Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Consume: Hojo premium tea from Japan.

I suppose living in these fast moving times, it's hard to spare some moments to relish in life's little enjoyment. That was precisely the reason that held me back from splurging on a hand made glazed clay mug and some fine tea to go with it. Uh, hang on, tea? I'm a coffee-on-the-go person! Who has time for clay infused tea these days!? Which I guess, that's exactly my point for the need to splurge. Not because of the OTT shopaholic syndrome of Sophie Kinsella but simply because sometimes, we do need to slow down a little and imbue ourselves with a little extra knowledge of whatever that we have oh so taken for granted. Like drinking tea.

Hojo is a premium Japanese tea shop that sells tea and everything that goes with it. I've had a go at the Gyokuro which was coronated as the royal blend of Japanese Green Tea. And I've been enlightened by the very hospitable 'maitre tea' on the significant difference between infusing tea in glass teapot versus a clay one. The latter truly does bring more volume to the taste. The flavour is wrapped by the clay hence mellowing the sharp tones that may attack your taste buds rather harshly at first sip from a glass teapot. This explains why tea afficinados would invest in various types of clay to experiment with the different types of smoothness in flavour to create an unlimited combination of aroma.

In Hojo, every tea and every clay product comes with a fascinating story. How it's produced, by who, when, at which part of the world and why. It makes you care more about what you are purchasing and more importantly consuming. Hojo takes the name of its Japanese founder who also spends a lot of time in the shop and I must say, the staff must have gone through superb product knowledge training. They know what they are selling and most importantly are glad to impart knowledge with no obligations. It makes the entire consumer experience so... enlightening and enjoyable. At the end of my visit, I was burping with green tea, black tea, tea from glass, tea from clay and decided to take more time to decide if I should purchase something which I'd hardly use. But still, she was remarkably amicable, now that's a product of Japan - craft knowledge and customer service.

So, if you ever need to slow down a little in life. Take time off and pick up a new hobby, or learn to enjoy a different perspective of your day-to-day coffee tea experience. Hojo is next to the escalator, near Borders in Gardens. For entree, surf site.

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