As we look back on 2023, we want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for joining Ikedoki Tea on our journey this year. It has been an exciting first year, and we are eagerly looking forward to 2024 to share more of our explorations and Nagasaki tea news with you.
As a thank you for being part of our Ikedoki tea family, we are delighted to share our first Giveaway!
Two lucky winners will receive the following:
– 50 gr Ichibancha tamaryokucha blend from Ikeda Chaen. This tea was one of the winners of the 2023 Nihoncha Award!
– 5 gr Hand-picked saemidori white tea (ichibancha) by tea farmer Tōzaka
– Tea-dyed tenugui (traditional cotton Japanese handtowel) by tea farmer Tōzaka
The Giveaway runs until Jan 17 2024.
Read more about the Giveaway here.
Winter scenes in Sonogi tea fields
Just a few days before Christmas, on the 22nd of December we experienced the first light snow of this winter!
The winters in Nagasaki are generally not extremely cold and there is not much snow. Usually snow falls after the new year, but we felt very lucky to be able to head out to the tea fields to see them covered with a light dusting of snow.
Visit our blog to see a few more of these beautiful wintery tea landscapes.
New tea online!
We are excited to add tea farmer Tōzaka Baisen kōcha to our tea selection.
The Baisen kōcha is a roasted black tea. Large leaves and very easy to brew. The character is light: sweet, toasted and fruity. Imagine a slice of freshly baked cherry pie!
Ikedoki Tea on the road: Europe tour
From mid February to mid March this year, Marjolein will be travelling in Europe to bring Ikedoki Tea stories and Nagasaki teas with her! She will be at the Prague Tea Fest, sharing a stand with the Global Japanese Tea Association and will also organise a few workshops and tastings.
24 & 25 February: Prague Tea Fest, Prague, Czechia (Facebook & Instagram)
3 March: The Tea Circle, Brussels, Belgium (Website & Instagram)
6 March: ITC Academy, The Hague, Netherlands (Website)
For those in Europe: keep your eyes out for more dates and locations as we try to organise a few more!
December is a quiet period out in the tea fields, and farmer Tōzaka mentioned earlier this year that he was looking forward to the more restful end of year with more time for family.
We still found a lot of farmers working in the fields to add fertilisers: the photo on the right was a farmer even working during some on and off snow showers.
With the long and hot summer of 2023, Nagasaki almost hopscotched over autumn straight into winter. Here a small glimpse of autumn views before they slipped away.
Early December we welcomed some tea farmers from Shizuoka who wanted to see our approach to tea tourism. Coming from another region with iconic tea field views overlooking Mt Fuji and some more distant ocean, we loved seeing their enthusiasm for the beautiful Sonogi tea fields & Omura Bay views!
The Sonogicha Ambassador programme that started in 2023 is going strong with near monthly sessions teaching about Sonogi region’s teas.
The second round of Sonogicha Ambassador courses in Nagasaki were both full, seeing even people coming from Kagoshima to join and learn about Sonogi tea.
JA Group – Japanese Agricultural Cooperatives plays a major part not only in Japan’s tea industry but in Japan’s agriculture sector in general. We joined the local JA branch’s annual market and saw lots of new machinery, food stalls, dance shows and even a hand-sawing competition between teams of 3 neighbouring towns!