Friday, June 17, 2005

A very nice "fan letter"

We received this letter from Charles, a satisfied customer in Dallas, TX.

For many years I've enjoyed both Japanese and Chinese green teas, with a preference for the minimally-processed, steamed Japanese teas - your Top Leaf Tamaryokucha is certainly one of the finest quality teas I've ever had - truly exceptional!
I also very much appreciate the opportunity to purchase tea obtained from a specific, individual grower - Many thanks to the Nagatas! I discovered your website after my previous tamaryokucha supplier sold out of the tea and I looked around the web for another source.

I've much enjoyed browsing your site - you have a good thing going. Thanks too for your low shipping charges and prompt shipment of my first order. I'll be ordering again soon.

It's always great to get such encouraging feedback like that. Thanks, Charles!

—Mellow Monk

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

10,000 steps a day keep the doctor away

In Japan, the pedometer is a widely used little device—not just among what we'd call "fitness buffs," but even among the sort of ordinary, fitness-conscious (but not fanatical) folks who've never set foot in a gym. It seems to be common knowledge there that the magic number is 10,000: Walking at least 10,000 steps a day is a given for maintaining good health. (In fact, the Japanese word for pedometer, manpokei, literally means "ten-thousand-step measurer.")

This article on MSNBC , written by registered dietitian Karen Collins, states that 10,000 steps is now considered a good daily exercise goal: If, by the end of the day, you've walked that many paces, whether at home, at work, or going from one to the other, you've met an important goal and deserve a pat on the back (and a nice cup of Mellow Monk green tea).

As for specific exercise goals, many health experts recommend at least 30 minutes of brisk walking or other activity each day. But one study described in the article found that a pedometer was an easier way of keeping track of one's daily progress than following a "time goal," especially when spreading a daily workout over several separate exercise opportunities throughout the day.

—Mellow Monk

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Iced green tea latte and more

This article from the Chicago Tribune's describes various tea-based chilled drinks to help beat the summer heat.

To me, the most intriguing drink is a green tea latte served over ice. When I first heard about green tea lattes, I was skeptical to say the least. After expressing this skepticism in this blog, several blog readers contacted me to say that a green tea latte can be a wonderful drink, especially (or only?) when made with freshly brewed tea. If it's that good (I have to admit I haven't tried one yet), then a green tea latte should be good chilled, too.

Here's a previous blog entry about iced green tea.

—Mellow Monk

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Finding local farmers markets, etc., through

The website of Local Harvest ( is a comprehensive nationwide directory of farmers markets, food co-ops, and other venues for buying food and other farm products grown by environmentally responsible farms.

This website is very well organized and allows you to search by Zip code, product, or farm. This is an excellent guide to supporting family farms.

—Mellow Monk

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