Kukicha Extra

The writing of this post is intentionally flowery and poetic to illustrate a point. Feel free to skip this one if you start feeling impatient. ;)

On rare occasions I find the time to attend the UM Center for Japanese Studies noon lecture series and pretend for a moment I’m still a student of Japanese language and culture. Today’s talk was on the evolution of machine translation and its use in language learning classroom environments. Meeting up at the lecture by coincidence with one of my Asia Library cohorts, Kitsune-san, I even had the chance to ply my painfully rusting Japanese conversational skills. <- This very sentence demonstrates the complexity of English and exactly the kind of pronoun antecedent directional agreement requirements that easily break down when dumped into machine translation for Japanese. Rendered using Google Translation, one of the stronger tools we currently have to freely leverage, i was given the translation: “私のアジア図書館コホートの1、狐さんとの一致による講演会を見上げミーティングルーム、私も私の痛いほど錆び日本語会話スキルをプライする機会があった。” If you can read Japanese, try reading this “sentence” aloud. :)

And really what’s more Japanese than Kukicha? A brown twig that one can brew into Green tea with a highly antioxidant, crisp roasted flavor. Sublime. Not to be underdone, even Kukicha are wildly diverse. Kukicha Extra, which I somehow managed to find buried among fifty other teas in the bulk section of my local grocer is a vibrant green, seaweed-like textured straw of a beverage. It also smells sweeter and more chloroplastic than any Kukicha I’ve yet enjoyed… well, that is to say, any that I’ve personally brewed. I want to say Keiko-sensei at Cafe Japon had a similar Kukicha. I really should have taken a photo or three of her menu back in the day. In taste, Kukicha Extra is a first-flush fine lustreful Green with a tangy texture and a almost-too-bitter-to-drink taste that kind of feels like a cross between Wuyi and stale nori (which, for all i know might be precisely what it is… though I very much doubt it). As paradoxical as it is, sometimes the finer a tea is produced, the duller it will brew out and the less it will resemble the rest of that same plant’s harvest.  Japan makes some of the most flavorful and exotic teas, and it sometimes chokes me up in awe that we can sample so many species of such rich complexity on the other side of the world for merely a few cents a cup.  (btw a Google translation for that sentence is “日本は最も風味豊かな、エキゾチックなお茶のいくつかを作り、それは時々我々は単に数セントカップのために世界の反対側にそのような豊かな複雑さのように多くの種をサンプリングできることを畏敬の念を抱いて私をチョーク。” which probably cannot be read without a dictionary and a vivid imagination)

<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-sa/4.0/88x31.png" /></a><br /><span xmlns:dct="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" href="http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/StillImage" property="dct:title" rel="dct:type">Kukicha Extra ~ desk bag</span> by <a xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" href="http://parting.gifts" property="cc:attributionName" rel="cc:attributionURL">Jocilyn Mors</a> is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License</a>.
Creative Commons License
Kukicha Extra ~ desk bag by Jocilyn Mors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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