June/July/August 2013
Volume 4, Issues 6, 7 & 8


Vol 4 Issues 6 7 & 8 Cover Photo 


Welcome to this issue of our newsletter.


 Lake Forest, Illinois     

  2nd cover photo 8062013 Flowers photo after cover page

TGT Kagoshima Shincha 2013
Second Place Winner

Japan has many tea-growing regions among the four major islands which comprise the nation, but mainly centered on the main island of Honshu and the southern island of Kyushu.In August, TGT Kagoshima Shincha 2013, from the southernmost part of Kyushu, received Second Place in the North American Tea Championship, among 200 entries. Kagoshima's terroir produces a full-bodied and somewhat "brothy" Shincha which, in its first flush manifestation, is remarkably crisp with a nice, clean aftertaste. The award letter from the World Tea Media, the sponsor of the annual competition is attached.

2nd place winner 08062013

Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens Event

Huntington Library Roof
The Japanese Tea House at the  
Huntington Library
Huntington Event 2013
Joseph Stellner Conducting Green Tea Tasting at the Huntington Library 



On July 31, 2013, The Green Teaist was invited to introduce its fine green teas and Toraya Yokan to the distinguished docents of the historic Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.  The event was kindly coordinated by Mr. Robert Hori, Cultural Curator of the Japanese Gardens at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, who graciously acted as our host and worked with Mr. Yuji Hama, Vice President, Finance and Operations of The Green Teaist to make this event a stellar success. Joseph Stellner, the General Manager of The Green Teaist, Lake Forest, Illinois, traveled to the Huntington Library to conduct a green tea tasting of both leaf teas and tea sachets, including, the award-winning TGT Kagoshima Shincha 2013, and various flavors of the traditional Japanese confection, usually served with tea, from the Toraya Confectionery Co. which dates back almost 500 years and has been the purveyor of yokan to the Imperial Household during this time, beginning with the Momoyama Period, through the long Edo Period, and the current Heisei Period.  


The Huntington Library and Botanic Gardens was founded by Henry E. Huntington, an industrialist in the early twentieth century whose uncle, Collis Huntington, had introduced the Central Pacific Railroad to California, bridging the American continent through the southwest and later renamed the Southern Pacific Railroad.  With Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker and Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington was one of the "Big Four" responsible for helping to create what has become California today. The Library also contains a noted museum of fine European and American masterpieces.  The Botanical Gardens includes, perhaps, the finest Japanese garden in California which was originally the idea of Mr. Huntington himself with recent enhancements featuring an authentic Japanese tea-house donated by the Pasadena Buddhist Temple which was originally shipped from Japan over fifty years ago and had to be disassembled and reassembled from the Temple grounds to the Japanese Garden.  The Urasenke School of the Tea Ceremony conducts tea ceremonies in the tea-house and on the grounds.  The Huntington Library and Botanical Garden is a truly beautiful environment in which the art, culture and esthetics of the Old and New Worlds converge with Eastern and Western traditions...very much, "In the Moment." 





Gail Tsukiyama, Author



The Green Teaist is pleased to be invited to support two programs this fall honoring Gail Tsukiyama, an alumna of the Ragdale Artists' Community, in Lake Forest, Illinois,   She is the noted author of a number of novels with themes in which her Asian-American background provides her with a unique perspective on the comings and goings of the characters which populate her work.  One of the most formidable works she authored was "The Street of a Thousand Blossoms," a sweeping multi-generational novel in which World War II and the postwar recovery of a fragile and completely destroyed country provides the background for her protagonists, one is to become the most famous sumo wrestler of Japan and the other to become equally famous as the finest Noh (classical theater of Japan) mask maker.  Their intersecting stories cast a tremendously compassionate and altogether contemporary light on what human beings are capable of accomplishing despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles placed directly in their paths by global and societal forces for which they are not accountable.


The Green Teaist, together with its Community Partners, including the City of Lake Forest, the Lake Forest library, Dickinson Hall and Ragdale is privileged to provide the finest green teas of Japan and Toraya Yokan at a private reception for Ms. Tsukiyama at the Ragdale House on Tuesday, October 1, and, also, at a presentation of the Urasenke School of the Tea Ceremony, Chicago Association, to be conducted at Dickinson Hall on Saturday, October 12.  There will be a number of programs open to the public.  For further information, please telephone the numbers indicated.


 "The Street of a Thousand 
by Gail Tsukiyama

Author Gail Tsukiyama will visit Lake Forest and give an author talk at the library on Monday, 9/30 at 6:00 p.m.  Seating is limited and free tickets are required.  Tickets will be available at the Library Reference Desk beginning at noon on Monday, 9/30.


Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale is a one book/one community program sponsored by Lake Forest Library and The Radgale Foundation. Gail Tsukiyama is a popular author and a Ragdale alum. Lake Forest will be celebrating Japanese culture throughout the city in September & October.  

9/19/13  12:00 noon, Library (847-810-4610)


Author Presentation by Gail Tsukiyama
Seating limited. Free tickets required.  Available at the Reference Desk beginning at noon on 9/30. 

10/3/13  10:30 a.m.,  Dickinson Hall (847-905-1500, ext. 194 or 847-234-2209)   



Japanese Tea Ceremony
Refreshments provided by The Green Teaist
Chado:  The Japanese Way of Tea.
Urasenke Chicago Association presents an explanation and demonstration of the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony with a tasting of the unique green tea and special sweets. Music by Music Institute faculty member, Reiko Yamada.  

10/12/13 7:00 p.m. Dickinson Hall  



For more information call 847-810-4610.


Community Partners:     


The Green Teaist                                                               Lake Forest Book Store

Arts Alliance of Lake Forest & Lake Bluff                             Lake Forest College

Dickinson Hall                                                                       Music Institute of Chicago

                                             Friends of Lake Forest Library



 FDA - Gluten-Free



On August 2, 2013, the United States Food & Drug Administration promulgated, for the first time, new rules for "gluten-free" foods.  Gluten is a stabilizing protein found primarily in wheat, barley and rye.  As such, gluten is ubiquitous in everything from breads, cereals, processed meats, and even ice cream and ketchup.  Over 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease because of their reaction to gluten.  However, the government estimates that the actual number of persons who are gluten-intolerant, including those who have been undiagnosed, could exceed 30 million persons.  Celiac disease is the most prevalent chronic illness having debilitating effects.  The FDA has now made it mandatory that foods must contain less than 0.002% (a near "zero" level) to be entitled to claim they are "gluten-free."  Many food companies were distributing products which claimed to be "gluten-free," but even small amounts above the new threshold level could cause serious health issues for those with celiac disease.


The Green Teaist's  Toraya Yokan is "gluten-free."  Many customers seeking a refined and elegant sweet or dessert have found Toraya Yokan to be an ideal solution to those seeking a "gluten-free" product.  Toraya Yokan is also 100% natural, utilizing only azuki (a highly-prized small red or white bean grown in Japan for centuries), agar agar (a natural vegetal gelatin from the ocean) and sugar.  This traditional sweet also does not contain any fats, dairy or egg products.  It is the ideal sweet, not only for those who are sensitive to gluten, but those who are seeking a more healthful and natural alternative.  Its unique texture, consistency and delicious taste, in various flavors, including, honey, azuki and brown sugar, is similar to a fruit pÔte, often found in some of the finest confectionery shops in Paris.  It is a most pleasing and satisfying sweet at any time, particularly when accompanied by a fine green tea which is the traditional way of enjoying yokan in Japan.


Speaking of "gluten-free" foods, green teas are inherently free of any gluten. So, the combination of one of the finest green teas of Japan, provided by The Green Teaist, enjoyed with a delicious slice of Toraya Yokan make for a wonderful "gluten-free," repast, regardless of whether one is sensitive to gluten, but to those who are, this is a double treat.





Gluten Free Article



Gluten Free Article page 2 






TGT Matcha Cake With Toraya Yokan  Filling


With the collaboration of famed Pastry Chef Kougi Okumura of Mont Blanc Patisserie in Arlington Heights, Illinois, The Green Teaist Matcha Cake with Toraya Filling is now available at The Green Teaist Salon et L'AtÚlier in Lake Forest, Illinois.  Utilizing The Green Teaist's fine Pastry Quality Matcha and combined with a filling made from Toraya's Awa no Kaze Yokan, made from azuki, agar agar and wasanbon (a fine sugar unique to Japan and used primarily in traditional Japanese confections), the combination is a unique contribution to the international world of fine and elegant cakes.  The Matcha Cake takes its cue from the qualities of fine sponge cakes and the yokan is a delightfully smooth and subtly sweet complement to the tasting experience.

(Note: TGT Matcha Cake with Toraya Yokan Filling is not "gluten-free" because this cake, as well as all cakes which use flour made from wheat, contains gluten.)


Lighten Pic of Matcha Cake



«" Green Teas Introduction

The Green Teaist will introduce a new line of unique green teas of Japan, featuring three new leaf teas and three new tea sachets, in new and innovative packaging, to meet the demands of those retail and wholesale customers seeking high quality, fresh green teas, but in slightly smaller packages and tea sachets.

We have embarked upon a search among the finest green tea estates in Shizuoka, Mie, Kyoto, Kagoshima, Fukuoka and several other famous tea-growing regions to select unique and new green teas, not well known in the U.S.   The new line of teas will be known as "TEAISTA«" and will reflect green teas which will be attractive to those who are well-acquainted with the "TGT" highest quality of green teas, but, also, to those, who wish to sample green teas for the first time.  To make "TEAISTA«" accessible to this growing segment of people desiring to try the freshest and purest green teas, with distinctive flavors and bouquets, the new line of teas should be well-received. 


The Green Teaist will be offering this new line of green teas at prices reflecting the somewhat smaller quantities, the simpler packaging and our ability to acquire these teas at reasonable prices directly from the tea estates and their related tea processors. Our customers should be able to find these new teas soon in many national supermarket chains, not limited to the more premium retailers we currently provide with the "TGT" line of teas.


To facilitate our efforts, we have been attending a number of trade fairs and conferences, including the Fancy Foods Show held in New York at the end of June, 2013, and, this autumn in Japan, we plan to be present in Shizuoka, at the World Green Tea Conference, in early November, 2013.  We are also grateful for the support of the Government of Japan's JETRO and the Ministry of Agriculture in seeking out some of the finest green teas estates and tea processors throughout the various prefectures and introducing green teas which have never been exported outside of Japan to the U.S. through the new TEAISTA« line.


Obviously, this is a long and laborious program to bring to market the new teas we envision, but it is, also, the most exciting time for The Green Teaist and its dedicated staff to bring to America new green teas which will add to the repertoire of many Americans who are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the "real" green teas of Japan.We are anticipating that some shipments of the new line will be available just before the year-end holidays this year.  We will keep you apprised and know that you will enjoy them as much as we will have enjoyed creating this new green tea experience.



Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas and
Mr. Ichiro SonÚ, Chief Executive
Director of JETRO Chicago

In August, Mr. Ichiro SonÚ met with Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas to present his credentials as the new Chief Executive Director of JETRO Chicago and, on behalf of The Green Teaist, presented him with the award-winning TGT Blend.


Previously, Mr. Tatsuhiro Shindo, the predecessor Chief Executive Director of JETRO Chicago, during the past several years, presented TGT teas to each of the governors of the twelve Midwestern states covered by JETRO Chicago.  We are very pleased to have been able to support and enhance these meetings with the presentation of the finest green teas of Japan. 


In addition to the governors, our teas have also been presented by JETRO Chicago to the former Vice President and Ambassador to Japan, the Honorable Walter F. Mondale and a distinguished list of former ambassadors, lieutenant governors, mayors, academicians, business and civic leaders.


Governor Brownback has one of the most distinguished political careers, having served in Congress, both as a Representative and Senator.  He was also a presidential candidate before being elected Governor of the State of Kansas.  Very few governmental leaders can claim such electoral success on both federal and state levels.