Friday, July 29, 2011

Green tea Arnold Palmer

With some homegrown lemons, we made a pitcher of lemonade, and with our Silken Shoots™ Green Tea made a pitcher of iced tea — and mixed the two together to make a green tea Arnold Plamer:





That Silken Shoots Green Tea in the back right; the homemade lemonade on the left.




The sweet citric tartness of the lemonade blended exquisitely with the tea's smooth herbaceousness. In other words &mdash yum!


—Mellow Monk

 

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Frosty Garden in a mug

Here is some Frosty Garden Green Tea in a largish ceramic mug from Artcraft Gifts, which has some pretty cool mugs.


Frosty Garden is a shiraore, a green tea blended with some tea stems. Note that our shiraore is made with fewer stems that some — just enough to impart a natural smoothness, but without overpowering the flavor of the leaves.





—Mellow Monk

 

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Radiation and Japanese tea

TeaMuse has a thorough, well-researched article on radiation in Japan and how it has been affecting tea.


Some bad new, to be sure, but good news for Kumamoto tea (that's us):

Yes, most of Japan’s tea is safe. Tea from the Uji region, and the Yame, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures have not been found to have any radiation to date; they are all west of areas where radiation has been found.

And good news for Kyushu tea in general (Kumamoto is on Kyushu):

Japan’s second largest tea growing region is Kagoshima on the island of Kyushu, which thousands of kilometers away from Fukushima – a similar distance separates New York and Denver.

Of course we are all hoping that the crisis in Fukushima is cleared up as soon as possible, and the people of Fukushima come out of this safe and healthy.




A pond near the Shirakawa river fountainhead [suigen], in the foothills of Mt. Aso.




A bridge over Shirakawa river.


—Mellow Monk

 

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Homemade natto

Owen, a friend of the Monk's who lives outside of Vancouver, sent me photos of his amazing natto maker. He says he began intending to make a food dehydrator and later serendipitously found that he was also building a natto maker.


How lucky for him — and for those able to share in his fermented bounty.


If you can't get natto near you, have no fear: natural natto from Megumi Natto can be ordered online.



Where fermentation takes place.



I have tried this natto and can attest that it is excellent.


—Mellow Monk

 

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Saturday, July 02, 2011

Update on Kyushu tea

Customers have been asking us whether what’s going on in the Sendai area is affecting the market for tea from Kyushu (such as ours), as it’s the farthest major tea-growing region from Sendai.


(Well, Yakushima is farther, but then the island is quite small, and tea from there is incredibly hard to get.)


The short answer, according to our grower–artisans, is that demand is in fact going up, which is good for them — unless they have to raise prices or reduce their shipments to Mellow Monk.


So far, that is not happening, and we at Mellow Monk are working hard to avoid price increases or stockouts.


Stay tuned, and stay mellow.



A park in the southern half of the Mt. Aso caldera. One of our growers has a tea estate in the foothills just on the other side of the mountain.


—Mellow Monk

 

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Frosty green glass teapot

I brewed some Frosty Garden Green Tea in a glass teapot.


As you can see, glass teapots are nice because they allow you to experience a tea's natural color more fully. In this case, the Frosty Garden's smooth taste and luscious mouthfeel were enhanced by the tea's rich green color.





—Mellow Monk

 

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