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Author: Alex

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This is a podcast to chronicle my journey into the world of sake and other Japanese drinks, food, culture and history. While I have a sake qualification (International Kikisake-shi), I still consider myself as a novice in the sake world. I have plenty to learn about the drink and I want to share this experience with my listeners through personal accounts, interesting facts about sake and interviews with sake experts.
24 Episodes
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In the final episode of Season 2, I am talking to Andy Travers, the founder of London Sake, an online sake shop, and Sugidama Podcast's sponsor. We covered quite a lot of topics from the London Sake story, to the Olympics, bottle labels and managed to taste and discussed three excellent sake during our conversation. London Sake is an excellent online sake store and has one of the widest premium and craft sake selections available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Andy's sake journeyLondon Sake storyDassai 45Nanbu Bijin Tokubetsu JunmaiSake bottle labelsWill the Tokyo Olympics boost sake sales outside Japan?London Sake customersShirakabegura Junmai DaiginjoThe art of selecting sakeLooking aheadSake of the episode: Shichiken Junmai DaiginjoKampai!Sake mentioned:Dassai 45 Junmai DaiginjoAsahi ShuzoLondon SakeNanbu Bijin Tokubetsu JunmaiNanbu Bijin BreweryLondon SakeShirakabegura Junmai DaiginjoShirakabegura BreweryLondon SakeShichiken Junmai DaiginjoShichiken  Sake BreweryLondon SakeSugidama Podcast on Podchaser - please review if you don't use Apple PodcastsMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
The fourth episode in the short Sake Focus series is about ginjo, premium and super-premium sake made from highly polished rice. The name comes from two Chinese characters and could be translated as "crafted or carefully brewing".  But there's much more in ginjo than just a high milling ratio.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:What is ginjo and its historyHow ginjo sake brewing is different from less polished sakeSkills, process, and ingredientsGrades and types of ginjo sakeWhen ginjo is not ginjo but tokubetsuHow to drink ginjo: temperature, food etc.Sake of the episode: Kanpai London Kaze Junmai GinjoKampai!Sake mentioned:Kanpai London Kaze Junmai GinjoKanpai London Sake BrewerySuper-flat Rice PolishingSugidama Blog: 5 Sake to drink in Summer 2021Sugidama Podcast on Podchaser - please review if you don't use Apple PodcastsMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
The third episode in the short Sake Focus series is about namazake, unpasteurised sake which is known for its unruly wild and lively character. Nama can be translated from Japanese as live, raw, fresh, or even natural. And it's all true about namazake. Listen to the episode to find out about different types of namazake including famous autumn sake called hiyaoroshi. Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:What is namazakeTypes of namazake: namazake, namachozo, namazumeAutumn sake: Hiyaoroshi and Aki-AgariOther types of nama and not: Shiboritate, Kassei Seishu, ShinshuNama Genshu and Nama Genshu MurokaNamazake Character: aroma, taste, food pairingNamazake storage, how to buySake of the episode: Kikusui Funaguchi Nama Genshu HonjozoKampai!Sake mentioned:Kikusui Funaguchi Nama Genshu HonjozoKikusui Sake BreweryLondon SakeSugidama Blog: One cup to rule them all: 5 single-serving sake to trySugidama Podcast on Podchaser - please review if you don't use Apple PodcastsMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
The second episode in the short Sake Focus series is about nigori, which takes its origin from the ancient sacred drink called doburoku. Doburoku is the oldest method of sake brewing which survived more than a thousand years of history and is still around nowadays. Nigori is cloudy sake, where rice and yeast particles from fermentation left in the final product. Sometimes it’s called unfiltered sake, but it’s not correct. Listen to the episode to find out why. Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:What is nigoriDoburoku: the origin of nigorizakeThe emergence of seishuReturn of nigoriTypes of nigoriNigori: taste and food pairingSake of the episode: Kamoizumi Summer Snow GinjoKampai!Sake mentioned:Kamoizumi Summer Snow GinjoKamoizumi Sake Brewery (no product information available)SorakamiSugidama Podcast on Podchaser - please review if you don't use Apple PodcastsMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
Recently, I have spoken to one of my listeners, who praised this podcast for its wonderful content. “But you know”, he said. “Sake is a completely new thing for me and I feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information you put in each episode. Why don’t you make them a bit easier to digest?” And he’s absolutely right. So I decided to do a series of episodes focusing on one particular topic, I have mentioned before. And this time it's junmai/honjozo.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:What is junmaiHistory of adding alcohol to sakeJunmai is backHow to drink junmai (aroma, taste & food pairing)How to drink honjozo (aroma, taste & food pairing)Is junmai better than non-junmai?Sake of the episode Double bill: Urakasumi Honjozo and Urakasumi JunmaiKampai!Sake mentioned:Urakasumi Honjikomi HonjozoUrakasumi Sake BreweryLondon SakeUrakasumi Misty Bay JunmaiUrakasumi Sake BreweryLondon SakeMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
The conclusion of the Sake Ingredients mini-series with an interview with Andrew Russell about sake yeast, which he calls an unsung hero of sake brewing. Andrew moved to Japan from Scotland to pursue his interest in what he described as “a fascinating and multifaceted country” and fulfil his dream of becoming a sake brewer. He started working as kurabito, a sake brewery worker, first at a small brewery on the outskirts of Okayama prefecture and then at iconic Imada Shuzo, a sake brewery located in Hitroshima prefecture.Imada Shuzo is famous not only for its amazing sake Imada Fukucho, but also for its toji, Miho Imada, who has been recently named one of the 100 most influential women by BBC.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Andrew Russell: introduction and 3 memorable sakeKurabito's LifeRole of sake yeast in sake brewingIs sake yeast different from other yeasts?History of sake yeastHow yeast affects sakePopular and interesting sake yeastsFoamless yeastFuture development of sake yeastSake of the episode: Tamagawa 'Red Label' Yamahai Genshu JunmaiKampai!Sake mentioned:Tamagawa 'Red Label' Yamahai Genshu JunmaiKinoshita Sake BreweryLondon SakeAndrew RussellOrigin SakeImada Shuzo HontenImada Sake BreweryMiho ImadaMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
On a nice April morning, I've got a call from Rie Yoshitake, whom I know from numerous sake events.  "Alex, would you like to be a sake judge at IWC", she asked out of the blue. "Yes!", I replied without any hesitation. It was my dream for the last couple of years and now it's been fulfilled! Yay!In this episode, I am talking about the IWC (International Wine Challenge), how the judging happens, my personal experience and my takeaways from three days of intensive judging.  Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:What is IWC (International Wine Challenge)How I got into IWC judgingWhat is the IWC judging processMy personal judging experienceWhat I learnt during the IWC SakeMy sake discoveriesA little Q&ASake of the episode: Suigei Junmai Ginjo GinreiKampai!Sake mentioned:Suigei Junmai Ginjo GinreiSuigei Sake BreweryLondon SakeMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
A great interview about sake, cooking, mirin and other things with Kinu Yukawa. She is a Japanese chef and cookery teacher from Kobe, Japan, currently based in London. She ventured into the world of food early in life and fostered the basics of cooking from her grandmother. Later she trained in French cuisine at Ecole Ritz Escoffier Paris and traditional Japanese cuisine in Kyoto.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Kinu Yukawa: introduction and the sake connectionSake in Japanese cookingIrisakeCooking vs Normal SakeMirinSake and food pairingSake of the episode: Kasumitsuru Kimoto JunmaiKampai!Sake mentioned:Kasumitsuru Kimoto JunmaiKasumitsuru Sake BreweryLondon SakeKinu YukawaDeliciously JapaneseMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
Koji is a magical ingredient of sake. A tiny microorganism that turns starch into sugar and makes it possible to make this beautiful drink. It's a national benevolent mould of Japan, which appeared in the country more than a thousand years ago and responsible for a large part of Japanese cuisine.And to talk about koji I invited Akemi Yokoyama, who is a chef, cookery teacher, specialising in Japanese cuisine and a koji specialist, who knows so much about this beautiful creature, which she compared to a baby sea lion in this incredible interview! Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Akemi Yokoyama: introduction and the sake connectionWhat is koji: history and the importance in Japanese cuisineThe role of koji in sake making: types of koji, how it used and how koji affects sake tasteWhat is amazake and how to make itKoji and breadmakingWHy koji is so fascinating and where to learn more about itSake of the episode: Kuzuryu Daiginjo ‘Silk Dragon’Kampai!Sake mentioned:Kuzuryu Daiginjo ‘Silk Dragon’Kokuryu Sake BreweryNatural Natural Online StoreAkemi YokoyamaGohanBooks about kojiKoji for Life (Gohan website) The Noma Guide to Fermentation (Amazon UK)Koji Alchemy (Amazon UK)Music used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
Rice is the essence of sake. It’s the source of alcohol and it gives sake its flavour, aroma, texture and character. It’s like grape to wine but slightly different. But rice is not the most suitable ingredient for an alcoholic beverage for one obvious reason: it does not have much sugar. But people found a way to turn starch which dominates the rice grain into sugar using koji and to make beautiful sake.In this episode, I am talking about the role of rice in sake making, how sake rice is different from table rice, sake rice varieties including Omachi, Yamada Nishiki, Gohyakumangoku, Miyama Nishiki and some others as well as what is red rice and why organic sake is rare.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Rice: the essence of sakeThe classification of rice varietiesTable rice vs. sake riceSake rice varietiesRed rice and Organic riceSake of the episode: Fukukomachi “Evening Sky” Junmai KarakuchiKampai!Sake mentioned:Fukukomachi “Evening Sky” Junmai KarakuchiKimura ShuzoTengu SakeOrigin SakeOmachi-mai: The Phantom Sake RiceMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
The importance of water is difficult to overestimate. It’s second only to the brewer’s skill and as important as good rice and koji.  But honestly, given good water, a skilful toji can make excellent sake from even table rice. But I am not sure if even a genius of a toji can make a delicious sake from low-quality water. At least there is a quote in the excellent The Japanese Sake Bible by Brian Ashcraft when he asks Akira Tanaka, the director at Kinshi Masamune sake brewery if it’s possible to make good sake without good water: “Nope” he said promptly, “It’s impossible”.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:The importance of good waterWhat water is good?Discovery of MiyamizuSoft or hard water?Gokosui – the ancient soft waterSake of the episode: Hatsumago Densho Kimoto HonjozoKampai!Sake mentioned:Hatsumago Densho Kimoto HonjozoHatsumago Sake BreweryLondon SakeMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
What could be more disappointing than ordering something, waiting for it with excitement and then realising that it’s something you don’t like. It happens quite often unfortunately and buying and ordering sake is not an exception. So in this episode, I would like to give you a few tips on choosing sake and also talk about some parameters you will find on the bottle beside a milling ratio. And my tips of course are based on my own experience.In addition to this episode, you can listen to the interviews I did with Satomi, Oliver, Erika and Natsuki last year (episodes 07, 09, 10 and 11) as they also had great and useful tips.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Tip #1: Ask the staffTip #2: Ginjo and junmai food pairingTip #3: The type of sake will give you a hintTip #4: Check the priceTip #5: What the numbers on the label meanSake of the episode: Dewazakura Ichiro "Abbey Road" Junmai DaiginjoKampai!Sake mentioned:Dewazakura Ichiro "Abbey Road" Junmai DaiginjoDewazakura Sake BreweryLondon SakeMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
There are plenty of books about wine or whiskey. You go to any bookshop and you can always find something. Unfortunately, there are actually not many English language books available about the beautiful drink of Japanese sake. Definitely more than 5 (I’ve got seven) but still probably fewer than 15. But the five books I am going to talk about are probably the must. Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Books about sake in EnglishThe Sake Handbook by John Gauntner Sake Confidential by John GauntnerThe Book of Sake: A Connoisseur's Guide by Philip HarperThe Japanese Sake Bible by Brian AshcraftThe Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks by Stephen Lyman and Chris BuntingSake of the episode: Kubota Senju (Ginjo) Kampai!Sake mentioned:Kubota Senjyu GinjoAsahi Shuzo Sake Brewing CompanyLondon SakeMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
The origin of sake is covered in mystery. In order to get some clarity, I have spoken to Natsuki Kikuya, who is a certified sake and wine professional, educator and sake sommelier. She’s been a sake judge at the prestigious IWC Sake Category since 2011. In 2013, she launched “Museum of Sake” website, which she calls an intangible museum providing sake education, promoting the craft sake across the UK and Europe, organising sake events and many other exciting things. Coming from a family with sake connections, Natsuki knows a lot about sake: from ancient to the modern days, how sake has evolved during various periods of the Japanese history, how it tasted in the Edo period and when sake renaissance took place. Listen to the interview to find out about that and many other things.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Natsuki's sake storyBirth of Sake Why rice and what is kojiSake milestonesHow sake tasted during the Edo periodEmergence of breweriesSake and cultureSake RenaissanceSake tipSake of the episode: TETOTEKampai!Sake mentioned:TETOTETsuchida Sake BreweryPan-Techni'on  Main WebsiteMuseum of SakeMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
Erika a sake and wine specialist and director of Moto London, a sake bar which opened in London Covent Garden just about a year ago. She is an amazing person and whom I have known for some time through my blog, Instagram and personally. The story of Moto is really fascinating. You can imagine what it means to open a bar and not just a bar but a sake bar three months before the UK went into a complete lockdown for more than 2 months and then again in November. But let’s listen to her story.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Erika's sake storySake and Wine Birth of Moto London: Concept, Name, LocationHighlights and plansMoto's customersImporting sakeA Woman in the Sake WorldSake tipsSake of the episode: Jokigen Junmai Daiginjo Dewasansan 40Kampai!Sake mentioned:Jokigen Junmai Daiginjo Dewasansan 40Moto LondonMoto London  Main WebsiteMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
Oliver Hilton-Johnson is a Sake Specialist and Director of Tengu Sake, a sake imports, wholesale & retail company. Tengu Sake supplies quality Japanese sake and spirits to some of the UK’s finest restaurants and bars and is the recipient of the International Wine Challenge’s ‘Sake Merchant of the Year’ award 2016 - 2019. In November 2019 Oliver was named as one of the ‘Future 50’ drinks industry professionals to watch. Oliver has got a fascinating story about how he went from hating sake to falling in love with it and setting up one of the best and innovative sake importers in the UK. I know Oliver from the Kikisakeshi Sake Specialist Course I took a few years ago where Satomi, whom I interviewed last time, and he were teaching us the art of sake. But you might have met him at one of many sake events in London before the current pandemic. So Oliver is a great guy and in the interview, he is talking about a lot very interesting stuff:  how to drink sake, how to choose it and also provides very good sake tips. Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Oliver's sake storySip or shot? Hot or cold?What food is great with sake?How to deal with the complex sake terminologyHow to buy sake with confidenceHow to store sake properlySake tipsSake of the episode: Tatenokawa Phoenix Junmai DaiginjoKampai!Sake mentioned:Tatenokawa Phoenix Junmai DaiginjoTatenokawa Sake BreweryTengu SakeTengu Sake Main WebsiteMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
The second part of the exciting two-parter about how sake is made. I never stop admiring the skill and craftmanship of sake brewers. They manage to create a beautiful drink from rice and water. In this episode we continue exploring the sake brewing process learning about sandan jikomi, multiple parallel fermentation, pressing and post-production.  Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:Recap from the previous episodeSandan JikomiMultiple Parallel FermentationWhy open tanks?Sake pressingPreparing sake for bottling (post-production)Sake of the episode: London Kanpai Taru Barrel-Aged JunmaiKampai!Sake mentioned:Taru Barrel-Aged JunmaiKanpai LondonLondon SakeEpisode DictionaryMoto/Shubo (酛/酒母) - yeast starterSandan Jikomi (三段仕込) - a three-stage mixing process of sake fermentation mashMoromi (醪) - sake fermentation mashHatsuzoe/soe (初添/添) - Day 1 of Sandan JikomiOdori (踊り) - Day 2 of Sandan Jikomi (resting day)Nakazoe/naka (仲添/仲) - Day 3 of Sandan JikomiTomezoe/Tome (留添/留) - Day 4 of Sandan JikomiFune (槽) - sake pressArabashiri (荒走り) - rough runNakadori/Nakagumi (中取り/中汲み) - mid run in sake pressingSeme (責め) - the final run in sake pressingFukuro-tsuri (袋吊り) -  hanging cotton bagsShizuku-zake (雫酒) - drip sakeTobingakoi (斗瓶囲い) - a special 18-litre sake bottle Sake kasu (酒粕) - sake lees, a by-product of sake pressingOribiki (おり) - rice sedimentRoka ( ろ過) - filteringChozo (貯蔵) - sake maturationChougu (調合) - blendingWarimizu - (割水) - diluting sake with waterMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana 
Satomi Dosseur is a sake professional and educator, a founder of Enshu Limited, which runs a  great and very interesting sake specialist course (Kikisake-shi) in London, which I took a few years ago. Satomi can talk hours about sake and is very good at encouraging people to try it and enjoy. Born and raised in Tokyo, Satomi grew up with a deep understanding and love of Japan’s exceptional culture. She was taught by her Japanese parents to appreciate and love the diverse uniqueness of Japan’s way of life.With certification from the SSI, and completion of the Japan Sake Brewers Association’s technical Sake making course, Satomi continues to be recognised as a leading Kikisake-shi and Shochu Kikisake-shi professional.Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone. Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.Episode's Content:How to order sakeSake and foodSake as digestiveSake tipsSake of the episode: Nishinoseki Cube Honjozo GenshuKampai!Sake mentioned:Nishinoseki Cube Honjozo GenshuKayashima Sake BreweryLondon SakeEnshu Limited (Kikisake-shi)Music used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana 
Great news! Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone. Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.There is something magical in sake brewing. Sake is a process-driven drink compared to wine which is driven but its main ingredient, grapes. While ingredients play a very important role in sake brewing, 80% of sake quality still comes from the skill of the brewer and only 20% from the ingredients used.Episode's Content:Main stages of sake brewingThe choices made before brewingRice preparationMaking rice kojiSake starter: shubo or motoSake of the episode: Narutotai Ginjo Nama GenshuKampai!Sake mentioned:Narutotai Ginjo Nama GenshuHonke Matsuura BreweryLondon SakeKanpai London BreweryArticle about sake yeastSake Yeast from Origin SakeMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
A lot of people often ask me why sake. They are usually quite intrigued. I’m not Japanese (they don’t know that sake in Japan is not that popular these days), I’ve never lived in Japan (only visited two times as a tourist), my wife is not Japanese (again, another thing that could link me to the drink, don’t know why). I wouldn’t say that I fell in love with sake at the first sight or shall I say sip. For a long time, my drink of choice was wine or beer. I love German Riesling, I enjoyed French and Italian wines when we were going on holiday there. I like beer. Before my I breakthrough with sake a few years ago, I had tried sake a couple of times and it was ok but nothing to write home about. Then one day I’ve got an email from a good friend of mine, who is also fascinated by Japan, inviting me to a sake tasting. Episode's Content:How I learnt about sake and why I love itPeople of sakeThe history behind every breweryBottles and labelsSake in Japanese culture and artSake and culinarySocial drink: pouring for each otherSake of the episode: DassaiKampai!Sake mentioned:Dassai 45Dassai 39Dassai 23Dassai BeyondAsahi ShuzoSugidama BlogMusic used:Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Checkie_Brown_1005/hey/Wirklich_Wichtig_CB_27Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/KieLoKaz/Free_Ganymed/Just_Arround_the_World_Kielokaz_ID_362Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/Vocal: Svetlana
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