Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Kiva loans

We just made two more loans through Kiva. Mellow Monk supports this microfinance organization as part of our mission to promote sustainable, responsible ways of growing food.


Kiva does this by providing small loans ("microfinance") to independent, family-owned and -operated farms and businesses, which we believe are better stewards of the land and therefore better for all of us in the long run.


Our growers, after all, are proof of what wondrous things small, independent tea artisans can do.


—Mellow Monk

 

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Rocket over Mt. Aso

A friend in Aso sent us this photo of a faintly visible rocket contrail over Neko peak (super-big photo here) of Mt. Aso.


The contrail of the H2A rocket is barely visible rising diagonally from the right, crossing the small cloud hovering over the peak's middle "tooth."


Like all H2As, the rocket was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center, on Kagoshima's island of — wait for it — Tanegashima [in Japanese, but lots of nice pics].






—Mellow Monk

 

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Bringing the good tea news to city hall

Our tea buyer, while in Aso, visited city hall to give them a good story for their newsletter — about a local tea artisan's tea winning first place in its division in the North American Tea Championship.


A lot of the folks there were surprised to say the least — to think that tea from their li'l ol' town could hold its own (and then some) against the big boys!


It just goes to show that the size of a town has nothing to do with the quality of its tea. Or maybe it's even inversely correlated.


The "local boy makes good" story appears [PDF] in the September issue of official city newsletter, Koho Aso.



At Aso City Hall to tell their PR people (person) about Mellow Monk's latest recognition.



Exterior of Aso City Hall


—Mellow Monk

 

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New review page

We now have a separate page of reviews of our teas, the reviews having outgrown their previous home.


We also have our own page on Steepster.


Our most heartfelt thanks to all the dedicated tea aficionados who have taken the time to review our teas.


And of course thank you to all of our customers, without whom we could not have made it this far. Much mellow to you all.


—Mellow Monk

 

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Monk's tea at Bioneers' silent auction

Bioneers is a group that aims to integrate many causes at a high level.


They're having a silent auction on October 16 in Marin, CA, as part of their 2011 conference, and the Monk's tea will be on the auction block, too.


—Mellow Monk

 

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

CoachArt—the art of improving lives

We recently had the opportunity to meet with some of the great people at CoachArt and hear about their wonderful work.


CoachArt is a nonprofit that provides free lessons in arts and athletics to children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. These creative and physical outlets provide a much-needed distraction from their condition and gives the children a sense of normalcy. Siblings are also encouraged to take part in the lessons.


If this sounds like something you'd like to support, please read more at CoachArt's website.




A scene at CoachArt's "Saddle Up" horse riding clinic.


—Mellow Monk

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

New lower rates for international shipping

In addition to recently offering a "super saver" 1st Class shipping option for our Canadian customers, we now have a much less expensive international shipping option for all other countries outside the U.S., too.


We heard you voices, and we have responded.


To thank you for your patience, here is a photo of an intriguing path beyond a shrine torii in Aso, Japan:





—Mellow Monk

 

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Three nif-tea infusers

The tea world is full of creative people, and here I submit three pieces of evidence of my assertion:

  • An hourglass-shaped infuser that looks like an hourglass but also lets you adjust the steeping time by twisting the two halves relative to each other.
  • A single-serving teapot that allows you to control the steeping time by deciding when to push the button, releasing the infusion from the brewing chamber into the pot itself. Ingenious!
  • Tea Duckie, a floating infuser that must also be one of the tea world's cutest brewing implements.

All of these infusers are also proof that more and more people are brewing loose-leaf tea.

Court adjourned — for tea.


—Mellow Monk

 

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Our beautiful trophy

The trophy for our 1st place award in the North American Tea Championship arrived — and it's positively beautiful.

All of us at Mellow Monk would like to thank World Tea Media for organizing the contest.

But we would especially like to thank you, our customers, for helping us get this far in fulfilling our mission .



—Mellow Monk

 

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