2023 August round up

Welcome to the August round-up newsletter. A monthly letter about everything that has happened inside and outside the tea nursery.

Wazuka, the tea village

Following up on the last month’s newsletter, I have been preparing to move to Japan! I will arrive on the 7th of September, and as you can imagine, I have been quite busy. Expect more content coming up directly from the fields of the beautiful town of Wazuka. I will try to post more regularly on our Instagram and Mastodon accounts.

I will start my work in the fields later next week. Excited to get started. It is a perfect time to arrive for the autumn harvest and to get up to speed before winter arrives.

Recent Activity

While I write this newsletter, I am heading to Stockholm to retrieve my visa. Today was my last day at a coffee roaster job in Sweden (yes, you read it well 😉), and recovering from a cold I caught earlier this week. Together with this, you will have an extra email as the next cultivar has been published. It was about time.

As I mentioned, I just published the article about Tsuyuhikari, a long overdue post. It is the longest I have written for the blog and the most extensive one. I have read many research articles about it and summarised them in this article. Sprinkled around the article, you will find some details I learned while visiting the Shizuoka Prefectural Tea Research Centre this summer. I am not going into much detail as you just received it in your inbox today, but please let me know your thoughts. I am trying to balance content and length, but I love long-form articles, and it is difficult not to jump into rabbit holes while writing them.

As for the Tea Vault project, I am still waiting for a software upgrade to enhance how I publish articles on it. And to be honest, I have been quite busy, closing my duties at my old workplace, visa applications, starting classes at university and more. More to come in September!

I also saw something interesting the other day. Seven Eleven, the famous convenience store, released special editions of ready-to-drink tea (RTD) showcasing cultivars as its main selling point. It was a collaboration with a famous tea brand, and in this second instalment, they went for the Okumidori cultivar. Funnily enough, the product was branded Okutemidori. I was not the first to think it could have been a mistake. But it seems that Okumidori is a registered name! I have no idea how those registrations for products or brand names work. But it grabbed my attention, and I want to know more about it. If you know or know someone who does know the inner workings of that, let me know!

What is next

The Morning Brew article about a hand-picked Sencha from Tsuchiya Chaen is still in the works. I decided to put my effort into the Tsuyuhikari cultivar post. Next month, want to focus on pushing out the Morning Brew article and another short-form post. I will be busy catching up with work at the farm, university, and tea classes. As well as meeting the other tea farmers of the region. On top of that, there are a couple of lectures on tea happening in Wazuka and Uji during September. I will try to make frequent updates about what is happening on the social media accounts.

Books and other fun stuff

I have not read much this month. In fact, I took a small break from tea books this month and will restart again in September. I am still halfway through the fabulous book I started last month. Japanese Tea Culture - The Heart and Form of Chanoyu from Kumakura Isao and translated by Martha J. McClintock. Most likely, I will find plenty of material to learn once in Japan, both in books and by learning from the farmers and other tea people themselves.

That is it for this month. Just a quick update. As always, you can help the blog by sharing this newsletter or any of the blog posts and sharing it with a friend or family member who could enjoy it.

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