The Green Teaist Newsletter    

                                                                                                       May 2011

 Volume 2, Issue 11   



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Welcome to this issue of our newsletter.

Shincha 2011





Earlier this month, we mentioned that the The Green Teaist received from Kagoshima and Kyoto shipments by air of Shincha 2011. Kagoshima is at the southern end of the Japanese archipelago. Kyoto is in central western Japan and is the seat of Japanese culture similar to Florence, the seat of Italian culture. Both of these premium tea-growing regions are far removed from the recent devastation which has affected northeastern Japan.   


The term "Shincha" is generally used to emphasize that it is the year's earliest tea.  In Japan, it has traditionally been said that if one drinks tea made of the new leaves picked on the 88th day after the spring equinox (February 4), one can enjoy a year of good health.  The fanfare with which the Shincha harvest is celebrated in Japan is comparable to similar seasonal celebrations across the world such as Nouveau Beaujolais in France.


The distinctive and assertive flavor profile of this seasonally favorite Shincha encapsulates the essence of spring in a tea cup.  The full herb-like quality and refreshing astringency are a result of the concentrated nutrients contained in the tender new leaves, which the tea plants have stored up during the dormancy of  winter.  Shincha is characterized by a relatively low content of bitter catechins and caffeine, and relatively high content of amino acid.  All tea lovers owe it to themselves to experience the almost impossibly fresh and vibrant, yet delicate, flavor of  Kyoto and Kagoshima Shincha 2011. Shincha 2011 is the epitome of umami.  



Summer Gift Sets



All items are boxed and gift wrapped without additional charge. Prices include standard shipping within the continental United States. If quicker shipping is required there will be an additional charge.  


Orders may be placed by calling (847) 735-0400, faxing 847-735-0440 or by email,




Kyoto Silk Tea Sachet Case 


Hand-embroidered Silk Case (Tatsumura Silk Company, Kyoto)


10 Assorted TGT Green Tea Sachets  


Custom Made Wooden Gift Box

Gift Card with Envelope (blank inside)  









TGT Matcha Gift Set



20g Fugen no makushi (extra premium) Matcha in stainless steel caddy


Chawan (porcelain tea bowl)


Chashaku (tea scoop)


Chasen (bamboo whisk)


Fukusa (tea ceremony silk cloth)  


Wooden Nokomenegoro Tea Tray  


Gift Card with Envelope (blank inside)  



TGT Flacon Gift Set




Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Flacon


10 Hojicha TGT Tea Sachets


10 Sencha TGT Tea Sachets


Gift Card with Envelope (blank inside)




TGT Flacon Gift Set is also available with Organic Hojicha and Organic Sencha.





Tea Sachet and Leaf Tea Sampler Set  


50g Kukicha in Stainless Steel Tea Caddy


25g Sencha in Stainless Steel Tea Caddy


10 TGT Tea Sachet Assorted Green Tea Collection 





Mary Cassatt Gift Set

10 Mary Cassatt Note Cards with Envelopes (Blank Inside)


25g Kukicha in a Stainless Steel Tea Caddy


10 TGT Tea Sachet Assorted Green Tea Collection  






The Green Teaist Library

Book Review 





(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.)


 Tea Wisdom, Aaron Fisher, 239pp, Tuttle Publishing: 2009, $15.95



'Tea Wisdom: Inspirational Quotes and Quips About the World's Most Celebrated Beverage,' by Aaron Fisher is a compilation of insights  on what makes tea more than just a drink and how its become such an intrinsic part of society.  


"Tea speaks to the individual, as it should, because it is wise; and its language isn't Eastern or Western, but natural and primordial," (Fisher, p 15). Fisher's introduction to this beautifully-illustrated book is extremely insightful as he imparts how tea is both universal and yet intensely personal.  


'Tea Wisdom,' a collection of inspirational quotes, is thematically divided into seven chapters with the following headings "Good Living" ,  "Good Health", "Good Spirits", "Good Company"," Traditions", "Reviving Yourself",  and "Reflection and Meditation."


Fisher chooses exquisite words on tea that are extremely poignant, "Tea beckons us to enjoy quality time with friends and loved ones, and especially to rediscover the art of relaxed conversation," - Dorothea Johnson, (p. 115). 


'Tea Wisdom' is the perfect book to accompany a pot of tea.  


   Aubrey Konrath    


From the Corporate Office

A Visit to Shizuoka Japan  




On Friday, May 13, 2011, an auspicious day, The Green Teaist was invited to inspect the vast tea plantations and tea-processing facilities of Shizuoka Prefecture, about 125, miles southwest of Sendai, the location of the terrible "San Ten Ichi Ichi," which translates to "3.11," similar to our reference to "9-11."  It indicates that three tragic events happened on March 11, 2011: the greatest earthquake to befall Japan in centuries; the worst tidal wave in its recorded history; and the disastrous nuclear reactor failure at Fukushima.  However, as Shizuoka is sufficiently distant from "ground zero," of the nuclear incident, there should not be any adverse effect on its tea production.  Obviously, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Kagoshima, other tea-growing regions which supply their fine green teas to The Green Teaist, are hundreds of miles away from the affected area.


The weather was not totally cooperative, with a fine mist and considerable wind,however, the tea plantations which cover a large portion of the prefecture were a verdant green.  Upon closer inspection, the top portion of the tea plants were shorn of their first buds...the Shincha 2011.  There were large numbers of windmills spaced proportionately throughout the plantations to circulate air and avoid frost during the evenings, similar to the windmills in Napa to do the same for grapes.


The visit included inspecting tea-processing facilities which consisted of the steaming of the freshly-picked tea leaves, their sorting into grades, drying and roasting, and packaging.  The finest teas are kept in refrigerated facilities until they are ready for shipping.  There were many tea-sampling stations in which newly-processed teas were sampled for aroma  and not so much with actual tasting, but with simply inspecting the freshly-steeped teas for color and bouquet.  When the final inspection yielded teas with the proper balance of aroma and color, they were actually tasted to determine which ones made the grade.



The trip concluded at the Shizuoka Tea Museum which included  tea production exhibits and samples from around the world.  The reason that the Chinese and Indians sometimes call their teas "green"  is because they are lightly fermented,  producing a lighter and less  tannic tea.  Otherwise, the only real "green" teas are from Japan as this is the only nation in which teas are steamed and not fermented at all.  There is also another difference as the tea plant cultivars in Japan are somewhat smaller and the tea leaves softer and more bud-like than the larger tea plants and leaves found in China and India.  Of course, there are other countries such as Ceylon which produce teas from different cultivars as well, some of which were derived from wild plants and domesticated.


The trip concluded with a Tea Ceremony conducted by the Urasenke School of the Tea Ceremony.  The freshly-whisked Matcha was delicious and the ambiance perfect.




Tea Community Relief Efforts  


TGT is planning a Shincha 2011 tasting on Sunday, June 26, 2011, at one of the leading restaurants in Chicago, in conjunction with the Urasenke School of the Tea Ceremony. The event will benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society and we invite you to join us. We should have further information in the next issue of The Green Teaist Newsletter.  




Japanese Red CrossJapan and America are more than trading partners. The tea community is very close as evidenced by the many ways the industry has rallied to provide support in this crisis. The links below describe several ongoing programs. Tea Community Japan Relief Efforts List 



Quake Crisis Response Links  | Japan-America Society Relief Efforts

International Medical Corps| Unicef| The American Red Cross