Green tea – your healthy habit

Japan, your mind slowly drifts to images of elegant ladies dressed in kimonos, delicately pouring tea into handcrafted teacups. The way of tea, or Ichi-go ichi-e as it is locally known, is just as important as enjoying the tea. According to local tradition, during a tea ceremony, the underlying Japanese ethos is that you should treat your encounter with that person as if it is the first and last encounter that you will ever have with them. The preparation of the tea is used to provide a connection between the people.

There are actually 28 varieties of tea Sencha is the most common, sweet and mild. Gyokuro has strong aromas. Hōjicha is savory but the most classic is Matcha.

Let’s talk some more about Matcha, it is bright green and made from ground-up tea leaves that are grown in Japan. Matcha is created under shade-grown conditions and is a pure powdered form.  

Matcha had 3 grades. Ceremonial, Premium and Cooking. Ceremonial is used in tea ceremonies, Premium for everyday enjoyment and the cooking grade is used for sweets . Matcha can be made in two ways, usucha (thin) and koicha (thick). 

The thin tea is made using a bamboo whisk and is made with a creamy head. The thicker variation has no cream. It has a dense syrup like constancy and is dark forest green in colour.

In Tokyo, you don’t have to go to a formal tea ceremony to experience your Matcha, You can go to a tea house, which is a lot more relaxed and has a cafe-style ambiance. Nakamura Tokichi, founded in 1854 in Uji Shi, is one such place. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. It serves all varieties of Matcha and delicious desserts to accompany them. 

I’m sure this article has got you curious to try your very own Matcha, in Japan. At Midas, we are here to orchestrate this unique experience for you. We will look after all the details, remembering to dot our i’s and cross our tea’s!

Train travel can also be classy

When we hear the words Orient Express our minds drift to the 1930’s Agatha Christie murder mystery. But this is a different story, not Murder on the Orient Express, but Opulence on the Orient Express! Built in 1883, this has to be one of the most famous trains in the world. Dripping in history and elegance, a journey on her is a true step back in time. Right now, you can enjoy its full elegance visiting Venice, London, Paris, and Verona. This exclusive trip has to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not to be missed.

Another particular locomotive journey not to be missed is the magical trip through the Swiss Alps. Claimed to be the most sought-after seats in Switzerland, you travel across 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels, with an onboard concierge service catering to your every need. 

In upper-class cabins, you are guaranteed a window seat as you gaze at the Alpine panorama whilst sipping complimentary champagne. Enjoy your amuse-bouche before relaxing at a 5-course meal featuring traditional dishes accompanied by regional wines. Imagine yourself travelling through the Swiss Alps with an array of culinary delights to sample. Afterwards, you can enjoy drinks in their onboard bar.

If these beautiful train journeys have got you excited and ready to travel again, leave it to Midas to make it happen, but they are moving fast! Adventure awaits..