Monday, May 23, 2011

The Long And Winding Road

"And still they lead me back
To the long, winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don't leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door."
- The Long And Winding Road / The Beatles 1969

One of my favourite songs is The Long & Winding Road by The Beatles. My tea adventure is like that long and winding road in the picture and the song. Like being left alone and waiting.

Top picture is of Jun Chiyabari in June 2002 and the bottom picture is of the same scene in July 2010. Finally the tea bushes have started to mature and the area looks nice and green. We seem to be making fairly good teas as per our customers. It has really been a long hard struggle to get to this point on the long winding road.

As the poet Robert Frost wrote, "But I have promises to keep And miles to go before I sleep", so too with me. So too with us.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kakegawa Soba 蕎麦

Buckwheat noodles (Soba / 蕎麦 in Japanese) is a special favourite of mine. Here, in a secluded section behind a big pane of glass, a lone young lady in a noodle shop in Kakegawa makes soba from the scratch. That is, by grinding the buckwheat into flour and then making the noodles and all the steps in between. Thankfully a stone mill is being used rather than one made of steel or other metals. I am certain that Kakegawa city is not famous for its soba but the soba in this cafe was delicious. Or maybe it was the hunger. Kakegawa is much more famous for its green tea.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Seezunge, Hamburg

Hamburg is really the centre of tea in Europe because of its history. It is supposed to be the loveliest city in Germany. One can see the wealth from its trading culture quite easily all around the city. For me it was the place where I had one of the most delicious sea foods: Seezunge (Sole/Flounder in English Hirame/平目 in Japanese) at this marvellous restaurant (Fischereihafen Restaurant) overlooking the harbour. Great tea after the meal too. Naturally ! This is Hamburg, the centre for tea in Europe.