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“There are two types of people,” my dear old landlady used to say, handing me a bowl of frothing matcha tea: “Those who like alcohol, and those who like sweets.”

She was well aware which camp I belonged in. But as a tea-ceremony teacher of no little repute, she saw it as her duty to inculcate in me an appreciation for sweets, especially wagashi, the dainty traditional confections that can seem cloying on their own but which go so perfectly with ceremonial green tea.

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