Monday, November 30, 2009

NHK matcha documentary

Thanks to YouTube user Imarvanriet for tipping me off about a well-done NHK documentary on matcha. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is part 1:





—Mellow Monk


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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Homemade tea: pick, steep, and drink

A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle brews homemade tea with dried herbs from a rooftop garden and a fill-it-yourself teabag that irons shut.


I wish I new where the attractive glass mug shown in the photo comes from. Anyone know?





—Mellow Monk


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Grizzly Bear claymation

One word best describes this claymation video for Grizzly Bear's "Ready, Able"—trippy.


And excellent viewing for a green tea break, too.





Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Japan photo book

Artist and designer Annie Riker has put together a photo book documenting her "recent trip to the visually rich country of Japan," which you can preview at Blurb.com.



One of my favorite spreads from Annie's book.


—Mellow Monk


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Photos from a mysterious flower show

If you are reading this you are a witness to Mellow Monk history: This is the first time I have ever posted something I received by accident.


A mistyping of my address fated the photos below to arrive recently in my inbox. I didn't recognize the sender's name nor that of any of his other recipients, but I do like the photographs, although all I know is that they were taken at a flower show in Japan; I don't know where or when they were taken, or by whom.


If you have a clue that would help solve this mystery, please let us know.


Then again, the mystery somehow enhances the beauty of the flowers.











—Mellow Monk


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Friday, November 20, 2009

A Japan twofer: names and neolithic idols

The writers at the Japan Times enlighten us on Japanese names and neolithic Japanese idols known as dogu.



A dogu nicknamed the Tanabatake Venus.


—Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Interviewing the monk

Here's a photo of the monk featured in Part 2 of our green tea documentary being interviewed by the film crew.


Helping the crew is our tea buyer (lower left), who served as interpreter, guide, travel agent, driver, and interviewer.



caption


—Mellow Monk


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mellow Monk's Tea-Buying Trip to Japan, Part 5

Following up on yesterday's post, here is Episode 5 of "Kyushu, Where Japan's Green Tea Grows," which features one of our tea buyers making his rounds in Kyushu.


You can also watch the Vimeo version and other videos of ours.




—Mellow Monk


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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mellow Monk's Tea-Buying Trip to Japan, Part 4

Here it is: Part 4 of "Kyushu, Where Japan's Tea is Grown," a documentary filmed for European TV. The film crew followed one of our tea buyers on his rounds through the tea-growing regions of Aso and other Kyushu locales.


You can also watch a slightly higher-resolution version of this episode on Vimeo.


For more videos, please check out our video page.





—Mellow Monk


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Friday, November 13, 2009

Little storm mountain

In Aso, not too far from where one of our grower's grows his tea, is Shoranzan ("Little Storm Mountain"), so called from its resemblance to a piece of scenery at Kyoto's Arashiyama (Storm Mountain).



Aso's smaller-scale version of Storm Mountain.


—Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mikan marmalade and soba noodles

The always excellent Kyoto Foodie shows how to make aomikan marmalade, and the equally excellent FX Cuisine has a compelling photo essay of a class on making soba noodles in Tokyo.





—Mellow Monk


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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Harvard Women's Health Watch on the benefits of green tea

Harvard Medical School summarizes a recent article in Women's Health Watch that "recognizes the healthy power of tea while helping readers get the most out of their cups."



From a large gallery of beautiful photos of serene Kiyomizu Temple.


—Mellow Monk


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Monday, November 09, 2009

Awa dance festival photos

Jeff Henig has taken some excellent photographs of the Awa-odori festival in Tokyo.



For the full festival effect, you need to hear the music, too.


—Mellow Monk


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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Aladdin's magic infuser mug

What I really like about the Aladdin Tea Infuser Mug is that it's equipped with a means of removing your tea leaves from the water (to stop infusion and prevent oversteeping): You simply turn the lever near the lid (see the picture below) to lift the built-in tea infuser up and out of the brewed tea inside.


When you finish your first batch of brewed tea, you add more hot water, turn the lever back to the "Brew" position and pretty soon you've got another mug of tasty tea.


Easy, convenient, and neat—now that's mellow.





—Mellow Monk


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Sunday, November 01, 2009

It's official: green tea drinkers are mellower

Once again, science proves something we already knew—that green tea drinkers are mellower.


To be more specific, a study showed that people who drink at least five cups of green tea per day are less likely to suffer from psychological distress.


This finding, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is just one of the many results gleaned from the "Ohsaki cohort," a group of over 40 thousand people in Japan whose health was monitored over many years.



A nice mellow grove of bamboo. Photo taken in Aso.


—Mellow Monk


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