I’m a huge fan of tea. I attribute it to my upbringing and my parents’ taste for it. Growing up, my cup was filled with Chinese tea, but my tastes have expanded to many different types over the years – usually sweet or bitter. It wasn’t until I came to Japan that I discovered there’s savory tea! It was a little bit off putting at first since it tasted similar to mild soup base, but then circumstances put me in the perfect collision course to love this tea.
Recently, my in laws drove us to a very old and famous temple about 2 hours drive from Tokyo. It was one of those mid-autumn days when it was just beginning to get chilly so I wore jeans, a sweater, and a scarf. Little did I know that I was going for a ride into the mountains. We spent about 2 hours at the temple. By the end of the ceremony, I was shivering with a runny nose.
Walking back to the parking lot, there was a small market selling omiyage and giving out free hot shiitake tea. It was PERFECT. It warmed every morsel of my body and revived me almost like a cup of chicken soup on a sick, winter day! I had to bring it home. Now a days, I make shiitake tea whenever the weather is gloomy and cold, and it transports me back to that moment when I felt so comforted and satisfied.
– Powdered tea with little pieces of dried shiitake –
– Powdered to your taste –
The biggest plus of this tea? Add it to your rice, steamed eggs, or soup for a boost of shiitake flavor!