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Posts Tagged ‘Matcha Green Tea’

Tea Culture: the Japanese Tea Ceremony

March 25th, 2016 by Eliot Jordan

Eliot Jordan tea-team

The Japanese tea ceremony dates back to Sen no Rikyu, a tea master who served General Oda Nobunaga and then with his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He’s credited with his influence on the way of tea, also known as chado. The way of tea incorporated all of the major components of Japanese philosophy and aesthetics 500 years ago. Rikyu’s influence extended to introducing the concept of wabi-sabi – an appreciation for beauty that is imperfect and impermanent into the tea ceremony, a style known as wabi-cha. The classical Japanese art seen in calligraphy and ikebana, the Japanese style of flower arranging are brought into the tea ceremony along with the issue of harmony and balance, finding the universal in the immediate and simple thing in front of you.

A traditional Japanese tea ceremony lasts 4 hours. To do it right, you have a dedicated ceremonial room in the back of your garden with a low door. The low door symbolizes that whether you are a peasant or emperor, you have to bend down to get in, bringing each person into the same posture for the tea ceremony, among the stratified society. The tea ceremony is a place where everyone can be equal. The space where the ritual takes place is bare of adornment except for one flower arrangement and one piece of artwork hanging on the wall, usually a painting of nature or calligraphy. Typically, one to three guests take part at a time and they admire the painting and flower, commenting politely. Then, the tea-making begins. The coals are heated. The kettle is placed on them. The tea used in the ceremony should be high quality Matcha green tea. The pot and the chawan bowls should be expertly made but slightly imperfect, an element of zen Buddhism. When the tea is poured, the technique of the host is demonstrated as they use the chasen bamboo tea whisk to froth the Matcha. The host then drinks the tea first. He or she will then turn the bowl a quarter and pass the cup to the person on their right. This process is incredibly elaborate and stylized. These days even in Japan, the tea ceremony typically is abbreviated to only 45 minutes but still observes a relatively quiet, studied, meditative experience centered around the tea.

Joane Filler-Varty, our VP of hospitality shares her insights on how Japanese culture and the tea ceremony have influenced the tea programs she sets up for our four and five star hotels in Japan. “The aesthetic plays an important role—everything needs to look right and be in the right place. All the details are important. No one element sits by itself. Instead, it’s how the cup, teapot, and tea all combine together.”

Speaking of tea, the history of Matcha starts off in China where it was super-finely ground and found popularity there. Originally developed in China, in the 1300’s Matcha made its way to Japan. Matcha’s popularity died out in China after several hundred years, but flourished in its new home. Japan’s history has selected certain aspects of Chinese culture over the years and made them their own. So much extra work and care goes into making Matcha, and this green tea became uniquely Japanese. Matcha is typically reserved for use in the tea ceremony where its required focus and preparation come to life, but even in Japan it is now often consumed in smoothies, lattes, and the like.

Green Tea Buns

July 30th, 2013 by admin

Marketing Intern Cole Margen returns to the kitchen and shares a surprising new tea recipe.
–Editor’s Note

Recently, I’ve been more and more interested in the potential for tea in actual food–especially desserts! I can’t think of a better way to explore the complex flavors found in tea than by including them in my edible creations. And last weekend I had a delicious success with green tea steamed buns!

Green tea buns, or “mushi pan” as they are known in Japanese, are super easy to make, tasty, and reasonably healthy, considering they are steamed instead of fried or baked. They go great as a dessert or a light afternoon snack during tea time. The buns use matcha green tea to really bring color and a unique tea flavor to the dish. Matcha as a drink is slightly vegetal, and buttery, which makes it a perfect addition to the buns.

Here’s the recipe I like best. It uses honey and yogurt to bring added moisture to the buns. These buns are best enjoyed on their own, or with a cup of tea. They are a great summertime dessert to make for family and friends and are also easy to prepare. One batch of buns takes about a total of 20 minutes from start to finish. Enjoy, fellow tea enthusiasts and until next time be well and drink more tea.

Beat the heat with Matcha Lemonade

June 7th, 2013 by admin

Technically it’s not summer yet, but look around. The sun is out and you’re already spending more time outdoors, just soaking it in. But all that good weather can be thirsty work. That’s why we at Mighty Leaf are unveiling an amazing new drink recipe that brings the antioxidant power of green tea to the thirst-quenching goodness of a summertime favorite. Learn to make Matcha Lemonade by watching our newest video!

Matcha Lemonade

Inspired by the surging popularity of matcha and made possible its incredible flexibility, Matcha Lemonade will impress even the pickiest critic. If you prefer written recipes over videos, check out the steps below. Be sure to share pictures of you, your families and friends enjoying this beverage all summer. We’ll be looking for them on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Matcha Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. Mighty Leaf Matcha
  • 1 oz. cool water
  • 7 oz. lemonade
  • 1 oz. agave nectar
  • 1 mint sprig
  • ice

Steps

  1. Whisk matcha and cool water together until matcha dissolves.
  2. Pour matcha liquid and lemonade into a glass together and add ice.
  3. Add agave nectar and shake together to mix.
  4. Serve in a glass and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

How to Video: Making Traditional Green Tea Matcha

April 1st, 2011 by admin

Making traditional matcha green tea is fun and easy. We are big fans of matcha, the premium Japanese powdered green tea that inspired the Japanese tea ceremony and provides the main ingredient in a variety of tea treats, including green tea lattes, smoothies and ice cream. Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, its complex and addictive flavor may quickly become a favorite of yours too. It also contains an amino acid, L-theanine, that is know to promote calm and a relaxed mind.

By using a tea bowl (“chawan”), bamboo tea scoop (“chashaku”) and bamboo whisk (“chasen”), you will be whipping up bowls of froty matcha in no time. Find your inner tea master and check out our video for more details.