Just Put One Piece of Candy into Matcha Tea Latte

essay, May. 2019

IKUMI

On a day-off morning, I always make hot milk in a one-handed pot and put powdered green tea in it to make matcha (green tea) latte.

I don’t like matcha itself, but somehow, it becomes my favorite drink once I add milk. I always appreciate those who invented matcha latte.

I really like sweets with lots of sugar, and friends of mine say I have a “childish taste,” but for matcha latte, I never add sugar.

Instead, I add a crushed milk candy to matcha latte after I pour it into a cup. While mixing it, the milk candy melts, making sweet matcha latte.

Once I take a sip, a small piece of the candy gently touches my tongue. After tasting it slowly, I bite it with my back teeth.

I first learned the idea of putting candy into drinks when I attended “Shichi-Go-San” at the age of three.

Shichi-Go-San is a traditional Japanese ceremony for children who are three, five, and seven years old to celebrate their growth. (It literally means “753”.)

Usually, they wear a kimono and go to shrines with their families. Girls celebrate at three and seven, and boys at five.

At the shrine, I got candy called Chitose-ame. When I pulled it out of the bag, I was surprised that it was very long.

It was for children to live “long,” but it was too much for me and I told my mom that I wouldn’t eat it all. Then, my mom told me, “you can eat little by little this way.”

After we went home, she crushed candy with the handle of a kitchen knife and put it in warm milk.

Since then, putting candy in drinks became my habit.

It was also at Shichi-Go-San when I first put on makeup.

When I was seven, at the second Shichi-Go-San, I wore a more adult-like kimono. Accordingly, my mom made my hair and the neighborhood lady put makeup on me; she patted a white powder and put lipstick on me.

After she finished, she, who always told me “so cute,” saw me and said, “you look very beautiful.”

I looked at myself in the mirror and felt awkward upon seeing my make-up face.

But gradually, my eyes got caught into my red lips and I was excited. I tried to stop myself from touching my lips the whole time we were visiting a shrine.

It was also the first time when I understood consciously that there were “stairs” between kids and adults. And on that day, I surely climbed one step up.

I put the matcha latte cup on the mirror stand and started my makeup. After I became an adult, makeup became my morning routine and I had no excitement about it.

However, today, I noticed that I became better at putting on eyeliner than when I was a student. Still now, I might climb up the stairs to an adult.

The macha latte reminded me of Shichi-Go-San. So, I put my hand on the drawer of the dressing table to take out the red lipstick.

I’d never really wear it because I’d thought it wouldn’t fit me, but it was time to try it on.

I put the red lipstick on my lips and left the mirror stand to make the second matcha latte.

You can enjoy matcha tea latte at cafes like Starbucks or Tully’s Cofee throughout Japan!

written by

IKUMI

Born in 1995, Aichi prefecture. Study at Nanzan university. Work as an illustrator and writer. Love Japanese sweets and climbing up mountains.

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