Sunday, May 27, 2012

Iced tea trophy

Here is the 1st place trophy won by our Roasted Iced Green Tea in the 2012 North American Tea Championship.


This tea is made by a wonderful grower–artisan in Sagara Village in Kumamoto's Kuma region, famous for tea estates sprawling across the rolling hills.


I stayed in Sayuri Inn in Sagara while filming part of Kyushu, Where Japan's Green Tea Grows.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another 1st place win at North American Tea Championship

Mellow Monk's Lightly Roasted Iced Green Tea has won 1st place in its division in the 2012 North American Tea Championship.


Thank you to all of our customers for your support, without which there would be no tea for us to enter in the championship. This is an award for all of us.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wherein a centenarian woodpecker teaches us about tealike mindfulness

Here is another work from the Zencha no Kokoro ("Spirit of Zen and Tea") collection.


"Scene of Cherry Blossoms and a Small Bird" (Ohka Shokin-zu 桜花小禽図) by Oda Kaizen (小田海僊, 1785–1862) shows a woodpecker perched in a blossoming cherry tree.


Like a haiku or the tea ceremony, this work focuses on a specific moment in time — that point in the beginning of the cherry blossom cycle when some of the flowers are finally in full bloom, others still barely opening buds, leaves still outnumbering blossoms.


In this state, the leaves provide dark color against which the white cherry blossoms contrast. This suggests another of the work's themes: balance. Balance can also be seen between blossom-carrying branches and the branch-bearing trunk, between occupied space and empty space, between the woodpecker's own dark and light colors, and between an immobile tree and a bird that has alighted there only briefly.


Tea ceremony strives for balance between giving and receiving tea, between guest and host. (In Oda's sumie painting, the tree is also playing host to the bird.) Through the tea, guest and host mindfully savor each moment. Likewise, a cup of tea by oneself is a mini-tea ceremony, an opportunity to savor the moment — before it flutters away.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, May 05, 2012

SoftBrew teapot

Sowden offers coffee pots with a stainless steel photo-etched filter so fine that you can "steep" coffee the way you would tea. (Although the coffee needs to be ground coarsely.)


The same SoftBrew lineup includes teapots with the same ultra-fine filters.


The ceramic teapots keep tea warm for a long time, and as you can see below, are stylish indeed.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos