At a press conference held in Nagasaki Prefecture this past April, Japanese Green Tea Café Project’s stakeholders announced their plan of opening 50 tea cafés in the States.
When you visit one of these cafés, scheduled to open within the next 10 years, you will be able to savor namesake desserts such as Nagasaki castella from Bunmeido, which packages its most celebrated and expensive cake in a wooden case. What I would really like to try is the lesser known, ultra sweet kasudôsu, often served in Chinshin-ryū tea ceremony. Any expert out there who could enlighten us on this “warrior-house style” tea ritual?
Japan’s leading porcelain producer, Hakusan Touki, also based in Nagasaki, will supply the teaware. The work of the company’s distinguished designer, Masahiro Mori (1927 – 2005), is surprisingly well profiled on Wikipedia. I hope the cafés will serve tea using the elegant Twisted Plum Blossom teapots and teacups.
Shizuoka and Kagoshima come to mind whenever one thinks about Japan’s major tea-producing prefectures. Though not a top-ten contender, Nagasaki headquarters Maeda-en, whose products are a staple at all Asian supermarkets. I look forward to learning more about Nagasaki tea from the cafés’ sommeliers.
Like the B&M Hello Kitty Cafe, the Project aims to open its first shop later this year in sunny Southern California.
I visited Nagasaki once in my childhood, and all I remember from that trip is the tears in my mom’s eyes while we listened to a tour guide’s recount of the bombing aftermath.