The Green Teaist Newsletter   

April 2011

Volume 2, Issue 7 



Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List


Welcome to this issue of our newsletter.

TGT Upcoming Event 



"Music at the Fort" 


Concert Series in Highwood


When: Saturday, April 16, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

Location: MYA Center 878 Lyster Rd. Highwood, IL

Admission: $5.00 -Tickets at the door


The Green Teaist is pleased to participate in the next installment of the "Music at the Fort" concert series presented by Midwest Young Artists. On Saturday, April 16, 2011, Hideko Amano, accomplished flutist, will grace the stage for a 7:00 pm concert performing works by Schubert, Faure, and Doppler, among others. Wine and cheese will be offered for refreshments, as well as TGT's pure green teas from Japan.  We look forward to seeing you there!  


For more information about this event:

(847) 926-9898  



Ms. Hideko Amano

Ms. Hideko Amano, Flutist, was born in Japan and came to the United States at the age of 12.  Upon arriving in America, she began studying flute under Ms. Susan Levitin and soon won many young artist competition awards.  Ms. Amano's performance debut occurred in 1990 at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall (Symphony Center) where she performed as a soloist for Chaminade's Concertino for Flute and Orchestra.  


In 1995, she earned a Bachelor's Degree of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she studied under the prominent flutist Ms. Paula Robison.  In 1996, she gave a joint performance with Ms. Robison in a concert series for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.  From 1995 to 1998, Ms. Amano continued her musical education in Europe at the l'Ecole Normale de Paris, where she studied under Mr. Mathieu Dufour, who has since joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as principal flutist.  While studying in Paris, she also performed in many international Chamber Music Festivals in Italy, England and Morocco.  In 1997, she traveled to Haifa, Israel and performed as a soloist in Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp.   


Since her return to Chicago in 1998, she has continued her career as an active recitalist.  She has performed on the WFMT 98.7 Monday Evening Series. She is actively involved with several Japanese organizations and performed in a concert series at the House of Consul General of Japan, as well as the Japan America Society of Chicago's August Peace Concert. 





TGT Introducing "Kan-Fruit"   


TGT proudly unveils an especially light and refreshing addition to our accompaniments menu just in time for spring, "Kan-Fruit."  It is made from Kanten, a popular vegetarian gelatin substitute derived from refined seaweed  of Japan, and incorporated into a recipe that includes freshly steeped Gyokuro, a touch of Maui natural cane sugar, and a slice of poached fruit (in the form of pear, nectarine, or plum).    


"Kan-Fruit" makes for an extraordinary pairing with our pure green teas of Japan. Already in use in cutting edge professional kitchens around the world, Kanten is a most unique and versatile ingredient that TGT hopes to utilize in numerous recipes to come.  It also has dietetic attributes in terms of zero calories and carbohydrates, including its natural ability to limit excessive consumption of foods, thus contributing to a desirable and healthful weight loss program.




Update from Beverly Hills   




The Green Teaist of Beverly Hills was recently interviewed by Howard Riell, of the World Tea News concerning our expertise in serving tea tableside.  As a result, TGT will be highlighted on the home page of their website ( as part of "Tea Cafes" feature during the month of May. 



 Anna Dragana Diaz 

Perfect Gift for Mother's Day

TGT Flacon   



Show gratitude to the mothers in your life this Mother's Day with this "Flacon th Vert" gift set. Specially crafted, this item's stainless steel vacuum insulation keeps beverages at the preferred temperature, hot or cold, and features a secret compartment in the lid to store a tea sachet. TGT is also including two boxes (ten tea sachets per box) of premium TGT tea sachets: Sencha and Hojicha





*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 TGT Flacon and several new items, orders may be placed by calling (847) 735-0400 or by email,




The Green Teaist Library

Book Review 


  Steeped in History Book



(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 review each book in our expanding collection and, perhaps, interest you in increasing your understanding of teas.)



Steeped in History: The Art of Tea, Ed. Beatrice Hohenegger, 235p, University of Washington Press: 2009, $52.50


Travel to the great museums of our nation and you will find exhibitions honoring all manner of priceless matter and material.  Here in Chicago, the world renown Field Museum recently closed an exhibition featuring gold.  And in recent memory, there were diamonds-and then pearls-housed behind its classical revival columns.  This fall, the museum will feature yet another precious gem sought ardently by humanity: chocolate.


But what of tea?  That leaf that launched a thousand ships and built the topless towers of global trade-is there to be no tribute befitting its broad historical influence and cosmopolitan pedigree?


We are fortunate that the Fowler Museum at UCLA entertained this very question in late 2009, and put together a stunning exhibit, "Steeped in History: The Art of Tea," that viewed the beverage through the lens of period artwork and social history.  And we are even more fortunate that the Fowler decided to publish a companion book of the same name, rich with photography, in which art historians take us along the tea trail from China to Japan, and then on to India and beyond.


Acting as guest curator, Beatrice Hohenegger, noted author of "Liquid Jade," provides the general framework of the book with introductions to each of the four broad segments.  She kindly opens the door for the team of historians, who capably and convincingly discuss the intersection of art, society, and the legendary leaf.


Readers accustomed to the breezy, anecdotal style of many popular books on tea will encounter, perhaps for the first time, some serious scholarship on the subject.  Our journey begins in China with Steven Owyoung's insightful historical survey spanning three millennia.  After a quick trip to the kilns of Yixing and a wonderful array of teaware, we move on to Japan.


Here the book hits its scholarly stride, with the erudite Dennis Hirata illuminating the world of chanoyu through Buddhism.  This perspective is then cleverly juxtaposed with Patricia Graham's delightful essay on senchado-the "way of sencha"-a ritual that is sadly without wide appreciation in the west.  It is fascinating to see these ideas simultaneously in competition and at harmony with one another.  Reiko Tanimura closes the section with a detailed look at the role of women in Edo Period tea culture.  As the scope of subject narrows from major, male-dominated historical trends to the intimate social portrait of women during the span of roughly two centuries, we learn a great deal.  Here is tea freed from platitudes, in a context much richer than ever before, its power and cultural significance made strikingly real through the lives of everyday people.


From here we move west to Europe and the Americas, and although our scene and actors shift, the examination of class and social structure vis--vis tea continues with vigor.  Woodruff D. Smith asks us to reflect on how the tea became first a proxy for gentility, and then, as tea became increasingly available and less expensive, a marker of middle class respectability.  The western ideas of tea as a quintessentially domestic ritual and as a health-enhancing elixir-ideas that persist today-were born in the 17th and 18th centuries, in Europe and in cities along the Atlantic seaboard.


It is would be easy to think that the development of tea and tea culture in the west was guided solely by the ambitions (and rapaciousness) of the British Empire.  Any student of history, however, will know that, while the colonial British and Dutch powers were often the suppliers, tea culture often evolved independently of their influence.  Barbara G. Carson gives us a glimpse, through primary sources, into the place of tea in the 18th century American home.


Boston, of course, will forever be famous for its tea party, but while most accounts you will find in tea books offer us only the bone, historian Jane T. Merritt offers us the marrow.  Revolutionary sentiment amongst the colonies was highly divided-and tea, as a highly visible taxed good, gives us an excellent lens through which to view the political wrangling of the period.  By looking at the response of other cities faced with the same sticky situation, Merritt builds an intriguing case, suggesting that the scuffle over a few chests of tea presaged much larger battles over the meaning of freedom and independence that would take place during the 19th century at home and abroad.


And at last we come to the powerful British Empire, upon which the sun never set.  There is no sense in delicacy here, no reason to spare reputations.  Colonialism was an ugly business, but, all the same, one does hunger for understanding rather than stone throwing.  John E. Wills Jr. and Elizabeth Kolsky are up to the task.  Wills vividly brings the upheaval of 19th century China to life.  It is widely known that the tea trade sparked political and economic changes that precipitated war, but you leave this essay having watched the matter unravel in hauntingly detailed fashion.  Kolsky, in turn, shows us the brutish ways in which the East India Company and the British authorities bullied, beat, and literally enslaved hundreds of thousands of people on the way to making India the premier tea exporter in the world.


So benign is the image of tea today, sitting on the supermarket shelf, that we forget its tumultuous story.  It is and has been a beverage of contrast-of deep religious significance, of social status, of peace and of conflict, and certainly of solitude and global interconnectedness.  We mustn't forget that it is beautiful too, a beauty as flawed as our own.  The Fowler certainly did justice to this notion.  I only wish I could have been there to see it.


Sam Ritchey    

From the Corporate Office




    Tea Article  


In the March issue of Fresh Cup Magazine James di Properzio wrote an interesting article, entitled "A Different Buzz",  in which he illuminates the differences regarding caffeine in tea and coffee. Robert Heiss, co-author of "The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook (reviewed by Joseph Stellner in the TGT Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 6), is quoted.  TGT will make this book available to its customers in the shop and on its website.  


For a readable form of the article please open attachment.   

"A Different Buzz" Full Article








Tea Articles



Several interesting articles have appeared recently in the Chicago Tribune which are quite relevant to green teas and, in particular, The Green Teaist.  The first article relates to the increasing popularity of teas  in the culinary world and describes a new book on the topic.  TGT will make this book available to its customers in the shop and on its website.   




The second article relates to a wonderful recipe for green tea cookies which we are now trying out in the TGT Salon in Lake Forest.






The third article relates to the benefits of drinking loose leaf tea over tea bags.  


TGT Demonstration Schedule 


On Saturday, April 16, 2011, The Green Teaist will be conducting a green tea tasting demonstration at the Whole Foods Market on Kingsbury in Lincoln Park, Chicago. It is one of the largest WFM's in the Midwest and we invite you to join us between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. Sam Ritchey, TGT's senior tea adviser, and Mary Warren will be present.


TGT Tea Sachets - Retail Partner Locations


TGT tea sachets are now available at the following stores:


Sunset Foods 

(Organic Sencha, Hojicha, Genmaicha tea sachets available at stores listed)


Highland Park Location  

1812 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, IL 60035

T - (847) 432-5500


Lake Forest Location

825 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045

T - (847) 234-8380


Northbrook Location

1127 Church Street, Northbrook, IL 60062

T - (847) 272-7700


Libertyville Location

1451 W. Peterson, Libertyville, IL 60048

 T - (847) 573-9570


Long Grove Location

4190 Route 83, Long Grove, IL 60047

T - (847) 478-8150  



Whole Foods Market

 (Sencha, Genmaicha, Hojicha, Organic Sencha, Organic Genmaicha, Organic Hojicha tea sachets available at stores listed) 


Deerfield Location

760 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015

T - (847) 444-1900


Chicago Location (Lincoln Park)

1550 N. Kingsbury Street. Chicago, IL 60642

T - (312) 587-0648


Schaumburg Location

(Coming Soon)

750 N. Martingale Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173

T - (847)585-5800