A taste of Japan in Tuscany

At the weekend I went to a Camelia festival. A small Tuscan village, tucked away in the folds of the hill has a climate perfectly suited to the Camelia. It is one of the first flowers to come out in the spring and the gardens were open for me to wander round. I discovered that tea is made from the tips of a particular camelia bush and hidden behind an old wall just behind the church is the very first Italian tea plantation.

flying on origami swan

The kind folk of the Japanese tea Organisation had come over especially for the weekend and lent me one of their origami swans so I could get up closer to the flowers, but I was a bit dissappointed they don’t seem to have much scent.

Much better was the tea rolling (the traditional way so the leaves stay whole and can

unfurl completely in the hot water).

Barley  tea rolling

The strong Macha tea, from the slopes from Mt. Fuji : the foam did stick to my whiskers but it was tasty.

tasting macha tea from the hills of Mt. Fuji

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