MY GREEN REALI-TEA

Active everyday life with My Green Tea

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

Marushichi Tea is MY GREEN TEA ^_<

My Green Tea is a small family run Japanese green tea distributer operating from Seattle, Washington since 1996. We are proud to source our loose leaf and teabags from Marushichi tea family.

(available online at: www.mygreentea.com)

At My Green Tea our mission is very simple, its is to source the finest green tea Japan can offer. When it comes to Japanese green tea, everybody knows that the best is produced in Shizuoka, the green tea capital of Japan.

Marushichi is a Shizuoka tea company with an impeccable reputation that is beloved and employs people within the community. Frankly there is no one that is more professional and dedicated to the quality of tea than the Marushichi tea family. They procure their leaves from select farmers whose families have been growing tea for generations.

The Marushichi tea family have been recognized and awarded for their excellence by both the Imperial palace of Japan and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, & Fisheries of Japan.

Our job as My Green Tea is to humbly bring this amazing tea to you. With love. ❤️

Be Free with T-Free

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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

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

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.