Hooked on Japanese Green Teas

I love Japanese Green teas. I am not a tea connoisseur but I can tell the difference between a good Japanese tea and a not so good one.

I think I started checking out tea stores and online tea shops 2-3 years ago. I have found a really good online Japanese tea shop, Hibiki-an, where I purchase my tea from. Yups, my tea is flown directly from Japan. They also used to have free international shipping if you purchase $30 USD (I think) or more. Right now though they increased that price to $38 USD (ouch).

My favorites are:

Genmaicha – the Genmaicha tea with small matcha balls is my ultimate favorite tea. Love love love it. Excerpt from the Hibiki-an site:

Genmaicha is a mellow blend of roasted and puffed brown rice grains and Sencha that has been well-loved by green tea fans in Japan for centuries.

Our Genmaicha Matcha-iri is a wonderful blend of Sencha, puffed brown rice, and Matcha. The Matcha powder lightly coats the Sencha leaves and rice, adding a fresh and mellow taste. Due to the rice, this tea has the rich and hearty flavor of roasted grains or coffee but the freshness of Matcha and Sencha. It is very well balanced, full flavored and smooth.

Added Matcha, it becomes mellow taste and its brewed water is light green color like Gyokuro’s.

In many cases Genmaicha is made from a mix of puffed rice and low grade Sencha, low grade Nibancha (tea from the second harvest of the year) or Sanbancha (tea from the third harvest of the year). Our Genmaicha Matcha-iri is made from only Ichibancha (tea from the first harvest of the year) and is available at a reasonable price. So we are certain that its taste and aroma is much more flavorful and smooth than any other Genmaicha.

Genmaicha Matcha – iri is enjoyed as a popular everyday tea in Japan, so we have priced it just right for your everyday enjoyment!

Sencha – the sencha is a very fresh, flavorful green tea, and the one from Hibiki-an is definitely the highest quality one I’ve tasted to date.

Gyokuro -  it has a subtle sweetness and buttery taste to it. Yum yum. I usually get the Superior one, I have yet to try the Super Premium, but that will have to come later. The price point is way above my budget.

I have yet to try Hibiki-an’s matcha and houjicha teas; I’m sure I’d be ordering those next.

If you’re planning to get the teas, I suggest you also look at getting Chazutsu, a stainless steel airtight tea container that has both an outer and an inner lid. Perfect for keeping that tea freshness.

And nope, I’m not getting paid to blog about Hibiki-an :) I wish I was, or I wish I’d get some freebie yummy Japanese green teas. But I’m not. I just happen to love their teas.

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Ooohh! Manga Guide to Databases!

I’m an anime/manga/JPop/JDorama junkie. Yup, that’s my other life besides databases. There was a time when I can talk some straight Japanese sentences – because I’ve watched/listened to Japanese stuff so much and so often.


I play Utada Hikaru, Ayumi Hamasaki, Do As Infinity (Tomiko Van is lead singer) and Maaya Sakamoto quite regularly while I drive. I have most of their CDs. I even used to wait for weeks for Amazon to deliver my JPop CDs because they’re usually not in stock. I’ve also listened to BoA, Hitomi, Amuro Namie, Otsuka Ai, Gackt, TOKIO, Orange Range, Arashi …


I watched a lot of the TOP 50 JDoramas listed in JDorama.com. Love Mukodono!, Hana Yori Dango, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, Love Generation, GTO. Also watched Majo no Jouken (First Love) and Ichi Ritoru no Namida  (1 Liter of Tears) and cried buckets (yeah, I’m a weepy).


Anime was what started me with this whole Japanese fascination. The first ever anime that I watched was Rurouni Kenshin (marketed as Samurai X in North America) – all the episodes plus all OVAs – and absolutely loved it. My next set of anime/manga marathons Fruits Basket, Full Metal Panic, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Bleach, Inuyasha (yes, I watched all 167 eps). Also  love Hayao Miyazaki’s works – Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, Pricess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle.

And the point is?

BrentO mentioned on Twitter that there’s a Manga Guide to Databases on Amazon! Isn’t that uber coolness! (For me anyway).

Here’s an excerpt (from Amazon):

Princess Ruruna is stressed out. With the king and queen away, she has to manage the Kingdom of Kod’s humongous fruit-selling empire. Overseas departments, scads of inventory, conflicting prices, and so many customers! It’s all such a confusing mess. But a mysterious book and a helpful fairy promise to solve her organizational problems—with the practical magic of databases.

Haha doesn’t that problem sound all too familiar.

The cover is also super cute! Thanks Brent! I am pre-ordering it with JK Rowling’s Tales of Beedle the Bard. So excited.

PS – And if you are looking for good Japanese Tea, you may want to try out Hibiki-an. Great tea! And they deliver it so fast too.

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