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Japanese advisor knows the key to the perfect cup of tea

Agrak Food and Beverages Trading LLC specializes in trading and sales of Japanese green tea and related items like kyusu pots, matcha bowls and more. (Agrak/Facebook)
Agrak Food and Beverages Trading LLC specializes in trading and sales of Japanese green tea and related items like kyusu pots, matcha bowls and more. (Agrak/Facebook)
Agrak Food and Beverages Trading LLC specializes in trading and sales of Japanese green tea and related items like kyusu pots, matcha bowls and more. (Agrak/Facebook)
Agrak Food and Beverages Trading LLC specializes in trading and sales of Japanese green tea and related items like kyusu pots, matcha bowls and more. (Agrak/Facebook)
Agrak Food and Beverages Trading LLC specializes in trading and sales of Japanese green tea and related items like kyusu pots, matcha bowls and more. (Agrak/Facebook)
Agrak Food and Beverages Trading LLC specializes in trading and sales of Japanese green tea and related items like kyusu pots, matcha bowls and more. (Agrak/Facebook)
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27 Apr 2022 05:04:02 GMT9
27 Apr 2022 05:04:02 GMT9

Shams El-Mutwalli

DUBAI: Hiroshi Ohta is a Japanese tea advisor and is also a partner at Dubai-based Agrak Food and Beverages Trading LLC, a company that specializes in trading and sales of Japanese green tea and related items like kyusu pots, matcha bowls and more.

In 2014, Ohta attended a lecture on Japanese green tea and later received a qualification as an advisor sponsored by Japan’s Green Tea Instructor Association. Ohta’s enthusiasm for the art was inspired by his mentor and now business partner.

Initially Ohta was not interested in green tea but his mentor’s enthusiasm towards the training, and her motivation aided in facilitating a curiosity towards the art.

Ohta also shared how while there was minimal interest in the field initially, “while learning about tea, I became to have an interest,” he said, outlining how the taste of the tea varies drastically depending on factors like the temperature of the water.

Ohta also reflected on how during the training, there were competitions between students on who could make the most flavourful tea.

One thing Ohta appreciates about being a tea advisor is how it promotes Japanese green tea—a cultural element—to people outside of Japan.

The production of green tea begins when leaves are plucked from the tree and are then heated using the Japanese steaming method to halt fermentation, according to Ohta.

The production processes can be broken down into six steps including: steaming, rough kneading, twisting, medium kneading, fine kneading and drying.

“Tea is very sensitive to the growing environment,” Ohta said as tea grown on flat ground differs from that grown in the mountains.

Ohta outlined the importance of drinking tea as a Japanese cultural practice as tea ceremonies are very popular in the country.

“It is not only art but also very natural life for us to drink green tea,” he said.

Ohta also drew comparisons between Japan and the UAE’s cultural tea practices, noting how “Karak and green tea are from the same tea tree,” with the only difference being how it is consumed.

He also shared how Arabic coffee is also like Japanese green tea in the way it is served, encapsulating “Omotenashi” which translates to mean “welcome with warm heart” with sincerity to the customers.

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