Sunday, February 07, 2016

We sponsor the Love Is Bald 4th Annual Chilibowl

Mellow Monk is a proud supporter of the Love Is Bald fundraiser 4th Annual Chilibowl. After all, what could be better than a nice cuppa green tea after a day of tasting chili for such a wonderfully worthy cause?





—Mellow Monk

 

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Green tea can limit the amount of starch that is absorbed by our body, says a study published at Nature.com

The study states that because excess starch is normally converted to fat and stored in the body as increased body fat, green tea could help fight obesity in the face of today's high-starch diets.

The researchers found that study participants showed signs of reduced conversion of carbohydrates by glucose into fat.

Thus green tea could be an important weapon in the fight against obesity, in addition to benefiting the body in other ways, as well.




—Mellow Monk



 

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tea Rex Tee

A nice holiday present.

A monk and a dinosaur — sounds like a good premise for Netflix series.

 



—Mellow Monk

 

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

New photos on Flickr and Pinterest

We have uploaded some new photos to Flickr and Pinterest.

The photos are of Kumamoto Prefecture's Tea Research Center (a.k.a. "Chaken"). Chaken is where new cultivars of tea are developed and tested by researchers funded by the prefectural government of Kumamoto — where our grower–artisans ply their trade.

Only teas that pass the rigorous taste-testing shown in the photographs proceed to the next step.

These new cultivars include ones with greater natural resistance to the various natural foes of the tea plant. Or just cultivars with better flavor or aroma.

Well, not "better," because tea is such a matter of individual taste, yes? Because one person's oversteeping is another person's just right.

 


—Mellow Monk


 

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

More Kiva loans to more artisans

Mellow Monk has expanded its Kiva portfolio again with four more loans to four groups of dedicated, hard-working artisans. Learn more about Kiva here.





—Mellow Monk

 

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Aso Zen video is released

Aso City's Zen program, which certifies the city's best natural products, has released this video showcasing the area's beauty and its dedication to tradition. Our grower–artisan Koji Nagata, incidentally, is one of the Zen 100.





—Mellow Monk

 

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Kyusu from Sagara in Kyushu


One of our grower–artisans, Mr. Watanabe, in Sagara, Kumamoto, was kind enough to include this lovely maple-themed kyusu in a recent shipment of green tea.

Instead of a tea basket inside, this single-serving kyusu has a built-in mesh screen at the base of the spout. This way, you can hold the kyusu by the handle and really swirl the tea around for thorough steeping.

Sagara, by the way, is right next door to Hitoyoshi, known as Japan's "little Kyoto."


—Mellow Monk

 

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mellow Monk sponsors Love Is Bald's Chilibowl fundraiser again

Mellow Monk proudly sponsored the 2nd Annual Chilibowl fundraiser held by the great people at Love Is Bald. Below are the cookoff finalists. (Mellow Monk participated not in person, unfortunately, but by donating a gift certificate to be auctioned off as part of the fundraiser.)




—Mellow Monk

 

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Sunday, November 02, 2014

Four new Kiva loans

We just added four new loans to our Kiva portfolio: for Dismus, Erick, Hon's Group, and Resineros De San José De Cañas Group.

Kiva is a wonderful way to support independent go-getters in agriculture, small business, and other fields all over the world. Join the party!



—Mellow Monk

 

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Tea basket and an oversized mug: perfect fit

Occasionally I like to brew a lot of tea at once and enjoy it over a large temperature range as it cools. This oversized mug holds a bit over 500 mL (almost 17 ounces), so it holds more than some small teapots. I bought it at a festival bazaar in Aso City. On a different trip I got this stainless-steel tea basket (93 mm in diameter, 3.6 inches), which is of the kind for putting inside teapots — and at 93 mm in diameter, this size is definitely for large teapots. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to find out that the basket fits Goldilocks perfectly into the mug. A perfect match, brought together by tea.





—Mellow Monk

 

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Monday, September 29, 2014

500-year-old mindfulness

Long considered one of the three most beautiful scenic views in Japan, Amanohashidate is a large, tree-covered sandbar in Miyazu. The image below is a slice of a 1.78-meter-wide calligraphic painting of the scene drawn by Sesshū Tōyō (1420–1506) near the end of his life, at age 82.

(Flickr user RasMarley offers an excellent analysis of the painting. To read it, scroll down a bit after opening the page.)

Note the amazing sense of perspective he creates with his mastery of light and shade (notan). He captures the feeling of calm that often overcomes one once the initial thrill of the sheer splendor wears off. This is an excellent example of how art can filter out the other emotions of an experience and make us mindful of the peacefulness it can induce.





—Mellow Monk

 

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