Monday, April 30, 2012

Kiva loan #26

Mellow Monk has made another Kiva loan — to an independent farmer in Tajikistan who will use his loan to plant tomatoes and cucumbers.

—Mellow Monk


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

New — yuzu green tea

Mellow Monk® presents a new addition to our lineup: Yuzu Dream™, a blend of artisinal green tea and sun-dried yuzu peel.

The sublime flavor and fragrance of yuzu are well known in the culinary world and also blend spectacularly well with green tea in the form of yuzu ryokucha ("yuzu green tea").

One of our grower–artisans in Kumamoto, Japan, pairs sun-dried yuzu peel with his award-winning green tea. The yuzu is specially prepared to capture all of its tasty essence and blended in just the right proportion with the tea by the grower–artisan himself. The result is an exquisite experience that must be brewed to be believed.

More here.

—Mellow Monk


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mesh tea baskets for easy, inexpensive brewing

Mesh strainers like this are sometimes hard to find online. Or, if you find them, only really small-diameter ones are offered. Or maybe the actual size isn't even listed.

Teavana offers stainless steel mesh strainers in a wide range of sizes. The largest size is 77 mm (3.1 in.), which would give you tea leaves plenty of room to bloom. These items are apparently meant as replacement tea strainer baskets for teapots Teavana sells, but there is no reason you cannot drop one into your favorite teacup or mug. And the same kind of mesh baskets sold as stand-alone tea infusers are usually much more expensive.

I like actual mesh better than perforated steel, as the wet leaves plop out easily, whereas they can stick tenaciously to the perforated kind.

One caveat, however, is that there isn't a lot of leeway in width, as the rim isn't very wide. So you should measure the size of the mug/cup with which you plan to use the strainer so it doesn't fall entirely into your cup or get crushed when inserted into a too-small cup.

Happy steeping,

—Mellow Monk


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A butler for your tea

Breville is famous for its high-end kitchen appliances, and a recent tea-related entry from the company is the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker.

As the name suggests, this kettle/teapot does nearly the work for you: simply put in the water and the tea, tell the teamaker which kind of tea you have (green, oolong, black?), and press the button. The Breville heats the water to the right temperature and dunks in the tea leaves for the appropriate amount of time, then raises the leaf basket out of the water, which is key to preventing oversteeping.

This would make a wonderful holiday gift for a tea-lover on your list — but you'd better start saving up now.

—Mellow Monk


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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

New 50-gram sizes

Although they are not quite "sample" sizes, we now have 50-gram sizes for two teas: Shaded Leaf and Frosty Garden.

This is in addition to our usual 100-gram sizes.

We had been getting requests for smaller sizes for some time, and we have finally got them in stock — thanks to our patient, understanding growers.

And thank you to all of you who were waiting patiently for these smaller-sized packets.

—Mellow Monk


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