Welcome to this issue of our Newsletter.
|Tea Fields in Japan at the base of Mount Fuji.|
South Gate Café Q&A
Lake Forest, IL Restaurant, Which is a National Historic Landmark, serves TGT Teas
We recently caught up with John Ross (pictured with TGT Iced Sencha), Manager of South Gate Café, to see what drew him to TGT teas.
TGT: We're excited to be working with the South Gate Group to serve the finest green teas from Japan, tell us how you came to know The Green Teaist?
John Ross: "The Green Teaist is across the street. I really like tea, especially green tea, so I decided to try it. The first time I tried it I really liked it, but didn't think that I could afford to go regularly. On the day of the Art Fair all of The Green Teaist people came and sat in my section for dinner. I decided to visit the store again during the next week. This time I found out that buying loose leaf tea for making tea at home could be fairly economical, so I've continued to buy their tea, because it's the best green tea I've tasted yet."
TGT: What was it that stood out about our teas that made you want to sell them in your restaurant?
John Ross: "The Green Teaist teas have stood out to me as extremely high quality. Their teas are very smooth and flavorful, very easy to drink without any bitterness associated with other green teas. They have an extremely diverse selection of tea, especially considering that they only sell Japanese green tea."
TGT: Which TGT teas do you serve currently and in which venue can customers order them?
John Ross: "We sell Sencha, Hojicha and Genmaicha tea [sachets] in the Bank Lane Bakery. We sell Iced Sencha in South Gate Café. And we sell Sencha and Kyobancha as part of our loose leaf tea service in Bank Lane Bistro."
TGT: You recently added Iced Sencha to your menu. What was it that stood out about Sencha?
John Ross: "I really wanted to add an iced green tea to the menu. I decided that Sencha stands out as the 'classic' Japanese green tea. [Sencha has] smooth even flavors, nothing overpowering . . . Something that green tea lovers and casual tea drinkers could enjoy."
TGT: What has been your favorite tea discovery in your visits to The Green Teaist?
John Ross: My personal favorite discoveries at TGT are Tencha and Matcha; which are kind of one and the same, Tencha being the loose leaf variety and Matcha the powdered version. Tencha has such complexity in flavor and a completely unique full mouth feel and body. It is unlike any other tea I have ever tried. And Matcha, as its frothy counterpart, gives the same unique flavor with the even more unique frothy texture, along with a pleasant ritual for making the tea.
Update from the West Coast
News from TGT Beverly Hills, CA
Sam Ritchey leads discussion on TGT green teas at Beverly Hills tea tasting.
On Saturday, February 19th, 2011, The Green Teaist of Beverly Hills hosted an afternoon tea tasting attended by 20 guests from across Southern California. The tasting and discussion was led by Sam Ritchey, Senior Advisor, tea consultant and enthusiast. Four teas were featured - Sencha, Ureshinocha, TGT Blend and Hojicha - along with delicate French pastries prepared by the renowned Executive Chef Katsuo "Suki" Sugiura, the head chef of The Beverly Hilton.
Guests enjoyed learning about the four distinct, and uniquely Japanese, styles of tea. With the aid of a slideshow and a flat screen TV, Mr. Ritchey provided a general education on tea, highlighting broad aspects of cultivation, production, and preparation. If the measure of success is audience participation and engagement, the tasting would certainly be described as a hit, as Mr. Ritchey was greeted with dozens of questions from curious guests.
The Green Teaist in Beverly Hills looks forward to hosting another event in the near future. We welcome all tea drinkers to join us in an appreciation of fine green teas of Japan.
Green Tea in the News
Article in the Wall Street Journal Tracks New Tea Trends.
Article on Green Tea Featured in Wall Street Journal.
We at The Green Teaist would like to share this interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, "Tea's Got a Brand New Bag," by Sarah Karnasiewicz.
The article discusses a new trend among chefs, as tea is highlighted not only as a beverage on menus, but as a key ingredient in signature dishes. It also draws attention to the fact that Americans are becoming more familiar with specific types of green teas from Japan.
|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.)
Tea Ceremony: Explore the Unique Japanese Tradition of Sharing Tea, Shozo Sato, 64 pp, Published by Tuttle Publishing: 2005, $12.95
'Tea Ceremony,' was written to explain and share the Japanese Tea Ceremony with a western audience and specifically for children, age's seven to twelve. Shozo Sato is the author of numerous books introducing Japanese culture in his "Asian Arts and Crafts for Creative Kids," book series which include titles such as: 'Ikebana,' 'Haiku,' and 'Origami Activities.'
In 'Tea Ceremony,' Sato attempts to share the cultural significance of the Japanese Tea Ceremony while encouraging readers to absorb elements of the ceremony such as, "pleasure, peace, and companionship,"(Sato, 5). For Sato, the Japanese Tea Ceremony perfectly represents Japanese culture, reflecting the Japanese values: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.
Sato's introduction immediately sets 'Tea Ceremony,' apart from many other books on tea with a clear and simple summary of the drink's complicated history. Sato begins by discussing the cultural significance of the Tea Ceremony and the spread of tea from China to Japan.
Sato highlights critical moments which contributed to the veneration of tea in Japan, such as its' use by Buddhist monks, Japan's ruling classes, and the Samurai. Sato details the differences between Japanese and Chinese tea, comparing cultivation, taste, and even steeping instructions. Sato's overview provides the perfect beginner's introduction to Japanese green tea.
From Sato's discussion of tea history the book becomes a detailed, step by step, explanation of how to perform the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The ceremony is broken down into five projects, each one summarizing parts of the ceremony. For example, Project Two: Setting up the Tea Room describes guests strolling through a garden and entering the tea room. Sato explains the significance of these actions, in this case nature, relaxation, and purity, to the ceremony.
Each project is then broken down into numbered, photographed steps. Project Three: Preparing the Tea Bowl and Whisk includes 13 photos demonstrating how to properly warm the tea bowl, moisten and inspect the whisk. By including photographs and detailed instructions Sato demystifies the intricate and nuanced motions of the ceremony while providing the basics for preparing, understanding, and performing the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
While Sato provides an expert explanation of the tea ceremony, the book falls short on interactive activities. 'Tea Ceremony,' is an excellent how-to book for children and adults alike, however, "Asian Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids," implies more hands-on projects.
Sato attempts to solve the interactive issue in "What to do at Home" sections following each project. The sections suggest how to create a tea ceremony at home and include tips such as placing plants around the house to recreate nature. While the book expertly identified and explained the cultural significance and key steps to the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Sato didn't create any related projects which might further draw in younger readers.
Shozo Sato's, "Tea Ceremony," is a fantastic introduction to the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Japanese culture, and Japanese Green Tea. Although marketed to children and young adults, the book offers a wonderful introduction to Japanese tea culture and is perfect for any green tea beginner.
From The Corporate Office
TGT Partners with Now We're Cookin
TGT is pleased to be working with Now We're Cookin' in Evanston, IL for the launch of our 2011 Shincha*. Shincha or "new tea," represents the first of this year's harvest of Sencha, and is characterized by its' delicate, fresh and ethereal taste of spring. The Shincha, because it is harvested earlier in the season, results in a fuller bodied tea; which is less astringent than the tea harvested later in the season.
Tea picking in Japan begins from Kagoshima, the southernmost part, from where we will receive our first shipment of Shincha. As spring progresses, the harvest continues north to Kyoto, from where we will receive our second shipment.
Guests of this event in Evanston will be fortunate enough to sample Shincha from both of these regions! TGT is perhaps the only company in the U.S. which distributes and serves both of these unique teas. More details to follow on this event.
*Shincha is unique because during the winter tea plants store nutrients, and the tender new leaves which sprout in the spring contain concentrated levels of these nutrients. Shincha is characterized by its low levels of catechins and caffeine, and relatively high content of amino acid. Shincha is available only for a limited time so reserve your order today by calling (847) 735-0400!
TGT to Participate in JETRO Event at Macy's in Chicago
TGT is pleased to participate in the Japanese Food Showcase: Greens From the Sea on March 3, 2011, a JETRO event open to Industry Professionals.
Exhibitors will be sampling of a broad selection of the most exceptional products from Japan including seaweeds, TGT's premium green teas, dashi, artisanal condiments, confections and much more!
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Macy's Culinary Studio
7th Floor, Macy's
111 N. State St., Chicago, IL
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 26, 2011, The Green Teaist staff will be conducting a demonstration at the new Sunset Foods in Long Grove, Illinois.
If you are in that part of the northwest suburbs on Saturday, from 10:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M., we hope you will stop by and enjoy a sampling of our fine green teas.The newest of the Sunset group of fine food stores is located at the corner of Hwy. 83 and Aptakisic Road in Long Grove, IL.