In places like the United Kingdom and to a lesser extent here in the United States green tea is still something of a newcomer, although it’s gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. In Japan, the equation is flipped. While black tea and other varieties are not completely unknown there, the Japanese are best known for growing and consuming one kind of tea – and that would be green.

Japanese teas (ETS image)

Japanese teas (ETS image)

So perhaps it’s not surprising that The World Green Tea Association makes its headquarters in Japan. At their home in virtual space, which thankfully has an English version, they describe themselves, in part, as, “an organization established by the government of Shizuoka Prefecture to further the development of green tea production, culture, and understanding through the spread of green tea’s traditions and knowledge of its healthful and commercial properties.” The Shizuoka Prefecture region, as they remark, is Japan’s top producer and distributor of green tea.

One of the events the group sponsors is the World O-CHA (Tea) Festival. The spring festival was held in May 2013 and the fall festival in November and was the fifth such event. Presumably there will be more. Among the events that made up the festival were a green tea contest, a trade fair, and tea industry and culture exchange tours to various points throughout the region. Find out more about past and future events here.

While trade organizations often tend to be geared more toward members of the industry they serve, The World Green Tea Association’s web site is worth a look even if you’re a more casual observer. I made a quick skim through the site and found a variety of articles on various aspects of tea. Some are rather basic, such as cooking with tea or making desserts using tea. Others are kind of off the wall, including brief primers on using tea trees to make a fence, doing bonsai with tea trees and cooking with tea leaves that have already been used to make tea. All that and much more is located right here.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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