Hi Everyone!

I have moved to United States and it is so hard to get traditional Japanese sweets… so I was determined to make my own.    These sweets are used in the Chanoyu / Japanese traditional tea ceremony.    It’s mixture of sweet white bean paste and rice flower, carefully shaped as an art.

It’s amazing how much I got attached to these sweets by the time I finish making them.

* Japanese sweets *

I do want to share some pictures of making these sweets with you.  It is not too sweets compared to western sweets but sweet enough to make the matcha tea experience so much better.

After you make the mixture of sweet bean pastes and rice flower,  you make pastel colors of balls.   It does remind me of time that I play with my five years old daughter with play-doh.

* Making sweet bean pastes in ball shape with hands *

This whole experience reminded me how our hands are so useful and work as best tool.

* Making sakura petal with sweet bean paste *

I was using my left hand to gently guard the sweets from deforming while I use my right hand to put pressure and shape it.

* Shaping sweets into Sakura shape *
* making sweets look like cherry blossoms *
* making parts to make round shape of sweets *
* six different corn shape sweets are combined to make the beautiful round ball shape. *
* Adding creases in the sweets so it looks like traditional Japanese ball *
* My finished traditional Japanese sweets *

I do want to talk about how sweets are eaten during the tea ceremony.  We eat Sweets before we drink Matcha green tea.    We use  Washi paper as a personal plate.

* Sweets on top of Japanese Washi paper *

We place the sweets on top of it, and after we eat the sweets we fold the washi paper like Origami and put it inside of the flappy part of the Kimono, so there is no trash or dirty plate hanging around in the tea room.   After we finish eating sweets, next is to drink tea.   Most people naturally want to eat sweets while drinking matcha green tea switching back and forth.   But once I got used to this order of eating sweets first, and drink matcha green tea, I realize it is actually the best way to enjoy the taste of sweets, and while I have sweet flavor in my mouth, drink Matcha green tea.   I can actually taste Matcha’s every sensations better by just drinking matcha alone at the end.

I hope you enjoy reading about traditional Japanese sweets and Matcha green tea.

See you next time!

Sincerely,

Ai

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