It was nice catching up with old tea exhibitors at the Victoria Tea Festival this year. One did not get a chance to chat with Peter & Fumi of Chado Tea House. This was due to the long lines at their booth were they were selling selling strait shooting Japanese Teas for uninflated Japanese tea prices. One did however get a chance to chat with anther long time Japanese tea exhibitor at the Victoria Tea Festival, Jared & Miyuki of Jagasilk.
Local favorite Jagasilk was the only exhibitor to have exhibited at every Victoria Tea Festival. Although they are an old face, they have their hands in many new innovative matcha related projects. They have developed a Hemp and Matcha Protein Powder teaming up with Canadian Olympic gold medalist Adam Kreek who is now attempting a world record by rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, a feet never completed by man. No doubt he has lots of this Matcha Protein Powder to keep him going! Jagasilk also has been working with The Edge Food Energy at developing matcha power bars which were also sampled at the festival.
The biggest change at Jagasilk is that they dropped their Organic matcha line from Harimaen Estate (see Crane Flies Over the Clouds, Nirvana, and Butterfly). One can only speculate that this was a business decision because that line of matcha was quite good and very popular here in Victoria. With a small no fuss announcement last spring on the Jagasilk blog, they launched their new line of single cultivar matcha. They now receive their matcha from tea farmer Mr. Fujioka of Wazuka, located in the traditional Uji growing region of Japan. Jagasilk claims that they are the first wholesale distributor of Mr. Fujioka's matcha.
Jagasilk has cleverly named the three matcha they now carry in their typical Westcoast fashion- Eagle, Raven, and Owl - all local wildlife that has special spiritual significance to the first nation peoples here on the West coast. One sampled Eagle and Raven at the festival. They were all whisked up in a traditional bowl then poured into Jagasilk's signature mini mason jar teacups- drawing influence off another popular Westcoast trend. The matcha was interesting, no doubt good matcha that seemed maybe a bit more vegetel, grassy, and maybe more heavy, but didn't seem to be filled with as much of the interesting high notes that gave their old line from Harimaen its character.
Also see this review of Greg Demmons' Meditative Korean tea ceremony at this years Victoria Tea Festival if you missed it.