greenisgood wrote:One thing I'd reccommend if you want to buy a lot of tea would be to learn a few tea words and phrases in Japanese. It's kind of intimidating and embarassing to go to a place like Tsuen where they expect Americans like me to be only looking for matcha ice cream and me not knowing any Japanese...I ended up getting a mid-priced mystery sencha and something I pointed to and asked "karigane?" I'm sure it's all good tea but like the most I could get in English was "more bitter" "more sweet" "very good". It would've been nice to be able to say like "Do you have fukamushi sencha?" or "What's a good beginner gyokuro?"
Maybe we should consider starting (and sticky-ing) a thread for exactly this. It would be handy for anyone going to Japan, and even for some situations here at home.
My Japanese is pretty pitiful, but "Do you have fukamushi sencha" would be "Fukamushi sencha wa arimasu ka?" and I think "What's a good beginner gyokuro" would be something
like "Hajime no oishii gyokuro wa nan desu ka?"
As for the others, my dictionary claims:
"More bitter" - Motto nigai
"More sweet" - Motto amai
"Very good" - Totemo oishii (or, Taihen oishii).
"Oishii" means tasty or delicious. You'll hear (and use) it a lot...
I know that other people here can read/write Japanese better than I can, so I hope they'll correct my mistakes!