While most of Japanese teas are known and drank all across the country, there are several regional teas that are only known in a specific region. Botebotecha is one of them.
Botebotecha comes from Matsue in Shimane prefecture. Rather than referring to the dry tea leaves it refers to the way of preparing and drinking the tea.
Botebotecha is made by brewing Bancha leaves and whisking the brew with a long bamboo whisk until white foam forms on the surface of the bowl. It is said that dry tea flowers, that have some sopamine, are mixed with Bancha, and that is why the tea can become so foamy.
After the tea is whisked, a small amount of seven different ingredients is added to the bowl. It is common to add rice, black beans, pickles, tofu skin, etc. By doing this Botebotecha serves as both a drink and a light meal. The story has it the one of Matsue rulers and an esteemed tea master Fumai Matsudaira shared the Botebotecha making method with the people to fight hunger during famine years.
The taste of this tea is lightly bitter and additional ingredients add some savory notes to it. It may not be an everyday tea for everyone, especially those used sweeter teas, but it seems that people from Matsue and surrounding areas gladly drink it even nowadays and the regional tradition continues forward.