JAPANESE GREEN TEA

different types

tokara x My Green Tea x Mika Sullivan

Tokara Wagashi @ 6208 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Tokara Wagashi @ 6208 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Come and enjoy a sweet, bowl of matcha, and/or check out some potential gift ideas this Sunday.  

My Green Tea will be accompanying Japanese Confectionary Chef Tokara‘s special Toryanse (open house) to whisk matcha, enjoy this month’s delightful wagashi morsels, and showcase the Japanese community’s beloved ceramic artist, Mika Sullivan’s life works. Her pottery will be available for sale by her family, the pieces will be the last of her works.

Mika-san's works were all so thoughtfully made. Her collections were Kyoto inspired.
Mika-san’s works were all so thoughtfully made. Her collections were Kyoto inspired.
Mika Sullivan (Left), passed this last year from cancer. Her art and spirit live on in her beautiful ceramic works.
@Tokara on Phinney serving up Matcha with Mika Sullivan in 2013. Mika Sullivan (Left), passed this last year from cancer. Her art and spirit live on in her beautiful ceramic works.

 

Every cup has its own personal character and feel. To this day, I use the cup she made with great care, as it was made with so much love thought.
Every cup has its own personal character and feel. To this day, I use the cup she made with great care, as it was made with so much love thought.
We as a family have been using Mika-san’s pieces, as there is no one who can make a “Kata-kuchi chawan” (bowl with a spout), like she can. Actually many, if not all of My Green Tea’s instagram shots of tea use most of her beautiful cups and/or chawans.
Though she has left this earth earlier then we all wanted her to, she’s left us with priceless pieces that are perfectly user-friendly and timeless in design.
If you've seen me at a tasting/tea demonstration, you've probably have seen me use this chawan made by Mika-san.
Kata-kuchi Chawan – Bowl with spout. If you’ve seen me (Nicole Momoko) at a tasting/tea demonstration, you’ve probably have seen me use this chawan made by Mika-san.
Her drip-preventing chawan really makes it easy to pour samples of our Matcha and I am so thankful to experience such well made pieces. To this day, we continue to use her user-friendly, distinctively Kyoto inspired ceramics as tools to help spread the practice of tea.
Hand crafted works ceramic works that suit any and all styles. All made from her studio in Marysville
Hand crafted works ceramic works that suit any and all styles. All made from her studio in Marysville
If you have a chance to stop by to check out her collection, or just to take a moment to enjoy Tokara-san’s quaint Japanese vibe, please do. ^__^
WHERE:
TOKARA (6208 Phinney Avenue North, Seattle WA 98103)
WHEN:
SUNDAY 12.09.2016 1:00PM-5:00PM

One Fourth Rule

This teapot is from a cute little store in Kumamoto (in the Kyushu Prefecture)
This teapot is from a cute little store in Kumamoto (in the Kyushu Prefecture)

Watching my tea leaves relax 🍃😌 in room temperature water for a minute or so before I surprise💃🏻 them with hot water. (For more details about why I do this visit the My Green Tea blog)

I call this my “1/4 rule”. I fill 1/4 of whatever I’m using as an infuser, teapot, kyusu, with room temp water let is sit for a minute or so to give thanks, and observe the leaves relax, simply add my hot water to get an optimal temp of 160-170 degrees F (70-77 degrees C).

In the event that you don’t have a hot water temperature reader/device accessible the “1/4 rule” comes in handy. You may certainly switch up those sensitive variables by adding/decreasing tea/water quantity, tinkering with water temperature, or increasing/decreasing the steep time.

Many people actually miss-brew Japanese green tea, especially Sencha because people forget how raw green tea is, relative to oolongs and black teas. Steeping Sencha, in scorching hot water will incinerate your leaves as well as most the health benefits 👎😱that make it worth while to drink. And though it still offers cancer fighting proteins known as Catechin, we miss out on the vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and antioxidants that make green tea so healthful.

You may re-brew a good quality Sencha up to 5 times (though my parents might kill me for suggesting that, I find that our Sencha is exceptionally good, full bodied, -especially this year’s crop!)

The variables to making a wonderful cup of green tea are so sensitive (as mentioned above: quantity of tea/water, temperature, etc) but we promise the trick is just to simply be attentive and aware of your process. Took me at least 10 mistake brews to enjoy my “perfect” cup. But don’t forget to not let your precious tea go to waste, as there is still loads of Catechin 👊🏼 in your uber bitter Sencha. So the My Green Tea family encourages you to take time. Make time. For tea time🍵💚. Make it a ritual to figure your own balance and sustain it. 💗

Be Free with T-Free

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 12.52.51 PM
Nothing like enjoying a cup of emerald green tea while taking in this glittering emerald city view. Feeling free with the T-Free.

How important it is to respect and enjoy freedom. Did you know that you can brew a wholesome cup of My Green Tea’s Sencha tea without access to hot water💚🍃?

There are a lot of infusers out there in the world, trust us we probably own 50+ variations of different shapes and sizes, but this handy dandy apparatus, known as the T-Free by MacMa is our favorite outdoor infuser because of its usability.

MacMa's Double lid T-Free makes it easy to adventure.
MacMa’s Double lid T-Free makes it easy to adventure.

This adventure-ready twin-lid brewing bottle is completely BPS and BPA free, dishwasher safe and even comes with a stainless steal strainer. Thanks to its super light-weight design, T-Free makes it easy to enjoy your tea hot or cold, in rain or shine, and on-the-go. Off the grid? No worries needed with this symbiotic combo. My Green Tea’s Sencha + MacMa’s T-Free = Zenful Adventure time. ^_^

Here is the stainless steel strainer. When you pour water into the T-free you have to be careful not to overflow your container because the strainer is so fine, it takes a little extra time for all the water to come through.
Here is the stainless steel strainer. When you pour water into the T-free you have to be careful not to overflow your container because the strainer is so fine, it takes a little extra time for all the water to come through.

Simply put the same amount of tea as you would a hot brew and gently bob your tea to an angelic rhythm (trust us it makes a difference😊), take the strainer out to save for another brew, and/or discard. This year My Green Tea’s Sencha tea is devine, so we’ve brewed it up to 7 times, no joke, simply because it taste good.

All of our loose tea leaves are biodegradable so you may dispose anywhere you wish with no guilt in harming the planet🌍. We hope you enjoy your moments, practices, adventures, experiences with great presence and quality. o(^_-)O (We find the tea taste better in nature anyways).

T-Free makes for a great gift for the tea lover that has it all, stop by our online shop to make your order today!  (💁🏻 My Green Tea)
‪#‎MyGreenTeagram‬ ‪#‎freedom‬ ‪#‎TFree‬ ‪#‎BPAfree‬ ‪#‎coldbrew‬ ‪#‎nature‬ ‪#‎greentea‬ ‪#‎Sencha‬ ‪#‎teainfuser‬ ‪#‎livewell‬ ‪#‎bewell‬ ‪#‎teatime‬ ‪#‎teatimeallthetime‬ ‪#‎naturalweightloss‬ ‪#‎detox‬ ‪#‎teatox‬ ‪#‎vitaminC‬ ‪#‎foreveryoung‬ ‪#‎campingvibes

Junk Matcha Vs. Good Matcha

How can you tell junk Matcha from the REAL stuff🤔? Well open your eyes, inhale through your nose, whisk attentively, and taste the difference. 

 

Though this beverage is ancient, newer technologies have allowed tea growers to perfect their blends. Tradition has shown us that the most delicious matcha comes from Kyoto in a Village called Uji.

My Green Tea flew across the Pacific Ocean to get to Kyotanabe, Kyoto (Uji Village) to meet with our dear Matcha producing friends, the Nishimuras
My Green Tea flew across the Pacific Ocean to get to Kyotanabe, Kyoto (Uji Village) to meet with our dear Matcha producing friends, the Nishimuras

The reason why traditionally people still revere Uji tea is attributed, not only for their rich soil and pure water, but the special topography and foggy micro climate.  The Uji and Kizu rivers both flow through the valleys and every year it rains more than 60 inches. The steep valleys create great temperature differences between day and night, resulting in fog, preventing frost from forming. Thus simply knowing where your Matcha comes from is a big factor when delineating between good and junk matcha..

The grade of the tea depends on many factors, here are 4 basic ways you can differentiate the quality of matcha:


(1) “Open your eyes”

to color💚👀. In dry and wet forms, low grade matcha is more yellow in color whereas higher grade matchas’ are a lush vibrant green color. You certainly don’t need to be a scientist to see the difference between the two grades in any which form. But if need be, stretch your eyes out, close them for a bit, massage them :roll: ;). Perhaps using a white and/or light-toned tea utensils/cups to get a clearer view. 

Can you tell which one is the higher grade? Higher Grade = More Antioxidants, but low grades offer a considerably high amount of catachins.
Can you tell which one is the higher grade? Higher Grade = More Antioxidants, but low grades offer a considerably high amount of catachins.

(2) “Inhale through your nose”

and smell👃🏼, higher grade matcha has a sweet grassy aroma whereas lower grades have a distinctive hay-like smell. Don’t sniff too close as this powder is incredibly fine. Definitely mind your breathing as you can easy make a mess simply breathing through your mouth  😀 (you don’t want to blow away your precious matcha powder).  

Can you tell which one is the higher grade?
Sniff away (if you can’t already tell by the color of course). Can you tell which ra

(3) ” Whisk attentively,”

Mind your utensils and be present when using your precious tools to prepare your precious tea. These ease or difficulty in “whisk-ability” 🌪 may also show you the quality of your matcha. (Please note that this may also depend on your water temperature 🌡 and whisking technique.  After whisking the two grades vigorously we noticed that it was harder to whisk the lower grade matcha and the bubbles were also yellow in color while the higher grade was easier to whisk and more consistent powder green color.

It was definitely easier to whisk one more than the other.
It was definitely easier to whisk one more than the other.
By far the coolest tea tools we've come across in Japan. No, that would be understatement this was the best tea tool we've ever seen, ever.
Totally random note, but: this is by far the coolest tea tools we’ve come across in Japan. No, that would be understatement this was the best tea tool we’ve ever seen, ever.

(4) “Taste👅 the difference”, really good matcha has a unique slightly bitter, sweet umami flavor while lower grades lack thereof. image

Yum Yum. Thank you Nishimura-san for your beautiful Matcha.
Yum Yum. Thank you Nishimura-san for your beautiful Matcha.

Now that you are a matcha pro, I dare you to try our delicious Uji grown Matcha! ^_^

Stay tuned because our Matcha looks will change shortly! ^__^
Stay tuned because our Matcha looks will change shortly! ^__^

 

#getreal #greentea #MyGreenTea #MyGreenTeagram #Matcha#liquidzen #zen 🙏#bewell #bereal#antioxidants #beaware #observation#teatasting #japanesegreentea 🤓💚#greenteanerd

EASY DIY Green Tea Toner

A little bit of My Green Tea's Sencha 2gm (and/or 3gm) teabags go a long way. So take advantage of this miracle bevy ^_<
A little bit of My Green Tea’s Sencha tea go a long way. So take advantage of this miracle bevy ^_<

If you don’t know already, Sencha consists of the top buds and leaves of the Camillia Sinesis (AKA: The tea plant). My Green Tea’s Sencha teas pack a considerable amount of vitamin C, A, and E, as well as those cancer fighting ninjas known as antioxidants.

I always have a 2gm Sencha handy in my purse for emergency “liquid-Zen needing experiences.” ^_^ Though My Green Tea’s 2gm teas are awesome on the go, I usually feel a little guilty because much of the packaging goes to waste. Literally each 2gm Sencha tea bag is individually packaged and meant for single time use.

To feel like I’ve used each 2gm Sencha tea bag to the fullest I realized that if I simply just rebrew the same bag twice there would surely be enough vitamin C, E, A, and antioxidants still left over. So why not make myself a little DIY green tea toner? Now my little emergency “liquid-Zen” can also serve as my emergency toner. 😉 If you didn’t already know, green tea helps reduce inflammation, increases the skin’s elasticity, and provides a measure of sun protection. Green tea toner can cleanse and reduce the appearance of pores to help give your skin a youthful glow. Making green tea toner at home is a super inexpensive way to enhance your skin care routine.

After much experimenting, I found a perfectly simple DIY green tea toner recipe that works perfectly well with My Green Tea’s Sencha 2gm teabags. All you need is 3 ingredients that include:

  • One Sencha 2gm teabag  (could be an already steeped bag* note that it should not have been brewed more than once)
  • 1/4 cup of distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon of organic witch hazel.
image
All you need are these 3 simple ingredients and you can enjoy a fresh home-made green tea toner in 15 minutes!

(1) Bing your distilled water to 175 degrees F (or boil your water and let it sit for roughly 3-5 minutes).

Bring your water to 175 degrees Fahrenheit or 80 degrees Celsius
Bring your water to 175 degrees Fahrenheit or 80 degrees Celsius

(2) Steep your tea as if you would normally drink it, for roughly 1-2 minutes.

Just let the tea bag do the work for you
Just let the tea bag do the work for you

(3) Remove the tea bag and let it cool down till its at room temperature.

Notice the difference in color.
Notice the difference in color.

(4) Once its at room temperature add your 1 tablespoon of organic which hazel and Vuala! You have your own little Sencha green tea toner! You may put it in a spray bottle or airtight container and apply with cotton balls.

You can also play with your own ratios, some people prefer a stronger witch hazel smell/sensation, but I found this ratio to be just right for my skin.
You can also play with your own ratios, some people prefer a stronger witch hazel smell/sensation, but I found this ratio to be just right for my skin.
A little bit of My Green Tea's Sencha 2gm (and/or 3gm) teabags go a long way. So take advantage of Vitamins A, C, E, and minerals that make Sencha so good for you inside and out.
Let Sencha heal you from the inside out or the outside in.

As for applying onto the skin, I just use my hands, but feel free to use cotton swabs to gently dab your face. It should give you a very refreshed and clean sensation.  ^__^

For sensitive skin and/or to experience optimal results, we advise always using a fresh bag of My Green Tea’s Sencha 2gm.

Please note that green tea, like any other food item, is a perishable food product. We recommend using this DIY green tea toner for no more then 5 days and to store it in a cool dry area.

Hope if you choose to DIY this toner you use a tea that is of high quality to ensure the best results ^.< This recipe is super simple, so we encourage you to play around with the ratios to concoct a toner that is perfect for your skin!

Don’t have 2 gram My Green Tea teabag😐? That’s okay👍, email 💌 me (*mygreentea.com@gmail.com*) your name and address and I’ll personally send you a complimentary Sencha 2 gm for your drinking/beauty pleasure. #naturalskincare #Sencha #poweroftea #MyGreenTea