The sakura, or Japanese cherry blossom, is one of the foremost symbols of Japan. Symbolizing the intense ephemeral nature of life, they bloom en masse once a year for a short week or two painting Japan pink and white before being blown away by the spring breeze in a beautiful shower of petals.
Sakura Tea from Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations
Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations' Sakura Tea is made with salt-pickled cherry blossoms (the kanzan variety) by their partner in Odawara, Kanagawa. The taste that results from the salt-pickling of the blossoms is a flavor standard in Japan for drinking as tea. However, the salted cherry blossoms are quite flexible as well, and taste great with Japanese sake, mixed with rice (to make sakura rice), cookies, and cakes! We also highly recommend adding them to sencha or genmaicha tea for that uniquely Japanese spring flavor.
The flavor of these sakura “cherry” blossoms (being the blossoms and not the fruit) is quite different from the cherry fruit flavor so common in Western sweets (as well as many “Japanese cherry green teas” where the “cherry” is actually cherry fruit flavoring). In Japan though, you’ll find sakura-flavored Kit Kats, sakura-flavored lattes at Starbucks, as well as traditional Japanese sweets. If you’ve never had sakura-flavored tea before, be prepared for a delicious and truly Japanese experience!!
- Name: Sakura Tea
- Ingredients: Salt, plum vinegar, cherry blossoms
- Net weight: 100 grams
- Harvest: Spring (late April)
- Production notes: The sakura blossoms offered from Obubu Tea are grown, harvested and pickled in the region outside of Odawara city, just an hour by the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo and within sight of Mt. Fuji, the symbol of Japan. (Also where YUNOMI is located!!)
- Packaged by: Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations
- Location: Wazuka-cho, Soraku-gun, Kyoto
- Established: Established in 2004 as an agricultural social venture seeking to contribute to society through tea.
- The salt makes this a very strong tea if not diluted, so we recommend taking one blossom and soaking it in lukewarm water for 3 minutes. The salt will dissolve into the water. Keep this water to adjust flavor.
- Take the blossom, and place it in your tea, or in hot water if you want to enjoy the flavor alone. Use the water from step 1 to strengthen the flavor if you find it too weak.
- This also makes a beautiful garnishing for pastries or other dishes!
Tea reviews from around the web
From The Tea Review: The first taste was bright and sweet, and then followed with a savory aftertaste. The savory taste was very soft, but still held the floral notes of the cherry blossom.
From Tea & Procrastination: The cherry blossom floating in your cup also makes for a striking image. We wish we had glass tea cups on hand to better enjoy the view!
From Steepster: It makes me feel like a princess. Everyone knows that flowers are a princess’ favorite food. From The Oolong Owl: I gotta say, I quite like the floral here. I’m so used to jasmine and rose florals – sakura floral is on another planet. A cute planet, with fairies, white chocolate, tiny tea cups, big pink dresses and cuddly white owls. The floral is sweet and fluffy.
From My Thoughts Are Like Butterflies: The aroma is sweet and a bit tangy, it reminds me of pickled peaches, or more likely pickled plums but a touch sweeter. The floral notes are very subtle and the tartness mixed with salt is a delicious aroma. I admit it, I licked the salt crystals out of the package, I may be a salt addict.
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