About me

I am fascinated by tea, especially Japanese tea, and though I am French, I have been living in Japan since 2005.
In 2009 I became the first French person to obtain the title of Japanese Tea Instructor (日本茶インストラクター).
Most people are still unaware of the depth and diversity of Japanese tea, so in order to provide reliable, accurate information, I began publishing a blog in French called “Sommelier en Thé Japonais,” in other words, “Japanese Tea Sommelier.” At the same time I was hired as a salesman in a Maruyama-en specialty boutique.
In 2010, a much more exciting adventure began: the online Thés du Japon (Teas-of-Japan) boutique was launched and I was placed in charge of choosing the teas for it. While I select great classic teas for the boutique, I also try to introduce unusual Japanese teas, made from rare cultivars and processed using uncommon methods.
Finally, to spread information on Japanese tea more broadly, I am launching this blog in English today.
It will contain reports, reviews, historical articles and more general information on types of tea, manufacturing processes, etc. Many of the entries are articles from the French blog that have been translated by Mary Baker.
I hope you will enjoy reading them!

Florent

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28 replies

  1. Very interesting. I am just learning about tea. I’ve always enjoyed, but never thought about the cultivation of possibly becoming a sommelier. How did this become your passion?

    • Thank for reading my blog. This passion came step by step, drinking excellent tea (or what i found excellent at this time) i wanted to know more and more, i met passionated great pro, and then and then i went to pass the Japanses Tea instructor exam…

  2. May I quote you on my blog? I am creating a new page on my interviews with tea sommeliers.

  3. Yes, of course, you can quote this blog, but I will be very glad if you could add a link also. For you reference, this blog is a partial translation of the original blog inn French, http://sommelier-the-japonais.blogspot.com.

  4. thank you for your replies, I look forward to inquiring more about your journey. I will happily add a link to my site.

  5. What is your favorite tea to drink? Is it at a certain time of the day? Do you enjoy other teas as well? do you admire any other tea sommelier?

  6. Wow! Really nice blog. I shall visit it more often. 本当にありがとうございました。

  7. Wonderful!!! i’m an argentinian tea sommelier and live in Italy, Florence…
    I’m so happy to find you!!! if i go to japan i will keep in touch and if you come the same!
    Good tea and don’t stop to share your knowledge with us!
    Thank you so much

    Marcela

  8. Marcela, do you have a website too?

  9. Dear Florent!
    This is the most awesome site about tea yet!! congrats!!…I would like to ask, do you recommend any schools, institutions, or place to take classes (preferably online) in order to become a tea sommelier and master evrything about tea…It will be a great help!

    Thanks in advace Pablo

  10. Dear Florent,

    I hope my question here is not misplaced. I really would appreciate your thoughts and knowledge about the following case. I am in love with Japan since was a little boy. I have already been there in 2009. Since quite a long time now I drink Sencha daily in quite a big amount. I am lucky that there is a real japanese teahouse in my city but the range of sencha variations are limited.

    So I tried some new brands from japan and bought them online. So it came up that we where discussing a topic on a tea forum about radiation and tea etc. Until that day I didn’t know that Shizuoka was also affected. I thought it was faraway enough to be safe.

    So I checked my newly ordered teas and I noticed that one of them is this one here:

    Sencha Tamakawa (Shizuoka, Honyama) it was harvested in Spring 2012

    So now my question. Do I need to worry drinking it? It was quite an expansive one and would be a pity to throw it away. But if it is safer. So I know you a have a big knowledge about the japanese tea, its regions and farmers etc. So what is you opinion?

    Thank you very much for your time and sorry if this question is a pain. I know a lot of people are asking such things since 2011.

    Best regards

    Philipp

  11. Dear Florent,

    Love your weblog and would love to make a Japanese tea connection and request to contact me to exchange information and permission to re-post or guest post.

    Best regards,

    RongHua

  12. Fascinating information, especially for those of us unable to visit Japan. I really like your comparisons of Tokoname and Banko teapots, of which I have many. Great photos as well. Many thanks.

    Gerry

  13. Yes, it’s like I’m stuck in some 19th century japonisme time warp, collecting these antique teapots. I watch a lot of old Japanese movies too, just to observe the tea ware and how it was used! I drink a lot of sencha but also own some chawans and drink matcha occasionally. Do you have any opinion about contamination from Fukushima? I see quite a bit of discussion on the Internet.

    Best regards,

    Gerry

  14. Collecting antique pots should be very exiting, but it’s also very important to support modern potters and artists. Most of them actually do not have successors …..

    Fukushima ? its been years it’s over regarding tea. A lot of people, very far from Japan, without any knowledge, says a lot of things, politically oriented things by the way, it’s so sad and so pathetic when here in Japan there are real people who suffer or suffered for real problems due to this accident.

  15. I am so happy I found this blog. One of the interesting things about tea is that it requires participation in a conscious way. There is so much engagement in a cup of tea. It is history, and traditions, it is new, it is ancient, it is reverence and war. Almost never can one just sit and have a cup of tea without thinking about it. I find Japanese tea to be exquisite, although I also appreciate tea from other countries. It is a joyful creation, and in some small way, by drinking tea, I am part of a celebration.

    • Thank you very much for your comment.
      Tea, like wine, is an agricultural product and a process product. The technical knowledge and talent necessary in order to produce an authentic good tea are very important. Plantation management, picking, leaves storage before processing, steaming (in the case of steamed green tea like almost Japanese teas), malaxing, drying, then, the finishing phase with sorting and firing. No good tea with bad raw materials, but in the same way, a bad processing can ruin the best raw material.
      Then, in order to take the better of excellent tea, one needs to brew it a best as possible. Despite of brewing methods, the accessories are another factor, which is another so interesting world !

  16. Hello!

    I am currently enrolled in the tea sommelier program that is offered by the Tea Association of Canada. I am also very interested in Japan and one day moving there, how difficult was it to obtain a job?

    I too wish to work in the tea field one day however I’m not sure how easy it is to make this dream a reality.

    Thanks!

    • Dear Noah,
      Thank you for your comment.
      It is not easy to find a job in Japan for a foreigner. If your a native English speaker, you ‘ll have some facilities, but that don’t mean you’ll find a good job.
      It’s really important to have a good level in Japanese (speaking, reading and writing), a must condition to work in the tea field.
      Best regards
      FLorent

  17. Hello, Florent. Sorry I haven’t spoken in a while. Am making progress on my book on Banko Yaki and was wondering if you would allow me to quote from your website/blog. Will give appropriate citations. Please advise. Thanks,

    Gerry Sloan

  18. Many thanks, Florent. I will keep you informed.

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