Light and smooth, Sakura Tea is mildly salty with a floral aftertaste and plum undertones. A transparent pink expands in the cup revealing a flowery aroma with hints of the sea. This tea is made by preserving cherry blossoms in salt and plum vinegar. Its salty taste is common in Japan and the tea is most often used for celebrations and special occasions.
Sakuracha (桜茶) is a very special, traditional Japanese infusion that is unlike any other. Sakura is the name for the famous pink cherry blossoms that bloom all over Japan in the spring. The flowers are mixed with ume plum vinegar and salt and is left to infuse for 3-4 weeks. Cherry blossom tea is considered very special in Japan and is mostly served at weddings, as it is believed to represent new beginnings.
The main ingredient, cherry blossoms petals, are harvested when the cherry trees bloom from mid to late spring. After the calyxes are removed, the petals are then pickled in plum vinegar and salt and the product subsequently dried. The dried cherry blossoms are then stored or sealed in tea packets and sold.
In order to produce sakurayu, a few such dried, salt-pickled blossoms must be sprinkled into a cup of hot water. Once covered in hot water, the collapsed petals unfurl and float. The herbal tea is then allowed to steep until the flavor reaches its desired intensity. The resulting drink tastes slightly salty. The tea is a very light slightly sweet brew.
There is a Japanese expression “ocha wo nigosu.” “ocha” is tea, and “nigosu” means to make unclear. So the term itself will literally translate to to make the tea cloudy. However, the meaning of this expression is to “be evasive,” “be vague,” or “non-committal.” This denotation is why green tea is not served at weddings, but “Sakura-yu” is served as it represents “beginning,” which is most appropriate for a wedding.
|Processing:||Preserved with salt and plum vinegar|