NEW TEA LAB # 003 Takatsugu Yamashita TAKATSUGU YAMASHITA / Minimal -Bean to Bar Chocolate / Tomigaya

[THEME] Chocolate x Japanese tea

Tea leaf shop pursuing the potential of Japanese tea [GEN GEN AN illusion]
Tea experiment discussion with professionals of various genres gathering around it " NEW TEA LAB ".
This time, the third time, we talked about a chocolate brand with its head office in Tomigaya. Minimal -Bean to Bar Chocolate- This is Takatsugu Yamashita.
Chocolate to be released on February 2, 2021 " New Green Tea Chocolate ". We asked him about the background and thoughts behind the birth of this chocolate, which was developed with the theme of "green tea" to eat.

"I felt like I was resonating right after I met him."

The encounter between Mr. Yamashita of Minimal and Maruwaka, the representative of EN TEA, was GEN GEN AN. Mr. Yamashita who came to GEN GEN AN just after opening at the invitation of a common acquaintance. That was my first meeting with Maruwaka. "At first, the world of" chocolate "and the world of" Japanese tea "were different from each other. At least I didn't know" chocolate "well. However, after meeting at GEN GEN AN, while listening to the story, I felt that the category was different, but what I wanted to do was very close to what I was aiming for and the idea. " Waka looks back on his initial encounter. Each other had an antithesis to the current state of tea and chocolate. It is said that the distance was shortened at once because of the common point. While making something that seems to sell is considered "good", Maruwaka has a desire to simply explore "diversity of tea" and a desire to try in the genre of "enjoying chocolate". Born in Japan, the project to develop "tea chocolate" started in the form of inviting Mr. Yamashita.

The process for commercialization is mutual "language exchange"

"The elements of cacao and tea are originally close to each other. Astringency, sweetness, bitterness, acidity, saltiness, bluishness, and umami. We are the elements, and EN TEA is EN TEA. We make each other while having majors. In other words, we found that they have different languages. It is because we have had two years of deep understanding of those languages and mutual communication that we can call them products properly. I feel that I was able to put it into shape. "

This project started without setting a goal as a business and without deciding the time. Enjoying the process of chemistry with mutual trust and excitement. Mr. Yamashita says that although it is not a very common business, he thought that the initiative was "smart".

See the future 100 years from now

Even if it is a challenge now, it will become a culture if it continues for 100 years.
To create a new culture
I'm making Minimal chocolate.

This is the opening theory of Vision that Minimal advocates.

Enjoying the unstable state and thinking about what can be left from the present to the future. It is said that this process was to reconcile the aesthetic sense. It also led to confidence that I could and could do what I wouldn't normally do. "Mind is important," says Yamashita.

"In the case of chocolate, the element of" sweetness "is large and the initial impact is strong. However, we are also particular about the change in taste after that. With Mr. Matsuo, the tea master of EN TEA, the tea In the case, it is more delicate. From the first impact to the tail, there is a depth and story of the time axis, and the tea leaves made by Mr. Matsuo are condensed with something like "instantaneous art". I wanted to value the values. "
Maruwaka says. "Tea is like an ink painting or a manga. It is a black-and-white and shaded production. In comparison, chocolate is an oil painting. This collaboration is different from drawing an ink painting in an oil painting style or an oil painting in a ink painting style. We aimed to create a genre. ”It may be a proposal for new value from the present age of the 21st century to the future, transcending existing frameworks and concepts.

Engrave the depth and fragility of tea on chocolate

"This time it was completed" New Green Tea Chocolate The "sweetness" and "umami" in the middle of "" come from the tea leaves. As you can see when you eat it, the swelling of the taste is wonderful. It changes and becomes bluish and astringent. Because of the tea leaves that Mr. Matsuo made, we were able to reduce sugar and milk and bring out its deliciousness. "
It is said that some of the prototypes during the development period, which lasted about two years, were made in the direction of strengthening the characteristics of both chocolate and tea leaves. So to speak, it is an "addition" style tea chocolate. "In fact, I made something delicious, but I felt that it was too strong," recalls Mr. Yamashita. The decisive factor for this finished product was the degree of understanding of "EN TEA tea" that deepened because it took a long time. It is said that it was completed because they gained a deep understanding through mutual language exchange and realized that they were able to "print" the depth and fragility of chocolate.

“A distinction from so-called tea chocolate” New Green Tea Chocolate
It will be on sale for a limited time and in a limited quantity, but it seems that the experiments between tea and chocolate will continue.

Minimal -Bean to Bar Chocolate (Minimal) x GEN GEN AN Phantom
" New Green Tea Chocolate "
Released on February 2, 2021

Edit & Text: Kana Takeyama ( PARK 365 )