The tablets are made of 100-percent tea leaves and feature seven varieties of tea grown near the base of Mt. Fuji.

Shizuoka Prefecture is well-known as one of the top producers of tea in all of Japan. And it’s not just plain tea, but all manner of tea-infused products that you can find there as well–everything from tea soda to matcha paste.

Speaking of novel ways to enjoy tea, at the end of last year a new product came on the market which has now been garnering quite some attention: Kyo no Go-Yo Tea (今日のご予Tea). With a name meaning “Today’s Plan: Tea,” its makers hope that enjoying tea becomes a formal part of your daily plan. The collection lets you experience seven kinds of premium Shizuoka-grown tea in easy tablet form–or, in their own cleverly coined language, “chablet” form (cha is tea). Each variety can also be enjoyed hot or cold to suit your mood.

▼ The Kyo no Go-Yo Tea collection for 2,160 yen (US$16.44)

When we asked our Shizuoka-raised resident Japanese-language reporter Maro how often people from Shizuoka brew tea throughout the day, she responded that lots of people are too busy to brew tea from leaves every single time. Therefore, chablets sounded like a much more convenient way for busy people to drink tea. Each chablet consists of enough leaves in packed, solid form to fill one small teapot. All you’ve got to do is pour hot water over it and wait for it to dissolve. Thinking of the ease of this approach, Maro was surprised that tea in tablet form hasn’t gained more traction in Japan and couldn’t wait to try one for herself.

▼ The box that Maro purchased came with one big pouch of chablets, but boxes with individually wrapped ones are now available at the online store.

▼ While I’ve had other kinds of tablet tea before, these ones distinctly remind me of the color tablets I used to drop in vinegar to dye Easter eggs.

Each of the seven kinds of chablets has its own distinctive marking to let you know which established tea maker it came from.

An explanatory pamphlet is also provided with details about each maker, the tea itself, and tips for enjoying it.

Maro decided to start by making the tea represented on the very bottom right in the above pamphlet–a variety called “Asagiri Kougei Cha” from maker Yamaichi Fujien. She poured some hot water over the chablet.

After about 70 seconds it had fully dissolved. She now understood why these chablets were considered premium. Unlike food that’s been freeze-dried, there is no solidified liquid or coagulant additives in the chablet. It’s just pure, 100-percent tea leaves and appears just like freshly brewed tea inside of a teapot.

Even the sweet fragrance wafting up to her nose and when she took a sip was different from an average tea. She wished she had thought to purchase some little sweets to go along with her drink–they would pair very well.

Next she decided to try the variety known as “Scarlet Summer” from maker Fuji Marumo Tea Garden, in a cold brew. She marveled as the chablet slowly dissolved to reveal a few rose petals and lavender floating up to the surface as well. This one was definitely an atypical variety that added something a little different to the mix.

The aftertaste of Scarlet Summer was quite clear. She felt that it would be a very refreshing way to start her day by drinking a glass of this every morning.

Overall, perhaps the most impressive feature of the chablets was that Maro could easily taste the difference in flavors between the different tea makers. After only drinking bottled teas from the convenience store for a period of time, the difference in quality was even more abundantly clear. She gives the Kyo no Go-Yo Tea collection a solid five out of five stars.

Next, if the chablets really take off, who’s to say that Shizuoka won’t start making tablets of that other green thing that the prefecture’s famous for? We’d definitely treat that one a little more cautiously.

Reference: Kyo no Go-Yo Tea
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