Your name: Cathy Ana Reyes
Where are you based: Wazuka, Japan
What do you do: I am currently living in Japan, discovering more about Japanese Tea after interning 6 months at Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. I have hosted small group workshops in my friend’s new shop in Kyoto. We collaborate together with her washi paper workshops and my introduction of matcha tea ceremony. I am also a student who is learning Senchado- a rare tea ceremony that revolves around sencha.
Please briefly introduce yourself. What is your story with tea?
Three years ago, while I was living in Berlin, Germany. I came across a tea shop called “Paper & Tea”, where they had loose leaf tea and a teaist shared a cup of tea with me. I became very intrigued in wanting to learn more about tea. I started to go to tea shops in NYC, Barcelona, and Berlin.
Why did you want to get involved with GJTea?
After my tea internship in Japan, I wanted to remain in touch with Japanese tea community and I was really excited for the opportunity to come back to Japan with helping GJTea with translations and projects.
In collaboration with GJTea what has been your role so far?
I am a Spanish translator for articles for the website. I also helped assist in the Japanese Tea Master Course in July and will be helping out in the next one in September. I’m very excited to continue working on other projects with GJTea.
What is your favourite way to make tea?
My favorite way to make tea is with my teaware that I picked up in some tea shops I traveled in Europe or home and when I share a cup with someone and have a chat and enjoy tea together.
When did you start liking tea?
When I started to become really interested in tea was when my friend from Germany would send me tea she enjoyed back in 2014. The teas were herbal yet my friend made them for me to enjoy at home and it wasn’t until I tried loosen leaves teas in 2016, that I started to become interested in tea in different parts of the world.
How did you discover Japanese tea?
My first Japanese tea was matcha, as I was really interested in making it in the traditional way with the chawan and chasen. I remember I went to Ippodo and bought all the teaware and utensils. I guided myself with making matcha and learning how to make foam was really rewarding. It was a part of my morning ritual.
Where do you look for Japanese tea?
Since I live in Japan right now, I have access to a lot of tea shops around me. While back home, I would go to NYC with my tea friends to discover new tea shops in West Village as they started to open more shops these last few years.
What do you think is the future of Japanese tea in your country?
In Mexico City, I learned from a few tea friends that are working in introducing matcha and other teas to their workplace in cafes. People who live in the cities tend to know a bit more about the popular drink of matcha, and I think there is a bright future with Japanese Tea in cold drinks and educational tea workshops would be the ideal of bringing together other people who are curious about tea.
What are your tea-related dreams for the future?
I would like to host tea workshops back in Mexico and USA and travel back and forth from Japan with bringing more Japanese tea from different tea regions. I would like to open my own tea shop someday in Mexico.
Your message to fellow tea enthusiasts:
Please keep spreading the love of tea around the world!
Thank you Cathy!!