medical, life insurance are all good. 
  • I cleaned my house. If I end up dead, I didn’t want someone else to go though my mess or unorganised space where I just moved in. 
  • I talked family and friends.
  • I expressed my concerns and fears of getting vaccinated publicly. 
  • I cooked the entire week of meals in advance because I knew I had more probability of staying alive. 
As you can see, my mind was all over. 
MCEC Melbourne COVID-19 Vaccination

I wanted to get vaccinated. However, every step was a challenge to me. 

Even when I arrived at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to get a vaccine, each step felt like a quest to conquer. 

It was a struggle.

That’s when I remembered 4-7-8 Breathing Technique .

I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (7)

What Is 4-7-8 Breathing Technique? 

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is based on pranayama breathing exercises, the ancient yogic practice of controlling your breath. 

Dr. Andrew Weil, an American celebrity doctor graduated from Harvard Medical School developed this breathing to relief stress and bring relaxation. 

Dr. Weil refers 4-7-8 breathing as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system”.

I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (7)

How To Practice 4-7-8 Breathing - Simple Version 

  • Inhale 4 seconds 
  • Pause 7 seconds 
  • Exhale 8 seconds 
  • How to Practice 4-7-8 Breathing - Complete Version 

    1. Find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight. If you have insomnia, you can do this laydown for good night sleep. 
    2. Place your tongue against the back of your top teeth and keep it there. 
    3. Exhale completely through your mouth around your tongue, making a whoosh sound. Purse your lips if it helps. 
    4. Close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four.
    5. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
    6. Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. 
    7. This completes one cycle. Repeat for three more cycles.
    I feel nervous scared about getting the COVID-19 vaccine (7)

    While I was waiting for my turn to get vaccinated in front of a booth, this breathing technique popped up in my head.

    After using the breathing technique, I felt much calmer and less anxious. 

    Through this experience of getting vaccinated, I learned everyone experiences different kind of fear. I wondered whether I wasn’t callous about other people’s pain in the past.

    You can use 4-7-8 breathing anytime when you feel stressed.

    4-7-8 breathing can

    • Reduce anxiety. 
    • Lower blood pressure. 
    • Improve sleep. 
    • Lower tension, anger, depression, pain. 
    • Enhance concentration. 
    • Reduce negative emotions. 

    Guided Meditation for Anxiety & Stress Relief 🍵

    I’ve created a guided meditation to cope with anxiety & stress. 

    This meditation will lower anxiety & stress level right away. 

    Breathe, relax, you are safe. 

    Sending warm hugs, 

    More Resources

    the LUME Melbourne Vincent Van Gogh Vincentea

    How to Make Vincentea Van Gogh – The LUME Melbourne Challenge

    The lockdown in Melbourne is getting longer AGAIN! We’ve already almost spent a year in lockdown since March 2020. 

    I am crossing my fingers for individuals, businesses, organisations, overall this society will stay strong. 

    Meanwhile, businesses are forced to shut again. Events are cancelled or postponed. Then I found this post from the exhibition I planned to visit.


    how to make vincentea or any art inspired tea craft.

    1. Choose which portrait you want to use

    Vincent Van Gogh Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat

    For the re-create Vincent Van Gogh’s portrait challenge, I chose Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat.

    Title: Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (obverse: The Potato Peeler)
    Artist: Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise)
    Date: 1887
    Medium: Oil on canvas
    Dimensions: 16 x 12 1/2 in. (40.6 x 31.8 cm)
    Classification: Paintings
    Credit Line: Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876-1967), 1967
    Accession Number: 67.187.70a

    2. Choose which tea, teaware you want to use

    the LUME Melbourne Vincent Van Gogh Vincentea

    Thanks to tea, it took me a second to come up with an idea.
    I instantly grabbed my teacup, a tea strainer. 

    the LUME Melbourne Vincent Van Gogh Vincentea

    I used Japanese Sencha made in Australia to show my respect for the exhibition and also to honour Vincent Van Gogh.

    3. Create ambience you want to use

    the LUME Melbourne Vincent Van Gogh Vincentea

    I wanted to create a low dim light. To create this, I  changed my lightbulb colour to blue and used starry lights.  

    That's it!

    This was very simple, yet fun tea craft activity. I also made a making film that you can see how I created Vincentea. 

    This can be a great family friendly activity for people with kids. 

    To the dreamers

    While looking up the portraits painted by Vincent Van Gogh, I found out that Vincent drew himself because of short of funds and want of a model.

    “Van Gogh produced more than twenty self-portraits during his Parisian sojourn (1886–88). Short of funds but determined nevertheless to hone his skills as a figure painter, he became his own best sitter: “I purposely bought a good enough mirror to work from myself, for want of a model.” This picture, which shows the artist’s awareness of Neo-Impressionist technique and color theory, is one of several that are painted on the reverse of an earlier peasant study.”

    I can’t imagine life pursuing a dream even if that means dealing with loneliness, hunger, contempt, mockery and numerous life struggles. That’s probably why my Vincentea looks cute, yet looking like it needs some hugs 🙁 


    Regardless, Making Vincentea is a great tea craft activity for family with kids or adults to have self-reflect time. To the dreamers (including myself), I hope life treats us kindly. 🙏

    Sources & More Info

    Japanese Tea Industry, Japanese Tea, Global Japanese Tea Association, Japanese Tea Marathon

    Japanese Tea Industry Overview

    As a Korean, Japan is such a far and close country to me. Between 1910-1945, Japan occupied Korea and committed all kinds of war crimes such as human experimentation, forced labour, mass rape, massacre, and more things that are too horrific to describe.

    A century ago may sound like a long time ago. However, that’s only my parents of parents of parents generation. I grew up listening to primarily bad things about Japan.

    During the Japanese colonisation, Japan forced Koreans to speak Japanese instead of Korean, change Korean names into Japanese names. Japan destroyed countless heritage places, artifacts, people, nature, whatever held significant importance in Korea.

    It’s interesting how I didn’t grow up as one-sided, narrow-minded. I feel like drinking tea helped me to broaden my perspective and mature as a global citizen.

    I am not sure how you process information. As a tea drinker, I tend to go through two steps.

    First – I process information from my perspective that’s more instinct, subconscious based on my gender, age, nationality, situation, etc.

    Second – I process information from a global tea drinker’s point of view that requires more time, learning and cognitive activities.

    For example, when I hear, “Japanese tea is facing many challenges these days.”


    My initial response would be something like, ‘Japan is still the world’s 8th largest tea export country!’, ‘Maybe it’s time for Japan to chill a little bit.’.

    My second response would be something like, ‘What’s happening?’, ‘It’s impressive how people in the industry concern, prepare and informs about the issue to sustain, that’s something I need to learn!’, ‘What’s something I can do?’.

    So, what’s happening in the Japanese tea industry? These are some of the information I learned from participating in the Japanese Tea Marathon.

    “Japanese Tea is facing many challenges these days. Younger people in Japan are turning away from tea, seeing it as old-fashioned. Tea production is decreasing year by tear, followed by the rapidly shrinking and aging tea farmer population.”

    1. Changing habits of Consumption


    “In Japan, people prefer a more convenient way to drink tea. More teas are sold in bottles. “

    This is also a global trend. According to Allied Market Research, RTD(Ready-to-drink) tea market is to reach $38.96 billion globally by 2027 at 5.5% CAGR with the outbreak of the pandemic and the change of people’s lifestyle.

    Imagine all the wastage and use of plastics. If we don’t take care of this place, we are all gonna die underwater with the rise of sea level before any tea industry goes out of business. 

    I am actually guilty of using RTD as well… I made the slide clip from my trip from Japan. Nowadays, I carry my own tea flask. 

    2. Japanese Tea Production

    “In Japan, the interest in tea has fallen. The tea production level has also fallen by 30%.”

    3. Aging Tea Farmer Population

    “In Japan, young people don’t see the future in tea. They don’t want to take part in tea activities. It’s hard work. Younger people are leaving away. Tea farmers are getting older and older”

    4. Between 2000-2020

      “When looking at the trend last 20 years, there were 50,000 tea farmers in early 2000. There are just over 10,000 tea farmers now. 4 out of 5 tea farmers no longer make tea.” This is a big question to concern what’s gonna happen in the next ten years.

    5. Japanese Tea Export

    “However, there’s a positive sign in exporting. In the last five years, tea export increased by 5 times.”

    Although tea export is increasing, it’s still small portion of Japanese tea consumption (about 6%).
    Japanese Tea Marathon - Registration, Participation, What to Expect

    Hence, Japanese Tea Marathon was created to raise interest and curiosity in Japanese tea around the world by giving more attention to the Japanese tea producers and tea regions. 

    Simona and Anna from Global Japanese Tea Association also presented at the Nomad Tea Festival Europe. 

    Japanese Tea Marathon is a great initiative that connects tea drinkers around the world with the Japanese tea farmers and regions.

    I am not much familiar with the organiser Japan Tea Central Council PIIA. However, Global Japanese Tea Association is very active in the global tea industry. I highly recommend this event for tea drinkers. 

    Japanese tea study tip, Prefectures in Japan

    Japanese Tea Study Tip: Prefectures of Japan > Tea Regions in Japan

    When I study tea, I tend to jump right into tea specific information.
    For example, I am currently participating in the Japanese Tea Marathon to learn more about Japanese tea.

    On the first day, I learned about Kagoshima.

    During 4-hour sessions in which I spent 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon, I learned about Kagoshima, tea in Kagoshima, tea company in Kagoshima, a tea farmer from Kagoshima.

    I even brewed & tasted tea from Kagoshima, instructed by the tea marker Nobuo Orita-san (CEO, Ochaen) from Kagoshima.

    Yet, all the information was floating around my head without getting absorbed.

    Studying Backwards

    My floating information started to stick to my brain when I spent time understanding regions in Japan.

    When you learn about tea regions in Japan, you will often hear the term “prefecture”.

    I am familiar with the term such as city, suburb, district, province, state. I didn’t even know what prefecture meant.

    What is the meaning of prefecture in Japan?

    Japanese tea study tip, Prefectures in Japan
    Yeah, I searched 'what is prefecture?' on Google lol

    Prefectures of Japan (都道府県, todōfuken) are one of the basic local entities of Japan. 

    Prefectures of Japan

    Japan is divided into 9 regions, which are split into 47 smaller prefectures. Those regions are not formally specified; they do not have elected officials nor are they corporate bodies. However, the practice of ordering prefectures based on their geographic region is traditional.

    The prefectures are also often grouped into eight regions (Chihō). Those regions are not formally specified, they do not have elected officials, nor are they corporate bodies. But the practice of ordering prefectures based on their geographic region is traditional.[1] This ordering is mirrored in Japan’s International Organization for Standardization (ISO) coding.[14] From north to south (numbering in ISO 3166-2:JP order), the prefectures of Japan and their commonly associated regions are:

    Fun Facts

    • Largest prefecture – Hokkaido
    • Smallest prefecture – Kagawa
    • Largest tea growing region – Shizuoka 
    • Second largest tea growing region – Kagoshima 
    • Prefecture with the highest population density – Tokyo
    • Prefecture with the most islands – Nagasaki
    • Prefecture with the most dogs – Aichi
    • Prefecture with the smallest population – Tottori

    Once I understood the overall geographical structure in Japan, it became much easier to understand tea regions in Japan.  

    Japanese Tea Marathon - Registration, Participation, What to Expect Cover

    Japanese Tea Marathon – the ultimate way to dive into the world of Japanese tea 🍵

    “Japanese Tea Marathon was created to raise interest and curiosity in Japanese tea around the world by giving more attention to the Japanese tea producers and tea regions.”

    Today was the second day I joined the Japanese Tea Marathon. As a person just getting into Japanese tea, I’ve already learned so much through this event.  

    If you are interested in learning more about Japanese tea, I highly recommend the Japanese Tea Marathon! 

    Japanese Tea Marathon - Registration, Participation, What to Expect

    What To Expect

    • Thanks to the lockdown in Melbourne, I was able to join both sessions a day. 

    I feel like by the time I complete the Japanese Tea Marathon, I will be able to pick up some Japanese phrase while drinking tea :D! 

    So far the program had the format as below: 

    1 hour for information, 

    • Japanese Tea industry Overview 
    • About Global Japanese Tea 
    • About Japanese Tea Marathon 
    • About the prefecture & region of the day 
    • Tea in the region 
    • About the tea company & maker of the day 
    • Introducing tea process style 

    1 hour for tea brewing & tasting,

    • Tea brewing & tasting 
    • Q&A 
    Japanese Tea Marathon - Registration, Participation, What to Expect Cover

    Each day, I am travelling to the tea region virtually and learning about tea directly from a tea farmer. How cool is that?

    Event Information

    Date: 23rd July – 8th August  (except 27 July and 3rd August)

    • 7/23 Kagoshima
    • 7/24 Miyazaki
    • 7/25 Kumamoto
    • 7/26 Fukuoka
    • 7/28 Saga
    • 7/29 Nagasaki
    • 7/30 Kochi
    • 7/31 Kyoto
    • 8/1 Nara
    • 8/2 Shiga
    • 8/4 Mie
    • 8/5 Aichi
    • 8/6 Saitama
    • 8/7 Ibaraki
    • 8/8 Shizuoka

    Time: Morning & Afternoon

    • 11 am-1 pm Japan Time
    • 4 pm-6 pm Japan Time 

    Location: Zoom

    Price: Free 
    Thanks to the Global Japanese Tea Association and Japan Tea Central Council PIIA, the price is free. 

    It's up to you how you enjoy Japanese Tea Marathon ✨

    I was going to sit and chill while joining the marathon. However, I’ve decided to turn this opportunity for me to dive into the world of Japanese tea.

    Just following the Japanese Tea Marathon schedule, you are naturally exposed to the region, tea making process, tea brewing method, tea talk. 

    It’s been incredible. 

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne

    The Kyoto Distillery – KI No Tea at the Elysian Whisky Bar

    KINOBI with Gyokuro & Tencha

    “KI NO TEA is a product created in collaboration with tea-grower and blender Hori-Shichimeien, founded in the Meiji era in 1879 and based in the famous Uji region to the south of Kyoto city. A number of super-premium Uji teas have been specially selected to form the heart of KI NO TEA.

    Tencha and gyokuro provide intense aromas and depth of flavour with a wonderful sweetness that occurs naturally in the distillation of these superior teas. We use leaves harvested in the Okunoyama tea yard, dating back to the 14th century, and blend carefully with a secret botanical recipe used only in KI NO TEA.”

    What does KINOBI mean?

    When I first read the description, I couldn’t understand what KINOBI meant. Accroding to Kyoto distillery, it means “The Beauty of the Seasons”. 

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne

    I met KI NO TEA  at The Elysian Whisky Bar, the famous place for whisky lovers in Melbourne. I was there to meet my friend and also to pick up the whisky I ordered for a virtual tasting workshop.

    Although I promised myself only to have a glass of whisky due to my exhaustion that day, as a tea lover, I couldn’t resist trying KI NO TEA that was right in front of me. I was intrigued by the description. 

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne

    Who's Hori-Shichimeien?

    “Horii Shichimeien is an old-established Uji Tea company and is among the few stores that own their own tea gardens. 

    Its tea garden is one of the seven famous gardens called Uji Shichimeien designated by Ashikaga Shogunate in the Muromachi Period. 

    Today, the store’s garden named “Okunoyama” is located on a small hill near Uji Byōdōin Temple as the only existing garden of the seven. 

    Over the last 600 years, the store has continued to grow and process teas (such as the well-known high quality tencha “Narino”), engaging in the whole process of tea manufacturing from picking and selecting to drying and grinding of tealeaves using grinding stones. 

    Now the company also sells at retail and provides genuine Uji Tea directly to their customers.”

    source: https://www.sazentea.com/en/products/c41-horii-shichimeien-matcha

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne

    I am just getting into Japanese tea, so I wasn’t familiar with Hori-Shichimeien. My friend who is a certified Japanese tea instructor recognised the name right away. Now I know better 😀 

    Uji region KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne

    Where is Uji region?

    Uji is a Japanese city south of Kyoto, known for its shrines and temples. The 10th-century Buddhist Byōdō-in Temple includes Phoenix Hall, named for the phoenix statues crowning it. Ujigami Shrine is said to be Japan’s oldest Shinto shrine. The Tale of Genji Museum displays scenes from the classic novel. Uji is known as a producer of green tea, which can be sampled at a traditional tea ceremony at Taihō-an Teahouse.


    What is Gyokuro?

    Gyokuro is known as the finest, rarest, and most expensive Japanese loose leaf green tea. Depends on the harvest region, it can be marine or vegetal, but the key characteristic is full of umami followed by sweetness.


    What is Tencha?

    Tencha is the tea leaves about to become matcha. You can brew tencha as own. The taste characteristic is similar to gyokuro followed by full of umami. However, the appreance of the leaves and tea making process between gyokuro and tencha is different. 

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne
    ⓒ Kyoto Distillery

    The official KI NO TEA tasting note

    “A sweet and delicate bouquet on the nose. On the palate, a gentle sweetness like white chocolate spreads slowly, then a distinct juniper flavour comes to the fore. The finish is long and clean with roasted green tea scents.”

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne
    I tasted first then took the picture lol

    How was the KI NO TEA taste?

    “A botanical and refreshing bouquet on the nose. A distinct juniper scent and flavour comes to the fore, citrusy and refreshing note melodies, then finish with marine umami tea scents.”  

    I could smell strong juniper berries, then taste juniper berries -> citrus -> marine in order. I was hoping KI NO TEA to be botanical with a fresh green taste. Instead, it was marine to me. I was happy that I got to try KI NO TEA, but I wasn’t a fan of the taste. 

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne

    Do you recommend to purchase KI NO TEA?

    • Price: Open price ($120~$140) 
    • Volume: 700ml
    • Strength: 45.1% abv
    • JAN:  4589633900155

    The entire bottle? I am not so sure because of the marine taste I experienced. However, other people seem to enjoy KI NO TEA with an average of 4.6+ out of 5 ratings. If you aren’t sure, check out the nearest bar to taste KI NO TEA.

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne

    The Elysian Whisky Bar

    By the way if you drink whisky and ever in Melbourne, I highly recommend to visit the Elysian Whisky Bar.

    When I visited there was a private whisky tasting event for a company team building. I think I was able to sit at the bar because my friend made a reservation.

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne

    If you are planning to try KI NO TEA at the Elysian Whisky Bar.  I recommend tasting gin itself. The cocktail I ordered had KI NO TEA, but it was too sweet and not so pretty. The price was also more than tripled from trying gin itself. 

    KI NO TEA gin reivew The Elysian Whisky Bar in Melbourne (10)

    The Elysian Whisky Bar is a good place to drink whisky, socialise, and chill.

    If you work in the sales, marketing, or hospitality industry, it’s also a good place to shadow. I was impressed by the service style of that night. Two bartenders  could make drinks, serve, and do everything for the packed crowd. 

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (5)

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji(ごちそう茶事) Review

    Have you ever watched something that gives you a different perspective and leaves a question to think?

    I joined the Japanese tea documentary, gochisochaji(ごちそう茶事), screening hosted by the Global Japanese Tea Association on Wednesday, 30 June 2021, 8-10 pm in Japan time. 

    The event included watching the documentary and talking with the producer, Makoto Takatsu. It was a virtual event, so I could join from Melbourne, Australia, an hour ahead of Japan time. 

    How I felt about the event: communal, connected, informative, interesting, relaxing. 

    How I felt about the documentary: communal, informative, diverse, not too boring, dedicated, provides a new perspective & outlook. 


    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事

    Film Title: ごちそう茶事 Gochisochaji 
    Producer: Makoto Takatsu
    Editing Director: Go Okada
    Music: Hitomi Tamura
    Theme Song: Kojiro Fujiwara “To the Other Side”
    Title: Genu Shiraishi
    Production: Japanese Tea Documentary Film Production Team
    Distributor in Japan: office.gochisouchaji
    JAPAN / 2021 / 52min / Japanese (with English subtitles)
    Website: https://gochisochaji.com/

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (13)

    Before screening, I prepared Japanese sencha and Tonkatsu (a Japanese dish that consists of a breaded, deep-fried/tempura pork cutlet.). I brewed Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha that I received as a gift from Yunomi. I ordered Tonkatsu from DonDon. 

    What I enjoyed the most

    1. Diverse Topics 

    I enjoyed watching gochisouchaji because it provided short sequences of topics while covering a variety of topics.  I find some documentaries too boring or too serious to follow. Gochisouchaji was easy to follow. 


    • The people devoted their lives to Japanese tea 
    • Scent of freshly picked tea leaves  
    • What separates a master from an amateur?
    • Shitori(Moist)
    • Gogumi (Blending) techniques
    • Japanese tea and tea drinking culture have evolved through the ages.
    • However, Japanese tea today faces many challenges. 
    • Profound changes in lifestyle. 
    • A new gateway to Japanese tea
    • Uji, Kyoto prefacture 
    • Tradition of the Uji Region
    • Japanese tea with new character 
    • Makurajaki, Kagoshima prefacture 
    • Breeder 
    • Sofu
    • The cultivar loved by modern teaists Sofu
    • Reassessing the withering technique 
    • Withered aroma of yumewakaba 
    • Gokase, Miyajaki Prefecture
    • The times and Kamairicha
    • Traditional yet new tea attracting young people 
    • Attracting young people 
    • Successors of Japanese tea 
    • Rediscovery of Japanese tea
    • And More 
    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事

    2. Diverse People 

    I enjoyed watching the interviews from people related to Japanese tea industry. For me it was especially interesting to know what tea breeder does. Check out the documentary if you are curious 😀 

    • Oscar Brekell, Japanese Tea Evangelist 
    • OTA Katsunori, Tea Grower, Kaneta Otaen 
    • Moriuchi Yoshio, Tea Grower, Moriuchi Tea Farm 
    • Nakajima Tsuyoshi, Onishi-en Tea Factory, 10th Dan in Hand Rolled Tea 
    • Maeda Fumio, Yamahachi Maeda Lotaro Shoten Tea Master, 10th Dan in tea appraisal
    • Tada Masanori, Tea Master, Tada Tea Products 
    • Sakurai Shinya, Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience 
    • Koyama Kazuhiro, Charista, Saten Japanese Tea 
    • Fujioka Hibiki, Barista 
    • Tsuji Kiyohara, Tea Grower, Tsujiki
    • Nesumi Atsushi, Senior Coordinator Makurazaki Tea Research Station (NARO)
    • Watata Yoshi, Tea Sommelier, Omotesanto Chachanoma 
    • Florent Weugue, Aozuruchago (Thes-du-Japon)
    • Shimizu Keiichiro, Tea Master,  Sayamacha Specialty Shop Bizenya 
    • Miyajaki Akira, Tea Grower, Miyajaki Sabo 
    • Yokoyama Yoko, Tea Grower, Miyajaki Sabo 
    • Okajami Megumi, The Tea Company 
    • Tajima Nobuyoshi, The Tea Company 
    • Ishida Shinji, Restaurant Owner, Nogizaka Shin
    • Obata Kazuki, Urushi & Tea Lover
    • And more 
    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (7)

    3. A New Perspective and Outlook 

    With diverse topic and people, it naturally gave me a new perspective and outlook.

    " You need to be able to talk with the tea. Tea is a living thing in a sense. I think tea is always sending us signs, telling us what to do next. The question is whether you can keep pace with the changes. Do tea leaves obey your orders? Do leaves line up and get ready to be rolled when they are told to do so? As an old saying goes, the appearance of the leaves mirrors their internal qualities. I think a beautiful looking tea is beautiful on the inside as well."

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (12)

    4. Tea Brewing Techniques 

    The documentary also showed how tea professionals use own style to brew and taste tea. I enjoyed watching different styles of brewing.  

    " The most important parts about brewing tea are the flavour, maintaining the quality that the growers produced, and being considerate to the person you're serving. I think that a cup of tea can for a heart-to-heart connection. Brewing tea with consideration is what matters most."

    Japanese Tea Documentary Gochisochaji ごちそう茶事 (11)

    5. Tea Dedication

    While watching the documentary, I could see how the tea industry is supported by people with dedication and caring. 

    During the chatting with the producer time, Takatsu-san mentioned that he was able to complete the 3 years of production by the support and dedicated people in the tea industry. 

    It reminded me how to appreciate and cherish tea leaves. I had a good self-reflection time during the event and while writing this review. 

    Global Japanese Tea Association

    Thank you Global Japanese Association (https://gjtea.org/)  for hosting a fun and informative event.  

    If you missed the screening, you can rent or buy the gochisochaji at Vimeo now.  

    Have you already seen this documentary? Let me know how you enjoyed it 😀

    Australian Kukicha Perfect South

    Trying Facebook Room, The Elephant Rope Story, Drinking Australian Grown Kukicha

    Last week, I added Drink Positivitea to my self-care routine where other people can also join virtually. There are three sessions per week in English, Korean, and Spanish. Today was the first day for the Drink Positivitea. If you are interested in joining, you can find detailed information in the Drink Positivitea to fight against COVID-19 Blues post.

    For Drink Positivitea, I tried Faecbook Room instead of Zoom. I liked how Room was easier to navigate on Facebook, but I am not sure whether I like Room.


    • Room is free to use
    • Looks cleaner and easier to navigate on Facebook
    • You can pre-schedule your Room and share an external URL link
    • You can Facebook live from Room.


    • You can only create one external URL link. If you want to schedule a room for different events, you will need to change titles according to your event schedules.
    • You can’t record Room screen like Zoom
    • Your Room automatically locks when you start Room. I hope I didn’t block out people for entering.

    Since today was the first time, I will try a couple more sessions and decide whether I continue to use Room or switch to Zoom.

    The Elephant Rope Story

    For any Drink Positivitea intro, I decided to start by sharing something that can fuel mind & soul. When I googled an inspirational story, the Elephant Rope story came up first. I’ve heard this story many times, yet it was refreshing to listen again.

    Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

    A gentleman was walking through an elephant camp, and he spotted that the elephants weren’t being kept in cages or held by the use of chains.

    All that was holding them back from escaping the camp, was a small piece of rope tied to one of their legs.

    As the man gazed upon the elephants, he was completely confused as to why the elephants didn’t just use their strength to break the rope and escape the camp. They could easily have done so, but instead, they didn’t try to at all.

    Curious and wanting to know the answer, he asked a trainer nearby why the elephants were just standing there and never tried to escape.

    The trainer replied;

    “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

    The only reason that the elephants weren’t breaking free and escaping from the camp was that over time they adopted the belief that it just wasn’t possible.

    Kukicha by Perfect South

    For today Drink Positivitea, I prepared Australian Grown Green Tea – Kukicha by Perfect South

    Drink Positivitea to fight against COVID-19 Blues

    Last month, I got sucked into a physical and emotional turmoil where I suffered from both physical and emotional pain. When I realised how my life was sinking, it was already the end of August.

    I grew up in South Korea, the Republic of Suicide, so seeing myself stuck in a dark tunnel was not new for me. However, I didn’t know my mind could collapse so quickly without realising it. Because I was so fierce (or at least that’s how I felt) until the end of July.

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, many things in my life have changed. While mostly locked up in a home, I picked up bad habits such as not exercising, eating sugar and more sugar, irregular schedules, binge-watching youtube, it was a hot mess! There were times I intensely took care of myself just before the intense project, Nomad Tea Festival. Yet, I lost myself afterwards and my productivity level went underground in August.

    I knew it before, but now I really know that my mental health is not much different from my physical health. If I don’t take care of my health, either physical or emotional or both will hunt me down.

    Drink Positivitea is my declaration of a self-care routine and also a battle to move forward. Be my fighters if you want to cut off the negative cycle in your life and tired of being surrounded by people who are draining your blood and soul. Set your boundaries, guard yourself, and move forward towards your ideal self and the future you want.

    Drink Positivitea Schedules (subject to change) 

    in English (Drink Positivitea): 

    • Monday 12:30-1:00 in Melbourne Time (UTC+10) 

    in Korean (다함께 긍정차차차): 

    • Saturday 17:30-18:00 in Seoul Time (UTC+8) 

    in Spanish (Bebe positavamenTE)

    • Sunday 6-6:30 pm in Melbourne Time (UTC+10)

    *I will entertain you with my baby Spanish. 

    How does it work? 

    1. Check upcoming schedules 
    2. We will meet in the FB Room on the scheduled date and time 
    3. We will start by listening to a positive, inspirational quote, story, song, meditation technique, etc. 
    4. Share positivitea and tea we drink 
    5. Fill our mind and soul and gain strength to go through our lives. 

    Do you have something to share that was helpful to you? You can submit a suggestion to be shared in our opening: https://forms.gle/e7JiZpVtzKJKDxa3A

    How much does it cost to join? Is there something I need to prepare? 

    It’s complimentary, but there are things to do before you attend.

    • Put sunscreen and get sunlight 15 minutes 
    • Exercise 30 minutes 
    • Eat fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grain more than you eat preserves, instant and processed food. 
    • Pause and intentionally take a deep breath even for once.
    • Set a time to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, workout, and when to sleep for 8 hours and follow.
    • Brew your choice of tea to attend Drink Positivitea.

    Drink Positivitiea is for fighters with goals in mind. If you are looking for an emotional trash can, a place to whine, complain, grab attention, and randomly say hi and find an excuse to send someone a pathetic personal message, drink two cups of strongly brewed green tea, wake up, and seek a professional psychologist.