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In 805, Saicho returned to his Japanese homeland from a lengthy Buddhist retreat in Tang China. With him he brought, not only, the knowledge of a strange and exotic drink that the Chinese monks would use to prolong and enhance their lengthy meditation sessions but also the source of this mysterious drink - tea seeds.
Armed with this key meditational aid, Saicho founded the Tendai school of Buddhism. It was 5 long years from Saicho planting the first tea seeds in Japanese soil until the tea trees were ready to pluck but it was worth the wait! The Emperor Saga, on a visit to Saicho’s Sofukufi temple had one taste and loved it so much he immediately ordered tea trees to be planted in provinces all over Japan. From there the enthusiasm for tea in Japan exploded and is now considered a core part of Japanese culture.
Designed to be served chilled in a champagne flute, Saicho sparkling teas are the ideal alternative to champagne or prosecco for luxurious, but light lunches, paired with dinners, or as the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea.
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