Friday, August 5, 2011

Tea CSA Journal Update : August 2011

In February, I joined the Obubu Tea CSA club, with the intention of also blogging about the different steps along the way and answering some of the typical questions some may have, such as "What do you get for your supporting funds?" and "What does a CSA support do for the farmer?"

Spring brought winds of change and lots of projects, so this update is long overdue. Nonetheless, there's plenty to report and I'm excited to still have plenty of delicious green tea discoveries to share with everyone.

1. March brought my initial shipment that included a Kyusu tea pot (pictured above), a packet of GenMaiCha (pictured below), a packet of Sakura blossoms for steeping as Sakura Tea (one of my all-time favorites), and an inscribed membership plaque with a picture of snow-capped tea bushes on Obubu farmland (not pictured.)

March also brought the Japan earthquake, a tragedy that brought nations and communities together and whose aftershocks are still shaking the tea world, both literally and figuratively. Obubu launched a donation campaign for both their customers who were in the earthquake area and for the citizens of the region, donating teapots and green tea for use in the temporary shelters.

The radiation and contamination concerns at Fukushima continue to unfold, and the green tea fields of Shizuoka have come under scrutiny in recent months, but Obubu's cooperative is located in Kyoto and continues to be safe for consumption. The economic effect on the other larger tea-growing regions has yet to be determined, which makes it all the more important to support the growers who aren't directly effected.

For more up-to-date and detailed information on Obubu's earthquake relief efforts and discussions of the health of Japan's tea-growing regions, please visit their website.

Sencha of the Summer Sun, Bancha, Sencha of the Wind

2. May's shipment included Sencha of the Wind and the usual detailed steeping instructions.

3. July's shipment included Sencha of the Summer Sun and a Bancha (unrolled green tea). Two teas!

Obubu's delicious GenMaiCha in its pre-steep habitat

Sencha of the Summer Sun as it steeps in my members-only kyusu pot

Are you thirsty yet?

Stay tuned for more updates - and more in-depth reviewing of the teas themselves


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