Our Nagasaki Ikedoki Tea team has been working with Higashisonogi Town Hall over the past few months to put together a fantastic two-part event. Promoting local Sonogi Cha, as well as using tea to facilitate social connection and cultural exchange: we are very glad and proud to have been able to host these educational & social events.
Part 1 of this project was to invite 15 native English speaking ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) who teach at different schools in Nagasaki Prefecture to come to Higashisonogi for a day and learn about Japanese tea and Sonogi Cha in particular.
On August 26th the ALTs tasted many different teas produced in Sonogi region, were told about local tea history, visited tea fields and also a tea factory to understand how tamaryokucha is produced.
Photo credits: all by Katrina Wild (unless otherwise specified)
The English teachers became the very first certified Sonogi Cha Ambassadors, a new educational programme to teach people all about Sonogi Cha.
For the second part of the project, we hosted a second event focusing on Cultural Exchange through tea.
The newly certified Sonogi Cha Ambassadors came back a month later for the second event on September 23rd to share their new knowledge and connect to the local community.
More than 50 local residents applied and joined the tea socialising & cultural exchange event!
Photo by Setsucoさん
The ALTs, in their role as Sonogi Cha Ambassadors, prepared presentations about what they had learned at the first event, spoke about the differences in tea culture between their own country and Japan, demonstrated brewing methods, created new tea recipes, and even held a tea debate!
After their presentations, each ALT sat down with a few local residents to brew tea and casually chat. In three different rounds, brewing and sharing a different tea in each round, the ALTs switched tables and were able to chat to many local residents.
The atmosphere was casual and very lively, with lots of laughter and friendly chatter. We are sure many people made new friends.
It truly is our honour as Ikedoki Tea to be able to organise and host an event that promotes Sonogi Cha and uses tea as a way to connect cultures and meet new people. We were happy to see the project turn into such a big success and are sure many new friendships were made during the two events that were part of this project.
Photo by Setsucoさん
A very big thank you to everyone who joined us during the events: your interest and enthusiasm is what contributed so much into turning this project into a success!