Welcome to this issue of our Newsletter.
|Tea Fields in Japan at the base of Mount Fuji.|
|Introducing TGT Tea Caddies|
Select Premium Teas Available in Elegant Stainless Steel Tea Caddies
TGT is now offering our Extra Premium and Premium line of leaf teas in extremely stylish stainless steel tea caddies. We've selected four of our pure green teas; Gyokuro, Sencha, Kukicha and Matcha. Each of these premium leaf teas is available in 25 gram and 50 gram quantities. Matcha is available in 20 gram and 40 gram quantities. Each stainless steel caddy is sealed to keep the tea at its optimum freshness.
While our website is being revised to include the TGT Stainless Steel Tea Caddies and several other items, orders may be placed by calling (847) 735-0400 or by email, email@example.com.
|Classic Tea Accessory|
Silk Tea Sachet Case
TGT is pleased to introduce an exquisite specialty item; the "Silk Tea Sachet Case," is now available for purchase at our TGT locations. We believe you should always have a perfect cup of green tea at your fingertips; so we've commissioned this one-of-a-kind tea sachet case from the famed Tatsumura silk company in Kyoto. This hand embroidered silk case comes filled with five individually packaged TGT tea sachets. Includes custom made wooden gift box and five more tea sachets (for a total of 10).
Imported. 10 assorted TGT Tea Sachets included (Gyokuro, Yamecha, TGT Blend, Sencha, Ureshinocha, Kukicha, Hojicha, Organic Genmaicha, Genmaicha, and Organic Sencha).
*TGT is promoting environmental sustainability. As part of this effort, TGT Tea Sachets are made from a corn-based biodegradable material.
While our website is being revised to include the Silk Tea Sachet Case and several other items, orders may be placed by calling (847) 735-0400 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spice up your January with a delectable TGT Poached Pear
|TGT poached pear prepared by Chef Thomas Schoeder.|
As with all of the accompaniments prepared in the TGT kitchen our signature poached pear recipe was carefully developed, to achieve a subtle and muted effect on the palate, so as not to overwhelm our most delicate green teas.In addition to small quantities of bay leaf and vanilla, the TGT poached pear is infused with the "warm" spices (so called because they help increase circulation and thus warm the body, making them perfect for the wintertime) of black peppercorn, cloves, and cinnamon. A brightly flavored berry coulis is provided on the side. Kukicha in particular provides an ideal tea pairing with this dish, as its slight oak barrel, chestnut and woodsy notes (from the Gyokuro stems) harmonize well with the warm spice bouquet of the pear. We serve our pear chilled to provide a contrast to the accompanying warm tea.
|Chef Thomas Schroeder|
TGT Poached Pear Recipe
4 Bartlett pears, slightly under ripe
1 lemon, sliced in half
12 oz cane sugar
1 cinnamon stick
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 parchment sheet, cut into a circular shape slightly larger than diameter of medium sized stockpot or large saucepan and poke through the middle 4 or 5 holes
TGT Pastry quality Matcha, to taste (for dusting)
1) Juice lemon into large bowl, place spent lemon halves in bowl, and cover lemon mixture with enough water to submerge pears.
2) Peel pears and immediately place in acidulated lemon water to "brine" for 30 minutes.
3) While pears sit, add sugar, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, and bay leaf to a medium sized stockpot and pour 2 quarts water over spice mixture. Bring to a boil until all sugar dissolves and then turn off heat. Add vanilla extract.
4) Place pears into water/ sugar/spice mixture using a slotted spoon. Discard acidulated pear water. Place circular parchment sheet lid on the surface of the water/sugar/spice mixture.
5) Bring water/sugar/spice mixture back to a boil and then reduce to below a simmer. Heat pears gently until a paring knife can easily be slid into them without resistance, about 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the ripeness of the pear.
6) GENTLY place poached pears in a large volume container with an air tight lid. Cool by using an ice bath and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
7) Dust with TGT pastry quality Matcha to taste and serve accompanied by berry coulis (see recipe below).
Raspberry/Mixed Berry Coulis
12 oz fresh raspberries or blackberries, or a mixture of the two
3 oz domino cane sugar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1) Combine the raspberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and berries have completely broken down, about 10 minutes.
2) Puree berry mixture in a blender and push mixture through a fine mesh strainer (with a rubber spatula) into a small container. Add lemon juice to taste and according to the tartness of the berries, usually a teaspoon. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
|The Green Teaist Library|
(The Green Teaist offers the most extensive collection of books on teas around the world, their history, provenance, practices and customs, with emphasis on the green teas of Japan.You may wish to browse the more than 30 titles at TGT Lake Forest and a more limited collection at TGT Beverly Hills. We will review each book in our expanding collection and, perhaps, interest you in expanding your understanding of teas.)
The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura, 94 pp, Shambhala Publications: 2001, $11.95
The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura, 133 pp, Tuttle Publishing:1956, $18.95
The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura, 155 pp, Kodansha America, Inc.:1989, $19.95
Kakuzo Okakura was born in Japan in 1862, educated in a Methodist missionary school and graduated from Tokyo Imperial University. Given his superb command of English, highly unusual in Japan at the time, he became much sought after by both diplomatic and cultural leaders in Japan to help understand the ways of the Western World and act as a bridge to America, in particular. In October, 1886, he set sail for San Francisco and then by rail to New York. He was welcomed and feted handsomely by the intellectual and cultural elite who were anxious to learn more about Japan, a country virtually unknown to America at the time.
In 1893, he assisted in designing the Japanese Pavilion at the World's Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park, Chicago. It was there that pure green teas from Kyoto were served for the first time at such a prominent international venue. In 2011, one hundred and eighteen years later, the pure green teas served and sold at The Green Teaist in Lake Forest and Beverly Hills are imported from the same source as the teas served at the Columbian Exposition. The difference being that The Green Teaist receives weekly shipments by air, whereas it required several months by sea and land to deliver the teas in time for the Columbian Exposition.
Following a brief, but distinguished, career as an art curator with some of the leading museums in Japan, in April of 1903, he was invited to join the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as the curator for Chinese and Japanese art. He quickly became a fixture of high society in Boston and was much sought after as a lecturer and dinner guest where he held court to explain about the tea ceremony and other facets of the arts and culture of Japan. He was uniquely suited for this purpose, because he was able to articulate, in English, the differences between unrelated cultures. Indeed, he spoke of America as a culture of "Theism," and Japan as a culture of "Teaism."
The Book of Tea, written by Okakura in English, is a seminal work in the field of cross-cultural relations, even to this day, with many different editions by different publishers in many languages, still in print. The Green Teaist carries several of them in its extensive offering of over thirty titles on tea and related subjects. The Book of Tea is also a philosophical work of considerable depth and wisdom. Okakura, with his vast knowledge of India and China, as well as Japan, was able to synthesize the different philosophical roots of the culture of Japan which traces its roots to both India and China, much as America traces its roots to Greece and Rome. The Book of Tea is short and pithy.Its style and smart turns of phrase remain fresh and relevant.
The Book of Tea is also the first book published in English in which tea becomes a metaphor for life itself. How else, to justify a passage such as:
"Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things" (Kodansha edition, 35).
Giving The Book of Tea one's undivided attention should reward the reader with seeing and tasting tea, especially green tea, in an entirely different light.
Hoken S. Seki
|FROM THE CORPORATE OFFICE|
Special Guest at TGT Beverly Hills Location
From Tuesday February 15, 2011 through Saturday, February 19, 2011, Mr. Sam Ritchey, famed Tea Sommelier, will be present at our TGT Beverly Hills location to discuss and answer any questions you may have on all of the teas of the world, but especially, the Green Teas of Japan.
If you are fortunate to be in the L.A. area, please be sure to visit our Salon in Beverly Hills during this time.