Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Staying warm with Genmaicha!
I know it may sound a little odd, but this tea is absolutely delicious and it reminds of when I first arrived in South Korea. Rich and I moved to Seoul at the end of January and it was absolutely FREEZING! Genmaicha was actually the very first hot beverage that I had in Korea. I know it has Japanese origins, but nothing says Korea to me like a hot cup of Genmaicha (except for maybe Kimchi). Every time I smell the tea I am instantly transported back to the very first night that Rich and I stumbled into a restaurant jet-lagged, freezing, and starving. We were definitely out of sorts and I remember how we stood in the doorway desperately trying to figure out how to go about getting a table and food.
And then the most darling Adjumma (older Korean woman) came to the rescue, and Korea started to win my heart. She spoke absolutely no English and the best I could manage at the time was a Hello and Thank You, but it was not needed under the motherly attentions of the older woman. The Adjumma whisked us to a table, started fussing over how cold I was, and set a cup of tea in front of me. Instantly the smell of the tea hit me and I remember just cupping my hands over it and breathing deep because I had never smelled anything like it before. I can't really describe the tea's smell, but it has a beautifully savory smell from the brown rice and it is so delicate that you want to keep breathing it in on a cold day. During the colder months Korean restaurants will have big kettles of the tea boiling away on huge burners throughout the restaurant just waiting to warm you up!
Today we experienced snow flurries and I immediately went for my tea kettle with only one tea in mind: Genmaicha!! I hope everyone is having a great day and my day has been brightened a bit more since having a cup of tea (3 cups actually)with such special memories attached to it.
My favorite brand, Yamamotoyama is really inexpensive and a box of it only costs a couple of dollars if you are wanting to check out a tea that is dear to my heart.