One strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.
Tea & Wagashi (Japanese sweets)
Sakura-mochi (by Amy Nakazawa)
sakura-mochi, is a pink-coloured rice cake with an anko (sweet red bean paste) filling; the whole thing is wrapped in a preserved cherry leaf. The leaf is salty, so some people remove it before eating. Better to leave it on- the contrast of the sweet anko and salty cherry leaf is nice.
There are two kinds of sakura-mochi- Kansai (Osaka and Western Japan) style, with the anko covered in glutinous rice, and Kanto (Tokyo and Eastern Japan) style, with the glutinous rice formed into a thin crepe and rolled around the anko. The one shown above is a variation on the latter, with a preserved cherry blossom on top.
Sakura-mochi, like most Japanese sweets, is best served with green tea, especially matcha. Matcha is powdered green tea, whisked into a bitter and frothy drink. Usually just enough for a few sips is served, in a large and beautiful bowl.
Source: Flickr / bluelotus