More about the cultural stuff we did last weekend, and I will tell you how matcha (powdered green tea of the highest grade used in Japanese tea ceremony) is made. Although I'm not a huge fan of drinking matcha, I love matcha-flavoured stuff - ice cream, cake, lollies, and there's even matcha chocolate! In the old days before machines and electricity, these powdered stuff were produced by hand-grinding dried tencha leaves using a stone/wood grinder. Rob and I both had a go at grinding tea leaves inside a tea shop, and then enjoyed the fruits of our labour plus a wagashi to accompany the matcha.
Rob: "I'm very serious about grinding these leaves!":
Close-up of the grinder, and all the gorgeous matcha powder inside it (that scoop is called the chasaku):
Whisking up our tea using the chasen (bamboo whisk); and enjoying the wagashi sprinkled with some of the matcha powder: