Tea in the Aspens

Watch this Tea in the Aspens photo slideshow!

Michael and his students are enjoying some time in the Aspens, started carving their own Chashaku (which is to be completed later), having tea in the mountains. Very refreshing:)

October 17, 2009 at 11:59 am Leave a comment

Report: Tea Demonstration at CSU

It was quite a blizzard in the morning. However, things turned around and we ended up serving close to 30 people throughout the day at CSU as part of an iternational event, “Gateway to Asia.” We had three demonstrations, two to three people were invited to take part as guests on the Tatami, the others were served seated on a chair. We had brought in about 15 tea bowls total, and once it was almost all used! Michael explained how to enjoy sweets and tea as they were served, and took questions afterwards.

We had many good questions and fun dialogue. One of the questions was: “Why do you pour the hot water back into the kettle after pouring some into the tea bowl?” – Michael’s response: “We want to make sure there is plenty of hot water with the first scoop, so we fill the laddle and pour it back, rather than pouring in less and adding more.”

More photos to come from Michael’s camera, but here are some that I managed to capture on my cell phone.

Two gentlemen in their Hakamas in front of the beautiful display – the caligraphy is 「一期一会(Ichi-go Ichi-eh」
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And here, a quick shot of Michael and Roy walking into the wind after lunch:)
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I’ve met Michael after… Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, March…. 5 months. So, don’t feel like you’ve missed out any lessons – because you haven’t:) There are still some more projects that keeps him busy for us to get back on track for weekly lessons, but when we do, we’ll have lots of fun again!

Thanks to all of those who visited us. We hope to see you soon again.

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April 4, 2009 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

Japanese Tea Ceremony Demonstration at CSU

Gateway to Asia will be held at CSU on April 3rd and 4th. There will be Chado demonstration as well from 10am, 11:30am, and 1pm at Lory Student Center, Room 224, 226. Michael and Roy will be there for sure, and hopefully I will to.

I cannot remember if it was one or two years ago, that I first visited their room and got Michael’s contact information. It took me a while to actually take the first lesson (and this winter I haven’t gone for 4 months now too)… slow process, but better late than never.

April 1, 2009 at 8:06 am Leave a comment

Kohri-ha-buta-e 氷羽二重

My mother has just retired her long time job in Tokyo, Japan, and came over to visit us for a short while. How wonderful to have someone else in the house who has full energy to explore cooking!! She has whipped up 氷羽二重(Kohri-ha-buta-e), and we all loved it. Here is how it’s made – I should have taken a photo – now it’s all gone….

白玉粉(Shiratama-ko) 80g
砂糖(sugar) 80g
ハチミツ(honey) 80g
水(water) 200cc

Directions:
1. Mix them all together till it’s all smooth
2. Microwave them for 1 minute, mix them well.
3. Repeat microwaving/mixing 3 or 4 times.
4. Put in a flat container with starch (potato, tapioca) on the bottom to prevent sticking.
5. On the top, once again sprinkle some starch, cover it with plastic wrap, and freeze.
6. Cut into an edible (enjoyable) size and enjoy!

From はじめての和菓子(林幸子)

I’ll try to bring it over for lesson one of these days.

February 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

Tea tastes like seaweed?

I had the pleasure of sharing the tea made with the new matcha powder to several neighbors. 50% of them (OK, 2 friends, out of 4) told me, it somehow reminded them of seaweed. Could that be due to chlorophyll??
Yes, this green tea is a beautiful Green tea!

January 17, 2009 at 10:18 am Leave a comment

Excited about new Matcha powder!

A kind friend of mine who recently traveled back got me a pack each of Usucha and Koicha matcha powder – I am so excited about possibly trying to make my own cup of tea at home. I hope it is not considered a waste as I still do not have a clue how to make it appropriately, but rather as an educational opportunity.

Once a long time ago, my mother in law has once brought some tea powder with her, but having no clue what to do with it, we have eventually discarded it after letting it sit in the freezer for 4 years or so. Now that same mistake will not be repeated, and from now on, I will promise to be a much better care-taker of gift matchas.

Here is the link to the products from the tea store:中村藤吉本店・オンラインショップ
The ones I have are the ones listed at the top two.
1. 祥の昔(Sho-no Mukashi)
2.浮島の白 (Uki-shima-no Shiro)

I am looking forward to the day where I bring this tea over to share with friends at the class:)

January 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

健康十訓

Not sure if this is related to Japanese tea ceremony at all, but I found a mug at home that lists Ten Tips to a Healthy Life and wanted to share. The first letter “少-shou” means “less”, the third letter “多-ta” means more.

1. 少肉多菜: Less meat, more vegetables
2. 少塩多酢: Less salt, more vinegar
3. 少糖多果: Less sugar, more fruits
4. 少食多噛: Less eating (portion), more chewing
5. 少衣多浴: Less wearing (clothes), more bathing
6. 少言多行: Less words (speech), more action
7. 少欲多施: Less greed (wants), more giving
8. 少憂多眠: Less worries, more sleep
9. 少車多歩: Less cars, more walking
10.少憤多笑: Less anger, more laughing

Number 5 might be something that needs a bit of explanation. We have the thought of training our skin, the largest organ of our body. My grandfather (87 as of today) still gets up each day, takes off his shirts and rubs a hand towel all over his upper body. The idea is to stimulate the skin, get the circulation going, become resistant to cold. Frequent bathing is probably similar idea. My interpretation is (which could be well wrong) to take quick cooler (if not cold) showers – similarly in an attempt to strengthen the skin.

How lovely if I could practice all this daily!! Maybe I will make this my resolution… for next year;)

January 5, 2009 at 9:14 am Leave a comment

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