January Hot Tea Month-Playing Catch Up

Eleven days have past without an update to this blog post for January Hot Tea Month.

I could give a host of reasons why, but let’s just stick to “Life Happens”.

Note I have been true to my commitment to exploring tea every day, the placing pen to paper, not so much.

So let’s play catch up and keep it short and sweet.

Day 11

Globus Washitsu

Being at home today gave me time to reflect upon an event I attended a few weeks ago at Globus Washitsu . This event, TSUCHI, featured 5 Ceramic artists. The creations, beautiful, each piece with its own special meaning and message. I was also graced with the opportunity to speak with two of the artisans, and for me, this is always an honor. We spoke about certain pieces and how they were created, the techniques used, the glazes, the colors. How each work has a life of its own and can result in unexpected patterns of beauty.

 

 

photo 1 (78)I could not resist picking up two teacups that caught my eye, one created by Mako Nishimori owner of New York Togei Kyoshitsu  a ceramics studio where one can learn the art of Japanese pottery techniques. We spoke about some of her wonderful creations and how different techniques affect the outcome.

photo 1 (77)One very unique sculptured piece was in the shape of a wreath. Mako showed me the interior of the design explaining how lighting could be inserted inside and beams of light would escape through the small holes at the base of the sculpture.

 

 

photo 4 (33)The other treasured cup I brought home, was created by Gary Pagano, of Chabuta, what attracted me to this piece was its delicacy, color and the raised design that resembled a phoenix rising in the center of the cup.

Gary and I spoke at length about artisan works and found like-minded-ness in many things. I look forward to attending more events at Globus Washitsu and am very excited to visit the upcoming Kimono event in February/March.

Oh, and by the way I am still obsessing over this matcha whisk

photo 3 (58)

 

 

 

 

 

Day 12

Duckings AminaThis evening I had the distinct opportunity to attend, another reading of Ducklings, written by Amina Henry. The venue, National Black Theatre, was a great space for this rendition. The audience lively, the performers, spectacular and the choreography amazing. Another great night, matcha in hand.

 

Day 13

A Special Day, Mom’s Birthday, we had Red Velvet cake and Lord Petersham tea her favorites.

 

Day 14

Ok, I’m hooked on “Empire”, looking forward to tonights’ segment with treats and tea.

 

Day 15

photo 3 (60)A Special Day, my “birth”day and My Daughters Birthday. I am blessed.

 

 

 

 

Day 16

Getting ready for my daughters dance company intensive this weekend, lots to do and I get to make the tea. Up until the wee hours I happened to catch a re-run of a Living Well segment “How Tea Can Boost Your Health” originally released June, 2014. Interesting…

Day 17

Day One: Movement Of the People Dance Company’s Winter Intensive at Barnard College.

For the lunch break I sauntered down to Dig Inn, a Farm to counter dining establishment. I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice selection of tea.

I did not inquire about the hot tea selections as the iced selection was calling me. The “Artisanal” teas are supplied by Brew Lab Tea and the choices were Lemon Raspberry Rooibos, Vanilla Mint Rooibos, Ginger Black, Passionfruit Black, Shady Pine (unsweetened green) and Simple Black (unsweetened). The description on the menu states the blends are sweetened with agave. I tried the Vanilla Mint Rooibos and was satisfied with the profile and also surprised it was not over-sweetened.

Day 18

photo 2 (85)Day Two MOPDC’s Winter Intensive

Enjoying the excitment of the participants and having conversations with the dancers is a joy. We spoke about many things and of course, tea.

 

 

Day 19

photo 2 (1)

Day Three MOPDC’s Winter Intensive and Free Studio Showing

Playing to a full house, the ladies and gentlemen gave superb renditions. The segments, many being created in the six hours remaining of the dance intensive. The  4 to 7 minute dance renditions, showcased the movements explored in the intensive, as well as the choreographers visions and ideas of past and future works. The potential for these snippets was apparent with every performance.

After the final piece “Movimento do Povo“, choreographed by Joya Powell, the floor was opened to feedback from the audience. I have been to several sessions that encompass this component where, once announced, the audience leaves in droves beating a path to the door. This was different most of the audience attendees stayed and gave constructive praise and feedback. Upon exiting they enjoyed the snack and tea service in the entry way. I served  SerendipiTea, Ambrosia, an organic Rooibos and RoseHip base accented with apples, chocolate bits, cacao nibs, mango and vanilla. The crowd enjoyed it and we were soon “out of tea”. The Intensive was deemed a success and the company has been requested to coordinate another in the near future. Congratulations to all.

I hope to quickly get to the posts listed below shortly, so much to write…

Day 20 Pinning Ceremony at Specialty Tea Institute (more to come)

Day 21 A day of friendship filled my cup (more to come)

Day 22 Happy Birthday to Me (more will be revealed)

Day 23 Continuing the Birthday Bash (more will be revealed)

Thanks for your patience.

January Hot Tea Month-Day Ten

photo 3 (51)Last post I wrote about tea ware and how most of the pieces I own are my favorites for a variety of reasons.

Today, I will focus on one of my pet peeves, Tea Trays.

It seems I have no luck when it comes to these items. Each purchase/investment I have made in wood tea trays has been disappointing.

Tea trays serve many functions for me in my endeavors. I use them in my office for tastings and blending trials, in presentations for gongfu cha brewing and matcha preparation demonstrations et.al.

Besides having an authentic look I feel the trays must be functional.

So let’s take a look at some I have acquired along my tea journey.

Metal tea TrayMy first tea tray is a metal model with a plastic hose that empties wastewater into a bucket. I made this purchase based on observing the use, many times in a professional environment. I have used it and find it very functional, although not very attractive. This one is a keeper.

My second was bamboo tray of standard issue size with a more traditional look. I use this mainly for tastings on my office desk and have used it in presentations. Since I must pack materials to go, I was not very happy about its size and weight for presentations and began searching for a more compact model for this purpose.photo 1 (73)

I have owned it for five years and just recently, to my horror and dismay, it now leaks.

 

 

At World Tea Expo two years ago, I thought I found the perfect solution. The narrow wood tea tray was beautiful and I was told, from a trusted source, functional. The tray, I was informed, was a handcrafted artisan piece. When I got home I admired the beauty of the work and proceeded to wrap it is soft chamois cloth to preserve this treasured, costly, artisan work. I then placed it in a storage unit away from heat and moisture. Saving it for just the right presentation, to be used with my prized yixing set, I took it out for the first time to use last year, and to my horror found a series of cracks in the wood both on the top as well as the base, rendering this purchase useless for functionality.

Tea Table Tray Design 2Once I had gotten over my disappointment with the previous tray, I decided to design one of my own and have an artisan create it for me. I sent specs and design and after months of communication with the artisan and design adjustments, my tray arrived.

Larger than any I had owned, I wanted this to be a statement piece, with dual functionality for both gongfu cha and matcha presentations, having the ability to utilize water heating capability within the unit. Upon arrival and to my horror and dismay the tray arrived damaged by postage.

So again after a considerable investment, I was disappointed. (Note the artisan has offered to replace the damaged parts, I have not requested it as of yet as I am still working out my sadness)

 

photo 2 (75)

 

My most recent purchase (two days ago), is a mini bamboo tea tray, that I have yet to use, although I did a water test as soon as it arrived and so far so good.

 

In preparation for this post I searched online for a possible solution to repair my tea tray number two and found that many others have gone through the same issues with bamboo/wood trays and the most common suggestion is to invest in tea trays/boats made of other materials i.e. clay or porcelain. Although these would not suit my purpose as they are heavy and fragile.

So if any of my readers have any suggestions as to what I can use to “Stop The Leaks” of the trays I already own, I am open to suggestion.

Thanks again for reading

 

 

 

January Hot Tea Month-Day Nine

Tea Set Thailand 1This day was spent photographing for a tea post. I have been honored with a request to participate as a guest contributor to a feature on tea ware.

I had mentioned on Day One, while we were sipping tea at T Shop, there was a tea blogger in attendance that I had never met, Georgia, Notes on Tea.

What a surprise when I got e-mail the next day asking me to participate as a guest blogger:

We have not formally met yet but I hope you will participate in “Favorite TeaWare”, a new series on the Notes on Tea blog.

As a tea drinker, and I am sure this is true for you, I adore teaware, from bombillas to matcha whisks. But everyone has their favorites! What are yours? I hope you will share them with Notes on Tea readers.

If you decide to participate, and I hope you will, please send photos of your favorite tea ware (3-5 pieces) with a brief description of each. I’d love to know where you got each piece or who gave it to you and why it’s a favorite. Nicole Martin and Jee Choe have contributed to the series.

Thank you in advance!”

Well, with all the blogging I have been doing I said “Why not?”

Little did I know, with my IPod as my only photography equipment, that this would be a challenge.

Well it is completed. I will let you know if and when it is released.

Since all the tea ware I own are favorites, culling the collection to include only a few was not easy.

In the grouping I left out two special pieces in my collection that I will share now.

My “Grown- Up”, tea set that was given to me by my husband on our last anniversary. This Benjarong (Benjarong means five colors the limit for traditional pieces) ware, made in Thailand, is a classic design, multi-colored with delicate hand-painted tiny patterns. The set is porcelain trimmed in gold.

I use it rarely, as it is a treasure.

Roberts Tea Pot

And also, this lovely piece given to me by my dear friends from “Down Under”and it is a “bonzer”, perfect for my morning brew.

Sending hugs.

January Hot Tea Month-Day Eight

TTT

 

Upon waking yesterday, I found myself stunned. Faced with the realities that exist in the world I could not bring myself to write. For the most part, even focusing on daily chores became inconsequential.

I drank many cups of Sencha in an attempt to make sense out of senselessness, as I watched the news reports.

Of course the verdict remained the same, it made no sense.

I felt there would be one reprieve to the sorrow and somberness of spirit, I would be meeting a few friends later that evening, on G+, for the first Tandem Tea Tasting of the New Year.

For Life Cup

 

Since my mood was glum for most of the day, I decided to bring a cup of Matcha to the party. No, it was not a bowl, it was a 16oz cup. Yes, I felt the need to immerse myself in the brew to keep from falling into melancholy.

When it was almost time, I got a note the meeting would be delayed for a half hour and I prayed silently, that this event would not be canceled.

I replenished my 16 oz cup replacing the many sips I had taken during the wait.

Logging in I was happy to see the activity had begun and Nicole, Tea For Me Please and Rachel, I Heart Teas had already begun conversation. Once in, Geoff, Lazy Literatus was entering as well.

Ethan Asam, Rachel’s youngest graced the screen and we all remarked how he had grown over the last few months. We bid him goodnight and the conversation began in earnest, we had so much catching up to do.

Topics Covered

World Tea Expo 2015

Changes in the “state” of tea

Tea Blogging and analytics, A Tea Blogger Directory 

Tweets & Posts of interest

Geoff Tweet

 

Making tea concoctions (infusing & blending tea) Rachel is becoming a Tea infused cocktail specialist.

We missed two of our posse Jackie, Leafbox Tea and Darlene, The Tea Enthusiasts Scrapbook.

When the clock struck midnight (my time) and my cup was empty It was time for me to bid adieu. I have coined a new nickname for our group “Tea Talk Til Midnight” and my dear Geoff appropriately called it “Midnight Tea Talks”

So, if just for a few moments, I was able to escape the din of the world. Thanks all.

For another view of this joyous event see I Heart Teas, Rachel’s blog.

 

January Hot Tea Month-Day Seven

Some Days There Are No Words

January Hot Tea Month-Day Six

photo 2 (42)After yesterday’s unfermented green pu-erh intoxication that, by the way, placed me in a hyper-intitutive state. In this condition I was prompted to ponder the state of my tea drinking.

I have drunk more varieties of tea than the average consumer, though much, much less than Rajiv Lochan, Geoff Norman, Tony Gebely or Robert Godden (though I am suspect of Roberts’ perceived numbers as he is not at all fond on Japanese Teas).

Now I must also clarify, I stated I have drunk more varieties of tea, although more cups of tea may not stand up in numerical statistics, for I know a few stalwart Lipton/Tetley/Red Rose and sweet tea, consumers that would probably surpass me in cups of tea consumed. And then again, my premise may not hold true, as these “blends in bags” may contain a multitude of cultivated varieties.

Pureh cupping

 

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I had not decided which of the raw pu-erhs I would deem a favorite. This gave me cause to consider how I make those choices.

My palate preferences run the gamut and land on choices based on certain criteria and not in any particular order: my mood, the weather, what I am eating, and how I want to feel.

In adding a tea to my favorite list, I will take into account:

earth morning cannister

The aroma of the leaf-I have mentioned in the past that there are times when just opening a canister of tea, I am transported to a different state of being, country or venue (much to do with how I associate the scent of the tea). The aromatic wafting of the leaves prepares me for the brew I will sip.

The aroma of the brew-Sometimes true to the aroma of the leaf and other times the water may highlight other notes in the brew, for example floral or fruity notes.

The look-I appreciate both the look of the leaf as well as the color and clarity of the brew. I examine the richness or subtly of color, the depth of color or whimsical lightness of the liquid swirling in my cup.

The characteristics-The texture, the body and flavor of the brew, and can I rely on it consistently. Once I have found the right brewing measurements for my palate, if repeated, will it always bring that same pleasure and satisfaction.

The sapor or aftertaste-Also called Hui Gan is the sensation that envelops the mouth and back of the throat. It is the lingering sensation that usually compels me to want more.

How it makes me feel- The qi, how the tea reacts with my body enabling me to relax or accelerate. I have had several experiences where a certain tea will address specifically, what my body needs at that moment, matcha being just one example.

So to end this post for day 6 here is a short list of some of my favorites;photo 4 (1)

Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black

Unmon-No-Mukashi Matcha

Wood Dragon Oolong

Organic Jaksul Green Chutmool

Lord Petersham

Island Green

Jing Mai

Doke Black Fusion

Earth Morning (a blend of my creation)

 

January Hot Tea Month-Day Five

photo 3 (41)

Having had such a jam packed day four, and being exposed to the elements of the torrential downpour last evening, I decided to stay in and give myself a well- deserved rest.

Besides the long list of daily tasks, I wanted to conduct a sample tasting idea I have had since my subscribing to Jalam Teas Monthly program.

To the credit of this tea supplier, I now have a better, more experienced, appreciation of unfermented pu-erh.

Robert, The Devotea, you can stop reading now :-)

photo 1 (65)

I have told the story to a few of my tea friends, that on the best of days, if offered a cup of the finest unfermented leaf and given a choice between Sheng, (raw/green/uncooked) and Shu, (ripened/black/cooked), I would choose Shu.

 

 

photo 1 (62)You see, a while back, many years ago, my first exposure to raw pu-reh was jarring. The brew although of good quality leaf left me with a bitter memory. When I questioned the intent of the leaf, I was told it was an acquired taste and may not be to my palate preference. I agreed and kept away. I did purchase a bit, as my desire to learn and experience got the better of me and I was told the taste would change with age.

 

I have been trying each sheng and shu pu-erh from Jalam, as they arrive at my door and have enjoyed them all individually. It dawned on me that although each one was special (Thank you Jalam Tea), I had not given myself the opportunity to explore these side by side and examine the nuances of each.

Puerh Tea BasketI went into my partial stash and chose three, now I did not think to choose three that exhibited similar profiles based on the descriptions on the back of the informational postcards that come with each cake, I just picked out the first three unfermented cakes I put my hands on. I will in the future choose more carefully based on profile descriptions.

 

photo 2 (63)

For my first cup I chose the He Kai, a green unfermented pu-erh.

Part of the card description, “It is a tea to be enjoyed when in need of something to “wake up both the mouth and mind” in Jeff’s words”.

I knew it would address my current state of ennui.

He Kai is, as stated, a powerful tea with great well-rounded flavor with a hint of floral orchid endnote.

 

Next, I sampled the Bang Pun, also green unfermented pu-erh. This cup was milder to my palate and stronger in floral nuances.

 

Lastly, I tried the most recent shipment Naka, another green unfermented pu-erh. The tea’s intensity, to my palate, was stronger and less floral than the others.

I am not ready as yet, to highlight any one as leaning towards a favorite and as I mentioned I have not drunk enough sheng pu-erh to make any qualified assessments.

What I can say is, Thank You, Jalam Teas, for sending, through your monthly subscription, a way for me to explore, embrace and enjoy Pu-erh and for my all time favorite Jing Mai.

After this write up I noticed a posting on Facebook that Jeff & Julie are engaged, Sending you much congratulations and warm wishes.

photo 2 (62)

 

 

January Hot Tea Month-Day Four

As a tree has many branches each leaf is unique, with proper care and nurturing the tree will grow and thrive.

There is much to be said about the tea people in my circles. Our interests, palates, industry choices, favorite brands may differ, although despite all the differences, we stay connected by the leaf.

And I will fess up now “I so enjoy meeting and interacting with my friends in tea”.

There is something wonderful that happens within my spirit, an uplifting charge and reaffirmation that I am, where I am supposed to be.

On Friday, one of my dear tea friends placed this post on FaceBook

fb post

It was no coincidence that I had been trying for several weeks to find someone to join me on a tea trek to this expo. I immediately responded I’m in.

After a few d/m’s we made the arrangements to meet and share this experience.

Although I am a morning person, planning to meet at a subway stop destination by 11:30am on a Sunday morning was not the norm for me.

Arriving on time and sending my “I’m here” message to Nicole, Tea For Me Please, she let me know that her train was delayed and also informed me we would be joined by another, “partner in tea”, Natasha, Snooty Tea Person.

photo 4 (17)Shortly afterwards I was joined by Natasha who always comes bearing tea gifts and her choices are always unique and exciting. Tea people enjoy sharing tea.

When Nicole arrived we began our journey to Queens. On the train and bus, lively tea conversation began, playing catch up on the many days past and comparing notes for future tea experiences.

photo 3 (38)The Queens Crossing Art Gallery space was a perfect venue set-up for the Fang product display and tasting. The artisan works lined the perimeter with the tasting tables in the center of the floor in linear arrangement.

I was disappointed that we were not allowed to take photographs. For a tea blogger this is decidedly a downer. The Culture Of Tea & Tea Ware Expo presented by Fang Gourmet Tea, though small, was a very nice representation of the high end products the company had to offer (note by high end, let me clarify, way above my budget). The items were exquisite and in each section I visited there was at least one tea set, tea tray, tea accessory that I would have liked to add to my collection.

The photos below are from the Fang Gourmet Facebook Page.

We had a lengthy conversation with one of the tea specialists about the amazing collection of Rock Mineral Teapots and Cups that were on display, the artisan workmanship was beautifully executed. The combination of the clay and minerals are said to elevate the quality of the tea (ok, I can not justify, ever, spending over $11,000.00 on a teapot).

For the tasting it was our intention to each order one brewing of a selected tea and share our tasting with each other. This resulted in another disappointment when we realized this was not permitted. The tasting menu was extensive from each variety and at varying prices. It took us a while to make our selection and finally agreed to share a gongfu style brewing, of Yiwu Hundred -year Ancient Tea Tree Loose Raw Puerh. The brew was enjoyable, expending six infusions from the long wiry leaves.

Not wanting to end the day on a “Queens” note, Nicole and I decided to continue our tea day journey and investigate a new matcha cafe recently opened in Manhattan. Natasha could not join us as she had another appointment scheduled.

Arriving at Grand Central station we bid Natasha goodbye then on to drink more tea. Our travels took us to Lower Manhattan and Alphabet City in search of a warm cup of Matcha.

Matcha Café Wabi, 233 East 4th Street, (between aves A & B), is a small matcha bar (standing room only) serving hand whisked Matcha, Matcha to go, as well as sweets, green tea ice cream and coffee. Though small, this compact environment  where the atmosphere is friendly and warm. We scoped the menu and settled on photo 3 (34)a straight cup of liquid joy. A refreshing energizing treat on our tea trek and a new location to add to my list of recommended tea haunts. The shop will also feature exhibits by local artists and a variety of classes.

After this short much needed relief, we headed over to T Shop knowing there would be seating and more warm cups of tea. Seeing Theresa is always a pleasure and sharing tea with her a joy.

photo 2 (58)Earlier that day Nicole received a note from Yoon Hee, Tea for Life, inquiring how long we would be at the expo as she might like to join us. I was so excited thinking of the possibility of seeing her. When she arrived at T Shop my day was complete. More exciting tea conversation ensued and plans discussed.

 

Theresa shared a special tea with us from her personal collection. The leaves of this white tea are so beautiful (of course my visions explored the possibility of creating a piece of jewelry incorporating this element).

Time passes quickly as we were so engrossed in sips of tea and conversation. Honestly, I did not want to leave. The environment of T Shop is so comfortable, and our host so gracious, being there, especially with good friends, is like being at home.

photo 3 (39)With much dismay I had to leave and as life would have it got caught in a torrential downpour on the way to the train.

 

 

2015 DA

FYI, I did make it home in time to catch Downton Abbey and proceeded to end the night with tea and treats. Oh and by the way the sweet in the cup is homemade matcha mousse. My daughter has given it the thumbs up.

 

 

January Hot Tea Month-Day Three

photo 1 (53)Today, the elements presented me with an early snow. I was somewhat prepared to face the icy cold snow/hail/rain falling from the darkened skies. The streets became slick quickly and travel was challenging.

The gray clouds in the sky were appropriate, as I was on my way to the funeral of a friend’s husband, his passing, as unexpected as the shade of the day.

After a lovely ceremony honoring this quiet, strong man, I decided to plan my tea day around prayer, and contemplation, along with cups of tea.

To make it interesting, and reflect the onset of the winter cold, I decided to choose teas with a seasonal name.

 

photo 3 (32)Winter Rose Mint

 

 

My own holiday blend, a soothing combination of peppermint, rooibos and rose petals, I chose this tea to help place myself in a photo 4 (12)meditative state.

To relax my mind reflect upon the feelings of loss and the ever-present changes that occur with life and passing through.

 

In contemplation the thought occurred to send my friend a gift of this tea that it might help her through the trying days ahead.

 

 

 

photo 1 (55)Winter Frost

 

 

My second tea choice of the day comes from IHEARTTEAS Winter Frost,  photo 3 (33)a blend of black tea, cinnamon, vanilla, candy cane and peppermint leaves.

Wanting revive my joy, I felt this choice would liven my spirits and with the black tea component lead me back on track into my daily responsibilities (candy canes=smiles) .

 

 

 

 

photo 2 (54)Wild Snow

 

 

I ended this journey with Wild Tea Qi, Wild Snow . A Dang Cong with lovely fruity/floral notes, hinting on peach and osmanthus. photo 2 (55)In the description of this tea it is stated to bring you to and energetic state and lift your spirits and mood. The toasty aroma and subtle sweetness completed my tea day.

 

This days journey is just confirmation that I must be grateful for friends and communicate that gratitude daily, along with the realization of how drinking tea helps me along this ever winding path of life.

photo 5 (3)

 

January Hot Tea Month – Day Two

The second day of this year found me with a planned engagement in the borough of Brooklyn in the area of Williamsburg.

Hunter John and JaneI was invited to a reading of a new play by Amina Henry and directed by Benjamin Haber Kamine titled “Hunter John and Jane”.

The playwright is one of my favorite young creators whose work leaves me in awe and with much to ponder and discuss after the presentation. The director, Ben, is gifted in his craft always bringing out the best of those with whom he works.

More about the work before I finish this post, for now, I will recount the excursion occurring prior to the performance.

My daughter expressed a desire to get off one train stop before our destination, as she wanted to do some window-shopping along the route. I was fine with the idea and proceeded to check for teashops or cafes in the vicinity.

directionsI knew that MatchaBar was in Williamsburg and placed a request into Google maps to see how far away it was from our location. MatchaBar was also on my long list of teashops to visit and although I had planned a while back to visit, joining Chris and the Steepster Meet-Up group, a plan that never came to fruition.

The map indicated that it was within walking distance, 4 minutes away. SCORE! I will be drinking Matcha this evening.

We headed in the direction of the moving blue ball and proceeded on route. As we walked about 6 blocks it seemed as if our destination was getting farther away instead of closer. We crossed streets of overhead highways, underpasses, and passed famous eateries. When we got to what could be deemed the residential section, about 20 blocks covered by footsteps, we became starkly aware we had lost our way. We trekked back retracing our steps and vowed to hail the next available cab to get us to the destination and the much needed, at this point, warm cup of a frothy green brew.

The cabdriver, familiar with area, got us there in no time and we realized that like many areas in the 5 boroughs, Williamsburg, like Riverdale in the Bronx, as well as sections of Alphabet City in Manhattan, have winding streets and cul de sacs that, although they seem constructed in a straight line on a map, veer away in strange directions.

We entered the welcoming surroundings of MatchaBar exhausted, hungry and cold, I could barely give my order to co-owner Graham who was manning the counter, while co-owner, brother Max waited to brew our order.

 

I finally decided that a straight cup of green goodness and an order of Matchaccino, along with a sandwich, matcha donut and matcha macaroon would tide us over until we had dinner later on after the show.

My daughter has come to accept Matcha as part of her daily routine, especially during these colder months and has come to look forward to the sip.

She tried both cups and opted for the Matchaccino stating the straight cup was much too strong for her liking. When I tasted both I understood why.

She has always been used to small amounts and a full cup was too much for her. I too, am generally satisfied with a quarter cup of green goodness, so a full cup of usucha would seem daunting at one sitting, although I am always up to a challenge when it comes to tea.

The Matcha itself was a solid ceremonial matcha with a very vegetal front and somewhat subtle endnote. The liquor seemed very thin although that probably stems from my recent penchant for koicha that I have been making at home.

The Matchaccino was a better choice for my palate as, since it is a mixed brew similar to a latte, the additions mask the flavor of the straight up tea allowing me to drink more.

I applaud the creators of this match bar concept bringing new converts to the experience and providing a quick fix for those of us who enjoy the brew.

If you are in the area, and needing a quick pick me up, this spot has what you need.

MatchaBar; 93 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (btwn N 10th & N11th Streets)

Now back to the show.

The plot is described here by the actor Bob Jaffe who plays the role of John

Hunter John is a bum who lives in the park.
He hates litter.
He drinks too much.
One day he is befriended by Jane.
Through elevated text and stark imagery,
HUNTER JOHN AND JANE explores the boundaries of humanity.

The reading was extraordinary, with the amazing direction of Ben Kamine, the actors gave us outstanding performances that besides the reading, included singing and many poetic moments. Their renditions placed me in a stage performance not just a reading.

The playwright, Amina Henry gave me much to contemplate by the construct of the story bringing to the forefront awareness of the ills and evils of society that may pass unnoticed in daily life. I hope it will make it to the stage soon as I am anxious to see it in full regalia.

After the show we dined at a local noodle shop and more tea was on the menu. Out of a selection of house oolong, jasmine or chrysanthemum tea, note it is unusual for three teas to be offered as a compliment to the meal, my daughter chose the jasmine for us to share. I think my influence may be rubbing off on her as her choice worked perfectly with our entrée choices of seitan in ginger chili sauce and a basic chicken lo mien.

So all in all on day two, I had two unique tea experiences on day two and counting down this month of hot tea.

Thanks for reading

 

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