Junko Tabei

Junko Tabei (1939 – 2016) was the crazy mountain woman who scaled Mount Everest and the Seven Summits – that’s the tallest mountain on every continent. She was the first woman to accomplish both feats, and she did it in the 60’s – when mountaineering was not a woman’s world. Being female wan’t her only obstacle to those summits, either. Junko was petite – a frail child who only grew to be four feet, nine inches tall. Still, she blazed trails! Junko met her husband on a mountain, and he worked and looked out for their children so she could climb. She founded the Ladies Climbing Club, and led an expedition of fifteen women, including herself, up Mount Everest. They had to struggle to fund the trip, and then, twelve days from the summit, an avalanche wiped out their camp. Still, they made the summit, gaining fame for the club, whose slogan was “Let’s go on an overseas expedition by ourselves.” We call our tea, named in honor of Junko, Seven Summits Genmaicha – a wonderful combination of Japanese style green tea, mixed with fire toasted mochi rice. The smooth starch of the rice cuts the bitterness of the green tea. Often consumed during fasts, this tea has more body than green tea alone. We feel sure the Ladies Climbing Club would enjoy it!