• Reviews

    Ikkyu Tomomi

    Country of Origin: JapanLeaf Appearance: jade green, curledSteep time: 90 secondsWater Temperature: 175 degreesPreparation Method: kyusuLiquor: bright yellowish green When we think of Japanese green teas, we all probably get a similar mental picture: deep green leaves with a fine, needle-like shape. There are exceptions every rule though. Kamairicha is a traditional Japanese tea that is pan-fried rather than steamed during the “kill green” step. The process makes the tea smoother with a nuttier taste. This style of tea is a bit of a specialty for Kyushu tea farmers but it can still be quite hard to find, even within Japan. This particular tea is a blend of the yabukita and kanaya midori cultivars. The taste was vegetal and…

  • Learn About Tea

    A Bowl of Peace – Lessons from the Life of SEN Genshitsu

    The world seems a bit more chaotic than usual as of late. This blog is not a political platform and I would never want it to be (please note that political comments on this post will be deleted for that reason) but a story I heard some time ago came to mind and I thought this was a good time to share it. Tea has long been celebrated as a connector of people and a facilitator of conversation. The Japanese tea ceremony,  or chado, is a particularly good example of that. I’ve never formally studied it but have read every book I can find on the fascinating subject. We often hear legends of samurai meeting…

  • Books and Magazines

    Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice by Kristin Surak

    I have an extremely long reading to-do list. The books are mostly tea related though not always. This particular book has been on my Amazon wishlist for some time. It had come up in my recommendations but I thought it was a bit odd that I had never seen it mentioned on blogs or in my other tea circles. How could that be? Although it is a sociological study, I have to say that this is one of the most fascinating books on Japanese tea culture that I have had the pleasure to read. There were some parts that got a bit dry but otherwise I thought it was a very engaging read.…

  • Books and Magazines

    The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery

    This book was recommended to me some time ago by Michele Brody while I was attending A Gift of Tea’s White Spring Tea. I finally got around to reading it and I am so glad that I did. While not necessarily about tea, Chado is woven artfully throughout the story. It tells the story of an orphaned American girl who is taken in by the daughter of an important tea master. The story is very compelling, especially if you have a passion for tea. How often do you see Rikyu discussed in a fictional novel? It was accurate both concerning history and tea. I loved all of the descriptions of tea houses, ceremonies…