TEA CHEF

Cooking with green tea

Verjus – Sustainable – Healthy – Delights On Bainbridge Island, WA

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Follow @verjusbar on Instagram <3

Chef Brendan & Heidi McGill offer a holistically conscientious experience to the sustainably and locally produced ingredients of Bainbridge Island, Washington. Verjus was born from their passion in growing and consuming wholesome, organic, clean & pure foods.  The McGill’s awareness of the science behind “the process,” honestly makes their spot THE premier place to enjoy real wholesome Northwest vegetarian flavors.

Sara, the vibrant girl that you may encounter at the shop showed me their freshest picks, all grown from neighboring farms right there on Bainbridge Island, WA!
Sara, the vibrant girl that you may encounter at the shop showed me their freshest picks, all grown from neighboring farms right there on Bainbridge Island, WA!

All of their fresh concoctions come from ingredients that are organically grown with love by surrounding local farms including THEIR OWN, Shady Acres. They also source other local farms on the island such as Tani Creek Farm and Persephone Farm, -these biodynamic farms are only a few miles of their shop!

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Verjus’ clean eats are matched with their clean look. What a breath of fresh air -literally! They have a living wall as a sliding door for enhanced air freshness. Such a lovely touch! ^_^

The McGill’s dedication in producing the most healthful products (in the most beautiful environment and colorful presentation), makes this spot an easy healthy and beautiful experience. We are overjoyed to announce that they will be using our Joraku for their nut-based milk lattes! All of their produce is cold-pressed allowing the drinker to enjoy the most abundant way to experience energy and nutrients the plants have to offer. And what a delicious result.

Check out this deliciously satisfying almond & chestnut-based milk Matcha latte! Their milks are oh so devine...
Check out this deliciously satisfying almond & chestnut-based milk Matcha latte! Their milks are oh so devine…

They have built their menu without the use of refined sugars or gluten! Their “plant-based cuisine begins with the finest vegetables and enhances them with umami-rich fermentations, from raw vinegars to koji ferments.” The Verjus teams’ passion for good quality food is evident in their glowing smiles and positive vibes. We at My Green Tea can’t emphasize enough: Verjus’ food is wholesome, organic, clean & pure, specifically designed to deliver the most nutritious concoctions.

Check out this simply stunning vibe! Full of light and breezy decore.
Check out this simply stunning vibe! Full of light and breezy decore.

Their menu changes as the seasons do giving you the freshest and in-seasoned Northwest eats and drink available.

This was my spread last time we were @Verjusbar
This was my spread last time we were @Verjusbar. The large green juice is their 12 oz “Dark Green” – a nutritional powerhouse, consists of: kale, spinach, celery, lemon, ferented habanero. The tiny little shot of golden sunshine you see there is their cold-pressed booster shot that consist simply of ginger and lemon. And the Creamsicle: Orange (carrot, orange, saffron) juice, almond milk. SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD!

We love their promise to find sustainable and organic sources and hope to grow with them. Take a relaxing trip out to this little slice of Washington’s hidden island paradise.

124 Medrone Lane, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 – 206.451.4096

Check out Verjus' insta @verjusbar - pretty sure they announce and update all of their lovely eats and treats
Check out Verjus’ insta @verjusbar – pretty sure they announce and update all of their lovely eats and treats
Check out their beautiful humus spread (photographed and reviewed by Rue Daily's Kat Mceachern
Check out their beautiful humus spread (photographed and reviewed by Rue Daily’s Kat McEachern)
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Cheers to HEALTH! Thank you Verjus.

Tokara – Wagashi

Wagashi - Japanese sweets in the age-old Kyoto tradition - crafted to reflect the seasons and beauty of nature.
Wagashi Artisan, Chef Chikako Tokara has brought Kyoto’s age-old tradition, and reminds to take time and reflect on the constant changes occurring in nature

You can’t call yourself a Seattle “Foodie” without visiting the independent Wagashi Artisan, Tokara.

Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections that evolved into an art form in the ancient Imperial capital (at the time, Kyoto). “Wa” represents things of Japanese origin, while characters for “gashi,” is an alliteration of Kashi, or sweets.

This was the lovely collection Chef Tokara handmade for the annual Sakura-Matsuri event at the Seattle Center. (From left to right: Cherry Manjyu, Cherry Robe, Ajouer of Amama, and Cherry Mochi).
This was the lovely collection Chef Tokara handmade for the annual Sakura-Matsuri event at the Seattle Center. (From left to right: Cherry Manjyu, Cherry Robe, Ajouer of Amama, and Cherry Mochi).

Rooted in the Japanese peoples’ appreciation and enjoyment of seasonal changes, this unique craft and aesthetic of wagashi was born. And there is ONE person in Seattle that has preserved this art for your pleasure: TOKARA.

Chef Tokara and My Green Tea's Sachiko-san smilingly offer some peace of mind.
Chef Tokara and My Green Tea’s Sachiko-san smilingly offer some peace of mind.

My Green Tea is excited to whisk some delicious matcha, talk-story, and enjoy his month’s wagashi at a humble Japanese confectionary shop, called Tokara. Located on Phinney Ave, its the only shop of its’ kind and is only open once a month (AKA: Tohryanse 1PM-5PM, every third Friday of every month, check out her NEWs section on the bottom of her website, Japanese website also available)! Chef Tokara prepares wagashi using the centuries old Kyoto method and carefully selects only the best and freshest ingredients to ensure her confections are of the highest quality. Her dedication and meticulous attention to craft and technique produces sweets that are visually stunning and exquisitely flavorful. Every handmade morsel is rich in history and captures he beauty of nature in color, shape, and taste.

My Green Tea's partnership with Nishimura's Ceremonial Grade Jyoraku Matcha complimented the hand made wagashi morsel made by Chef Tokara.
My Green Tea’s Ceremonial Grade Jyoraku Matcha complimented Chef Tokara’s the hand made wagashi morsel.

I’m incredibly sorry for such short notice, but My Green Tea will be at the next Tohryanse this Friday June 19, 2016! If you can’t make I our Tohryanse Tea-Time we hope you have the chance to visit the following locations where you can experience the beauty in Japanese wagashi. Or reserve an order of the next variations of wagashi and visit her next Tohryanse.

East and West Chanoyu Center
5125 40th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105
T/F (206) 328-6018

Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee
605 S. Main St., Seattle, WA 98104
(206)223-9242

Tougo Coffee co.
1410 18th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 860-3518

Fresh Flours
6015 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
(206)297-3300

Tensushi
500 Mercer St. Seattle WA 98109
(206)453-3881

Smacha
14603 NE 20th ST #4A, Bellevue, WA, 98007
(425) 643-2117

I Love Sushi on Lake Union
1001 Fairview Ave North Ste 1800, Seattle, WA, 98109
(206)625-9604

Fuji sushi
520 So. Main St. Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 624-1201

How to Properly Store Your Matcha Green Tea.

 

Matcha is that vibrant green powdered green tea that has been grown under a cover to avoid direct sunlight (Oishitaen) and is streamed and dried without being kneaded. It is very fragrant and has a rich Umami flavor. Matcha is Tench ground by tea granite mills
Matcha is that vibrant green powdered green tea that has been grown under a cover to avoid direct sunlight (Oishitaen) and is streamed and dried without being kneaded. It is very fragrant and has a rich Umami flavor. Matcha is Tench ground by tea granite mills. The following picture is of a traditional Chaki (茶器)(tea container), this is only used in tea ceremony and is not a suitable container to store your Matcha.

Matcha is a beautiful bright green powder that is used in the ancient ritual of the Japanese tea ceremony. Learning to whisk up a bowl of this superfood can be quite energizing AND relaxing. So give it a try and practice this beautiful art with others.

The antioxidants in Japanese green tea help fight cancer-causing molecules known as free radicals. Because young leaves of the Camellia sinensis (tea plant) are used to make matcha powder, this type of tea is more sensitive to light and heat. It is crucial to store and preserve matcha green tea properly to prevent nutrient degradation.

REMEMBER: MATCHA IS A DELICATE TEA. We are extracting the chlorophyl rich parts of the plant to produce this magnificent elixir so its no wonder its freshness is ephemeral.

Under ideal conditions, the freshness and nutritional value should last you up to a year unopened. However once you open the canister, we recommend finishing your Matcha in 8-12 weeks. If you wait to use your Matcha on “ceremonial occasions,” you may not be able to enjoy it when it is the freshest and rich in nutritional value. Fresh matcha should smell vegetal, once it starts to smell hay-like its not going to be as fresh, but it does not make it undrinkable. (It just won’t be as lovely as it should be when its freshly opened;-), nor will it not have as many health benefits).

To preserve that rich umami flavor, color, health properties, and taste storage is the tea to your success. Note that Matcha doesn’t “spoil”, rather it becomes less fresh (still healthful, but slightly less so), so one may travel with Matcha tea (even unrefrigerated) for up to a week and it won’t affect its quality too much.

Here are some simple things to consider…

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If your matcha is kept sealed in its bag or in an airtight tin in a cool, dark environment like a refrigerator it will stay fresh longer. If properly stored, your My Green Tea Matcha tea powder should last about two months in your fridge before it starts to loose its freshness.

1

Prepare an airtight container. The 30 gram and 100 gram My Green Tea Matchas already come pretty airtight. (If you purchased 200 gram matcha you will need to find a large container). Tightly seal the container to prevent liquid or other contaminants from ruining the powder.

2

Sort the matcha green tea in a cool, dark, cabinet or in your refrigerator. If the canister is sealed, it will last you up to a year. After opening enjoy within 9-12 weeks for most favorable results.

3

Be attentive to when you opened your matcha! Label your canisters as to keep you aware of optimal nutritional value.

This is one of our favorite airtight tea canisters because of its' traditional, yet functional, design
This is one of our favorite airtight tea canisters because of its’ traditional, yet functional, design (can you see dorky me with my clunky iPhone ^_^ lol).

Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful Japan at the Pike’s Place Market 5.7.2016

MY GREEN TEA was so honored to serve our tea at the Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful Japan Event at the Pike Place Market.

All the beautiful kimonos
The beautiful ladies (and gentleman ^_^) that participated in this lovely kimono event.
CHEESE ^_^
CHEESE ^_^ (I cheated and wore a Yukata because it was such a warm day). 

For those that do not know, Kimonos (着物) is a Japanese traditional garment. The word directly translates to “thing to wear” (ki “wear” and mono “thing”). Kimonos are worn at important and/or formal festivals, events, and ceremonies.

Kaiseki: Is a traditional multi-course style Japanese cuisine featuring various seasonal ingredients cooked in a vast variety of cooking methods. Just as it is important for this style to create something that is delicious for the pallet, they also put much emphasis in invigorating ALL senses for a more fufilling “mind-body” experience.

We were so pleased to be serving tea to the finest Japanese artists Seattle, Kobe, and Kyoto had to offer.

Sachiko (Sachi) serving a thoughtful cup of Genmai-Matcha.
Sachiko (Sachi) serving a thoughtful cup of Genmai-Matcha. Photo By Kaoru Okumura.
Mother and I ^_^ Photo by Kaoru Okumura.
Mother and I ^_^ Photo by Kaoru Okumura.

This luncheon and kimono demonstration was such a delight because of the eclectic group of artisans that attended. Because what is kaiseki without tea? or what is tea without kimonos? and what are kimonos without kaiseki? Everyone who attended enjoyed the harmony of all the elements that make the Japanese experience, sensational. As we provided the green tea, the Japanese Kaiseki Bento was brought to us by chef, Hiro Tamara.  And there was a beautiful display of washi paper sponsored by Kamiji Kakimoto from Kyoto (official website is in Japanese, if you’re curious click here). And the special guest was Ms. Azumi Hosoda, a wax resist dyeing artist from Japan. The brains behind the beautiful event, Mariko Kayama, a Seattle based kimono coordinator is the gem that organized the beautiful event. She offers a unique kimono renting and dressing services in Seattle, Washington. So if you are in the mood for a festively Japanese outfit, visit her website. Mariko Kayama is actually the daughter of special guest and Master Kimono Coordinator,  Yu Urawa.

Each gust was free to sit where ever they wished, as all the placements were uniformed and decorated with this beautiful placement and natural light from the lakeside.

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Wash Paper decorations brought to us by Kamiji Kakimoto, a Kyoto company. Photo by Kaoru Okumura.

What a cute reminder of “childs day” with these soft summer colors. There simple craft of paper making is taken to a whole new level.

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Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura

 

Kaiseki Bento by Hiro Tawara
Kaiseki Bento by Hiro Tamara. Photo by Kaoru Okumura

What a sight to see!

What an delicious piece of art!Delicious piece of art!

Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
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Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara, explaining. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara, explaining each dish and greeting each guest. Photo by Kaoru Okumura

The food was fantastic! Each dish represented a certain aspect on the current season.

Hiro Tawara-Kaiseki Chef has been involved in the Japanese restaurant industry of Kyoto for almost 10 years before becoming an executive chef and general manager. He moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2005 and worked for “I Love Sushi”, “Shiro’s” and “Sushi Kappo Tamura”.   Hiro started up his own business, “WA’S Kitchen” in 2015 and is doing some private dinners, “Kaiseki” events, and catering services.

Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara
Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara. Photo Kaoru Okumura

His participation in Japan Culinary Arts Competition Kyoto final and was one of 12 finalist in February 2016. His work was phenomenal, to say the least, a real invigorating experience for the senses.  For more information visit Hiro Tamara-Kaiseki website!

Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara photo by Kaoru
Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara Photo by Kaoru Okumura.

I’ve actually had the opportunity to work with Hiro-san back in the day at one of the first popular Japanese sushi restaurants on the Eastside, “I love Sushi.” His art has evolved and we could all taste it!

Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara and I go way back. He says I've grown too. (lol GOOD! I Hope so!)
Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara and I go way back. He says I’ve grown too. (lol GOOD! I Hope so!)

The guests were so pleased to be able to experience true kaiseki with a Northwest twist.

Kaiseki Chef Hiro Tawara creating smiles. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura
back of a guy's yukata.
back of a guy’s yukata.

Hiro’s Yukata was impressive too. All provided by Master Kimono Coordinator,  Yu Urawa and Mariko Kayama.

Hahaha, those shoes though.

Funny Japanese slippers called "Geta" lol #manhighheals
Funny Japanese slippers called “Geta” lol #manhighheals

Everyone was wearing impressive kimonos. Styled in every which way of color combinations I never imagined would look good.

Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo By Kaoru Okumura
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo By Kaoru Okumura

However, the special guest, Azumi Hosoda by far had the most memerable kimono. This contemporary design and usage in the quality of color was unforgettable.

Azumi Hosoda and wearing her newest kimono creation. Her inspiration arose from her trip to India.
Azumi Hosoda wearing her newest kimono creation. Her inspiration arose from her trip to India. Photo by Kaoru Okumura.

Azumi Hosoda‘s uses a “method [of utilizing a] powerful resistant force of the wax allow[ing] the artist to apply dye in rich quantities, and to layer colors over each other. When colors are layered in this way, it produces an effect like the layering of colored cellophane, where the combination with the color beneath creates depth. ”

Azumi Hosoda  instructs the craft of dying, Kimono Dyeing, Textile Design in the Department of Design, at the Nagoya University of Art. She received her D.F.A. in Art from Kyoto City University in 2007. As a Dyer, she has 20 years experience in textile and craft field and 6 years design experience in the KIMINO field, specializing in ROUZOME wax resist dyeing. Izumi Hosada’s recent projects are as follows: Exhibited Contemporary NOREN exhibition in Kyoto Art Center 2015, Exhibited GION festival exhibition in SOME SEIRYUKAN(dye museum) 2015, Exhibited NIHON SINKOUGEI exhibition in Kyoto in Municipal Museum of Art 2015.

Azumi Hosoda's stunning kimono had such a lasting impression for it's unique balance of color and composition. The mix of contemporary and classic style was truly an inspiration.
Azumi Hosoda’s stunning kimono had such a lasting impression for it’s unique balance of color and composition. The mix of contemporary and classic style was truly an inspiration. Photo by Kaoru Okumura.
Azumi Hosoda's stunning kimono had such a lasting impression for it's unique balance of color and composition. The mix of contemporary and classic style was truly an inspiration.
Azumi Hosoda’s stunning kimono details.

Azumi Hosoda‘s exhibition of art works by wax resist dyeing, had been held at Seattle Kobo Gallery (HIGO) from April 30th to May 14th. Her contemporary modern work using wax dyeing (rouketsusome) on Kimono and panel boards are a creative work of art, displaying true traditional craftsmanship and futuristic elements.

What a positive and well organized event this was thanks to these lovely Kimono ladies.

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The beautiful ladies that made this event a success in all their kimono glory at the Pike Place Market. Photo By Kaoru Okumura.

The beautiful, Mariko Kayama, (in the powder orange kimono)is THE Seattle kimono coordinator- extraordinaire! She offers one of the coolest kimono renting and dressing services in the Pacific Northwest.

Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura.
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo by Kaoru Okumura.

So if fancy wearing something a little different to a graduation party or wedding reception, she’s the one you need to call. Her festively and authentic Japanese kimonos are sure to make a lasting impression at your next celebration, inquire here.

Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo By Kaoru Okumura
Kimono and Kaiseki Kyoto Beautiful JAPAN
 at the Pikes Place Market 2016. Photo By Kaoru Okumura

Mariko Kayama is the daughter of Master Kimono Coordinator,  Yu Urawa (in the beautiful purple Kimono).

Yu Urawa Executive producer/ Master Kimono Coordinator & Instructor (specialized in Bridal Kimonos). Photo By Kaoru Okumura
Yu Urawa Executive producer/ Master Kimono Coordinator & Instructor (specialized in Bridal Kimonos). Photo By Kaoru Okumura

Yu Urawa is a certified kimono expert, an educator of kimonos, and a bridal consultant. She started her career when she married into a kimono retailer in Kobe City. Since then, she has expanded her retail business, as well as became the head instructor of a kimono school. She also established a bridal group Yu and You, and became chairperson for an NPO I Love Kimono Yukinokai Organization. Yu Ugawa presented kimono shows in various locations.

Her first show in Washington was in 2011 at the Eastside Bellevue Aki Matsuri where she presented the Furisode lecture and Yukata Fashion Show. Later, in June 2012, she presented The Tradition and Culture of Kimono at the Nagomi Tea House supported by the North American foundation, in 2013 “Japanese kimono wedding presentation” at the Japanese Garden and in June 2014 “Retro Modern Kimono Show” at the Seattle Asian Museum.

Here she is explaining a very unique stylizing technique for obis (the fabric belt that wraps around the kimono).

Yu Urawa Executive producer/ Master Kimono Coordinator & Instructor (specialized in Bridal Kimonos). Photo By Kaoru Okumura
Yu Urawa Executive producer/ Master Kimono Coordinator & Instructor (specialized in Bridal Kimonos). Photo By Kaoru Okumura

MY ALL TIME PERSONAL FAVORITE KIMONO WAS: MS. Shoka Ludden

Ms. Shoka Ludden had the cutest look <3
Ms. Shoka Ludden had the cutest look <3 Just beautiful details.

This whole event was an inspiration and for my taste buds, eyes, and spirit. I hope My Green Tea can continue to serve and preserve this artful community.

For the next Kimono Event, be sure to tune in to Kimono Art Facebook or their events page.

WE ❤️ YOU Spoon & Tamago blog~!

*・゜゚・*:.。..。.:*・'(*゚▽゚*)’・*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚・*

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 Spoon & Tamago is my all time favorite blog. They capture the exquisite harmony of traditional & contemporary Japanese art and culture. They just recently posted a beautiful piece in the book, Architectural Ikkoan, capturing the beauty of Wagashi*.

 
Loved viewing how the tea world is evolving beautifully, while staying true to its Zen origins.
Wagashi is a traditional Japanese confectionery for tea ceremony. Usually made from mochi, anko, and fruits. Wagashi is typically made from plant ingredients.