Exploring Japan's 72 Seasons (May)

Exploring Japan's 72 Seasons (May)

Hello everyone, it's Keko from our online staff😊

I’m excited to share with you the magic of Japanese tea intertwined with the rich tapestry of Japan’s 72 micro-seasons, or 七十二候 (Shichijūni-kō).

Japan’s ancient calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms, each further divided into three micro-seasons, giving us a total of 72 distinct phases. These micro-seasons, lasting about five days each, reflect subtle changes in nature and guide us to live in harmony with our environment.

 Early Summer: 立夏 (Rikka) – The Start of Summer☀️

1. 蛙始鳴 (Kawazu hajimete naku) – Frogs Begin to Sing (May 5 – May 9)
As the warm weather heralds the start of summer, the melodic croaking of frogs fills the air. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a refreshing cup of Sencha, a popular green tea. Brew it at a slightly lower temperature (around 70°C ) to extract its delicate, grassy notes that reflect the freshness of early summer.

2. 蚯蚓出 (Mimizu izuru) – Earthworms Emerge (May 10 – May 14)
With the earth teeming with life, this period reminds us to appreciate the vitality of nature. A cup of Gyokuro, known for its rich umami flavor, pairs beautifully with this season. Brew Gyokuro at an even lower temperature (60°C) to savor its deep, sweet taste.

Mid-Summer: 小満 (Shōman) – Grain Fills🍵

3. 紅花栄 (Benihana saku) – Safflower Blooms (May 21 – May 25)
As vibrant safflowers bloom, symbolizing abundance, we celebrate with Matcha, the finely ground powder of specially grown green tea leaves. Whisking Matcha in a bowl creates a frothy, invigorating drink that embodies the lush growth of the season. Its full-bodied flavor is both energizing and calming.

4. 麦秋至 (Mugi no toki itaru) – Wheat Ripens (May 31 – June 5)

The golden fields of ripened wheat signal prosperity. Enjoying Genmaicha, a blend of green tea and roasted brown rice, is ideal during this time. The nutty flavor of Genmaicha, combined with the fresh taste of green tea, provides a comforting and satisfying experience.

Tea and the Seasons🌱

By aligning our tea choices with the 72 micro-seasons, we not only enjoy a variety of exquisite flavors but also deepen our connection to the rhythms of nature. Each cup becomes a moment of mindfulness, a celebration of the beauty and harmony in the world around us.

I invite you to explore these seasonal teas and discover the joy they bring. Whether you’re savoring the first sip of Sencha as frogs begin to sing or enjoying the roasted warmth of Hōjicha as plums ripen, each tea offers a unique experience that enriches our daily lives.


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