Mottainai as a term has been adopted by Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winning environmental and political activist as a concept of living responsibly and with respect for our only home, this small, blue planet, placing a focus on frugality and conservation.
Mottainai is often heard today as a succinct reminder to not let anything useful go to waste. Yamanien lives with the spirit of Mottainai in all of our affairs, from the recycling of discarded portions of our Tea bushes into mulch and soils and more importantly for our customers, introducing traditional and creative ideas on how to enjoy the infused tea leaves in your kyusu, or tea pot.
For centuries, green tea growers have used these leaves in their everyday cooking. Perhaps the simplest and most savory preparation is to dress the infused tea leaves with a light sprinkling of Katsuobushi, succulent flakes of dried Skipjack tuna, and top with Japanese Ponzu, delicious mixture of savory soy sauce, sweet sake, mirin, and a selection of Japanese citrus fruit such as yuzu, daidai, kabosu, or sudachi.
Of course, this idea is perfectly suited to all of our Sencha varieties, but Kumonoseki is my personal favorite as it retains its beautiful appearance, even after a third infusion, and has the most delicate and appetite stimulating flavor.
As this recipe has its roots in the humble tea rooms and estates of rural Japan, you are not likely to ever find it on the menu of even the finest Japanese restaurants.
Truly a gourmet item for you to enjoy in your own home.