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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
For sponsorship, collaborations and engagements: arisa1443@gmail.com

Tea time with Maiko Tea & Toshiya Nakabo

Every time when someone mentions Kyoto it somewhat reminds me of home, guess my heart and my only family is left there that's why.
Last week was rather an exciting one for me because an old friend booked me in advance for this session (like 2 months siaa) lol with a tea master from Kyoto - Toshiya Nakabo or Nakabo sensei.
I know it's hard to catch me with my packed schedule and you'll never know whether i am in the country or not lol but really my life is just drowning with work that's why i take my tea time very seriously because it's the only time i get to unwind, clear my mind and prepare myself for another pile of work afterwards.
It usually works (for me at least), so i would advise everyone to drink some Japanese green tea whenever they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, it does help to calm you down so do give it a try :)

If you have followed me long enough you would have notice that i spend most of my time in a tea house in PJ - Tea press because it's quiet there and i can easily get my work done while enjoying some tea, i first got to know how to make tea properly from them early last year which you guys can read about it here, still remember how bad my morning sickness was during this time but thought it was just severe case of gastritis lol. Tea press's teas are originated from Shizuoka prefecture much different from the ones i am going to be introducing today.

Not all green teas are the same, there are various types grown in different plantation methods catered for different crowds of tea lovers so if you guys would like to learn more about Japanese teas then read on!

Meeting Nakabo sensei

Not everyday one gets an opportunity to meet and learn from a tea master himself and i feel really blessed to have met him here in Malaysia thanks to Maiko Tea team and ILOHA Culture Centre Cooking & Language Studio.
Also i personally think this meeting is by fate because a year ago around the same period a Japanese friend of mine bought this tea brand from Nakabo sensei at the Kansai fair in KLCC as a thank you gift and it's my very first time receiving a matcha set (tea & bamboo whisk). I wasn't very confident on using it till recently, after learning from Nakabo-sensei on how to properly prepare matcha tea using the bamboo whisk.
A year later here we are,the world is such a strange place indeed.

Thank you for teaching us how to prepare matcha and gyokuro tea, a once in a life time experience.
Went home feeling like a pro wei, with one achievement unlocked! Can prepare matcha for my guests next time. Really makes me consider picking up tea ceremony classes near future, who knows :P

"Tea is used to break the ice and it is a harmonious practice that brings people together. I want people to enjoy and remember the taste of good tea"- Nakabo sensei

Maiko Tea

A prestigious tea brand originated from Kyoto, known as one of the major green tea supplying prefectures that supplies throughout Japan and the rest of the world and they also have a tea shop in Kyotanabe-shi serving food and drinks, you can also buy their products there (if you worried about luggage limit, it's available in Malaysia too).
Aside from tea, they do too have some delicious desserts like matcha chocolate coated strawberries, mini matcha chocolate balls, etc that goes very well with tea!

Maiko Tea's history dates back to 1950, offering a wide range of teas from the most sought after finest tea in Japan- Gyokuro to sencha, matcha, shiawasecha (happiness tea), Karigane, tencha, Genmaicha and Hojicha
Maiko Tea won the grand prize in 2015 for producing the best Gyokuro tea leaves and it's produced by tea expert Yamashita-san who had won lots of awards during his time and even had the honor of presenting to the emperor.

Gyokuro [Jewel/ Jade Tea]

This is my very first time getting to see Gyokuro upclose and taste it too. After trying it, i finally understood why this tea was given the name "Jade/ Jewel dew", you won't get much serving out of this tea (because water is only filled enough to cover the leaves, not more, not less) but every drop is precious creating a very dense tea essence (some will call it "chicken essence" lol) just enough to fill a small tea cup for one to appreciate its sweet taste. Can be served up to 5 times till the taste becomes faint.

It's plantation method is different from the rest, it's through ooishita (shaded growth).

The last drop of the tea is very precious, known as the "golden drop"

Gyokuro is usually served only during special occasions like new year or to serve a special guest, like how we save our finest aged wine for the best. Not something one would drink everyday because it's really expensive and not available in large quantities and it has its own special tea pot to brew in too.
After drinking we can actually eat the tea leaves, either on its own or most will serve it with some soy sauce and i kid you not because it's really yummy! Literally no wastage of this precious tea lol.

Tried preparing the Gyokuro tea myself during this session and the feeling of "kanchiong" is damn strong wei, because you wouldn't want to make a single mistake like putting too much water, wrong temperature or accidentally spilling it. Really can give you heart attack especially if you are a clumsy person like me, felt like i was sitting for some kind of examination lol😓
Think this would be my one and only time drinking Gyokuro for now until i can afford it haha.

This much per serving

Appreciating Tea More

How many of you know your Japanese teas well?
Even i myself a tea lover wouldn't dare to say that because there's so many things i don't know about and from this tea session alone i learned that some teas are made from various blends of green teas to give it a distinctive taste, methods of tea leaves plantation and preparation (steaming, roasting, etc).
Really mind blown because most of us just enjoy drinking it but hardly take any initiative to know more about it's origins.

The more you know, the more appreciative you are of the tea you drink lol.
Lots of hard work and effort is put into growing, harvesting and even just brewing a pot of tea has its own art, so now you know why they always bow and thank you before drinking during a tea ceremony.

Types of Japanese Teas

  1. Gyukuro- God level tea, enough said.
  2. Matcha is made by plucking and steaming its leaves, kneaded and put on a heated roller belt afterwards to remove any excess moisture before its being grinded into powder form.
  3. Tencha is hardly seen in the market, its also grown the same way as the Gyukuro via ooishita method
  4. Karigane is made from the stems of Gyokuro and high grade Sencha tea leaves
  5. Genmaicha, commonly enjoyed by Malaysians is a mixture of Karigane and roasted rice.
  6. Shiawasecha is a special blend created by Maiko Tea, made from matcha powder and konbu (seaweed). It's color is vibrant and very nutritious, almost similar benefits to a Gyokuro but a more affordable version. 
  7. Hojicha is made from roasted middle class range of sencha and has similar traits to an English tea.

Overall tea has many health benefits, you can easily find them by just googling and i personally think it's one of the main reasons why my face don't seem to age and i'm also able to maintain my current weight. Drink green tea everyday lol

Tea Making Classes

If you guys are interested to learn how to properly brew your own tea, you can do so by signing up at ILOHA studio as they have various of cooking classes to join.
They have a monthly schedule pinned on their Facebook page, so make sure to check it weekly to see which activity slot suits you best.
It's worth spending weekends attending hands on classes like these because learning a new skill is rather life enriching rather then spending time in a shopping mall :)
Open to people of all ages to learn, so you can sign up together with your family members and friends too.
For schedule and booking please visit: www.facebook.com/iloha.my

More details and updates about Maiko Tea, kindly follow them on their official Malaysian Facebook page: Maiko Tea Malaysia

Also i heard that Maiko tea cafe will be coming soon near future inside ILOHA cafe, can't wait for it and soon you'll see me there often as well lol. When there is a good tea, you'll find me.

Can't wait to go back to Kyoto to visit Maiko Tea plantation & their store this coming November!



  1. I first learnt to drink Japanese green tea from my Japanese neighbour who would keep buying for us whenever he goes back to Japan. I never know how to prepare it properly. Need to go to a real tea house to learn! Didn't even know there are different types of Japanese tea!

  2. Nice sharing..i'm enjoyed ur sharing..i hope i can have opportunity to taste pure japanese green tea too..

  3. Interesting, I have been to Kyoto in 2014. Backpacking with my husband.
    We cycle to whole of Kyoto to visit the shrine and in love with the matcha ice cream so much.
    Brought home some green tea too. Was there for two weeks, sakura flowering time.

  4. I love to enjoy hot tea. Interesting post. Nice sharing. I need to have a cup of tea there and hopefully get a chance to learn more about tea

  5. I love green tea, i do sometimes buy those Japanese green tea but i don't think its really pure like this. Hope to try this one day. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Such a good knowledge and I learn it when I was in Japan early March. How tea is make and how we hold and drink the tea. Love Japanese Culture.

  7. I never join this class before! I love how you share your experience through the workshop! Now I know where can I learn tea making in the future =)

  8. this is so interesting experience! i also want to try making tea one day! - Joysofyz

  9. Love this post so much! Never knew you could eat tea leaves till now lol

  10. aww this is interesting. I wish to have a try too

  11. Lovely tea and u always look so good Arisa


  12. I always find the Japanese way of making tea especially Matcha just super fascinating...and have had the chance to see it once live... would love for another one...

  13. I love Japanese tea too. Out of so many types of tea that you mentioned, i think the Shiawasecha attracts my interest. I want to try that.

  14. Japanese teas have a marine quality to them. I love how they feel fresh, but at the same time there's this seaweed note that I can't get enough of.


  15. Wow i never knew that tea can have so much meaning to it. Always loved how the japanese value all the things that we take for granted in life. Would love to give the tea a try


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