Matcha

Benefits about Matcha.

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

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

Mugen – Yuri Kinoshita

Back in October My Green Tea had the opportunity to participate in a special tea ceremony designed by our beloved and talented friend, Yuri Kinoshita. Hosted by Pottery Northwest, Yuri had worked closely with Wally Bivins and Yoshi Kawamura for this event.

image

Words cannot describe this serene atmosphere she created, inspired by Kimigamo Shrine’s iconic sand mounds in Kyoto. Hence the coned shape sculptures that hold her tea utensils.

image
We actually visited the Kamigamo Shrine this last winter (2015) and actually had the chance to see the sand mounds in person. There are actually always two mounds, we only have this one photographed because there was actually a wedding ceremony taking place and only had a chance to take a quick shot.

Known for her accomplishments as a lighting designer from Kyoto, her work seems to continuously transcend all expectations. This Mugen event did not only serve as an exhibition, but a demonstration of traditional Japanese tea ceremony style known as Ryurei, of course with a Yuri Kinoshita twist.

Just as the traditional Ryurei tea ceremony style they used a table and chairs, instead of sitting on a Tatami mat. Unlike traditional Ryurei tea ceremony style Yuri custom designed and built the 30” ceramic mountain to hold her tools, hot water, sweets, and chawan (tea bowl). Her traditional, yet contemporary use of such material reminded us of one of our favorite tea heroes of all time, Sen no Rikyu. Thank you for allowing us to participate in your beautiful vision.

 

Tea Host: Bonnie Mitchell (East-West Chanoyu Center)

Video: Ian Lucero

Music: (Used with permission) Paul Cheoketen Wagner – “The Sacred Light of the New Day”

Tea: Jyoraku Matcha from My Green Tea

How does Matcha tea help with concentration and focus?

bud
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves-slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” –Thich Nhat Hanh <3

Japanese monks recognized the properties of the deep green elixir a thousand of years ago and used it as an aid in their meditation practice. In long hours of stillness they found that drinking Matcha helped keep their mind calmly alert.

This was New Years 2016 at the Grand Tsubaki Shrine in Granite Falls, WA. They are the only Shinto Shrine on the west cost of America. This is a beautiful place, no matter what season it is.
This was New Years 2016 at the Grand Tsubaki Shrine in Granite Falls, WA. They are the only Shinto Shrine on the west cost of America. This is a beautiful place, no matter what season it is.

For centuries Matcha has given us relaxation without causing drowsiness. Science has confirmed that such practice may be attributed in a rare amino acid Matcha contains, known as L-Theanine. L-Theanine promotes a state of relaxation by influencing the brain. Whilst stress induces beta waves an active, more agitated state, L-Theanine creates alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed attentiveness.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.37.44 PM
In Japan, L-Theanine has been approved for use in all foods, including herb teas, soft drinks, desserts, etc. with some restrictions applying to infant foods.

While this magical protein is common in all green teas, Matcha may contain up to five times more of this amino acid than common black and green teas! Unlike tea’s counterpart, coffee, Matcha promotes concentration and clarity of the body and mind without any of the nervous energy found in coffee. If you are on the pursuit of replacing your everyday coffee in the morning, try Matcha to give you that energy boost and clear focus.

Hope you try our delightful blend of Matcha order 👉here👈 and join the My Green Tea family.

That being said, hope you take time. Make time. For tea time.

Warmly,

The My Green Tea Family

Resources:
1.  Yokogoshi H, et al. Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious ratsNeurochem Res. 1998 May;23(5):667-73.

2.  Ito K, et al. Effects of L-theanine on the release of alpha brain waves in human volunteers. Nippon Nogeikagaku Kaishi 1998;72:153-7.  No abstract.

Why Drink Matcha Green Tea?

Why drink Matcha green tea?

With the increase research more readily available, the question is beginning to sound more like: “Why not drink Matcha green tea?”

image
To the Wealth in Health!

As we age many experience an overload of iron, stress, and acid(s), all of which are contributors to multiple degenerative diseases, including liver fibrosis, heart attack, and cancer. Experiencing the nutrients of unfermented green tea can prevent and perhaps even reverse the effects of free radical, stress-induced tissue damage in the brain, liver, kidneys, etc.! Matcha takes this factoid to a new level. Not only are you able to experience the nutrients that ultimately regenerate cells in your body, you are experiencing it x 10 in every one cup of Matcha! Matcha tea is a super finely ground powder derived from dried young buds and leaves of the Camillia sinesis (aka: tea plant), so your not straining, rather you are ingesting the entire tea leaf.

image
Yes, Matcha is the all natural 1000 year old miracle elixir.

In short here are some of the super power qualities Matcha has to offer:

  • Contains high amounts of antioxidants* including the powerful catechins EGCG*
  • Burns calories and boosts metabolism
  • Provides sustained and focused energy
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Packed with vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and chromium
  • Enhances concentration

I must say the winning flavor of the closing year comes from our casually ceremonial Jyoraku Matcha green tea. It is produced in Kotanabe, Kyoto, Japan by the Nishimura family that has been producing this very blend for 140 years (in their 200 year-old family-owned fields. As we say in My Green Tea, their tradition and spiritual connection to Tea is famous in the Kyoto prefecture.

I am no scientific expert, but I guarantee that this will not be the last blog posting on how beneficial this ceremonial grade green tea is.

A cup of Matcha a day will for sure keep that doctor away ^.<

Antiodixants: the chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic diseases (aka: the body’s defense agents. The more you intake, the better you equip your body in fighting infections and disease.

Catechin EGCg: AKA: epigallocatechin gallate. A super class of antioxidant that help fight bacteria and infections.

❤️My Green Tea