Travel Tea

Looks like a paper cup, but is a double-walled ceramic cup with a silicon top.

Bulk Rishi tea, found at Whole Foods, clockwise from the top left: Dragon Well, Jade Cloud, Jasmin Pearl – all green Chinese teas.

Friday Tea

Shall we drink tea in the Chinese style today? We could use the Gongfu method, which I had the pleasure to learn in Singapore in 1994. It’s a lovely and refined way to prepare tea, no doubt. But no, let’s drink tea the way most Chinese will drink it.

Take any cup or bowl, one of white color is preferable because you can observe the leaves easier, and add a couple of pinches (((no need to use a spoon – using your fingers gives you a nice first encounter with the leaves))) of green Chinese tea, like Dragonwell tea for example – easily obtained in any good tea store or from the internets.

When the tea has reached the desired color, in this case a beautiful light light green, you drink from the cup, using your teeth to keep the leaves out of your mouth. There are many Chinese poems about seeing a little tea leaf stuck between a lover’s teeth. With a little practice your teeth will become very efficient strainers. Or, you can simply wait a few more minutes until the leaves have settled at the bottom of the cup…

The first brew is not always considered the best brew, in fact the second or third brew will usually be considered the most flavorful.


Failed Starbucks

History – Samovarlife
Per the request of the City of San Francisco, Samovar Tea Lounge Yerba Buena opened April, 2006, enlivening the shuttered and defunct space that had housed a failed Starbucks. Samovar Yerba Buena is a garden oasis, resting above an urban waterfall in the heart of the city. Nested beneath the city’s skyscrapers, Samovar satisfies downtown workers, tourists, and convention-goers with an escape from the city’s frenzy.

…enlivening the shuttered and defunct space that had housed a failed Starbucks.

Bling is Over

In the lap of luxury, Paris squirms – International Herald Tribune
“This whole crisis is like a big spring housecleaning — both moral and physical,” Karl Lagerfeld, the designer for Chanel, said in an interview. “There is no creative evolution if you don’t have dramatic moments like this. Bling is over. Red carpety covered with rhinestones is out. I call it ‘the new modesty.’ “
(Via Beyond the Beyond)

Let’s hope for less Bling, more Wabi-Sabi (((check out the nice tea-bowl somebody decided to use as an example of Wabi-Sabi… I drank out of it just this morning: Pouchong tea with slices of fresh ginger)))

Related Diary entries:
and this from 2001