Okakura and the Spirit of Tea

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We’re getting a bit contemplative this time of year here at Talking Tea, as the weather turns cooler and our bodies and minds begin to turn inward. So this December we’re offering two episodes exploring the spirit of tea as reflected in chado, the Japanese way of tea. To kick off this two-part series we’re looking at the life, work and influence of Kakuzo Okakura (pictured above), best known for his modern classic The Book of Tea.  Read the full show notes

The Sencha Episode

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This week on Talking Tea we’re exploring the intricacies of sencha, the most ubiquitous of Japanese green teas. Sencha? Intricate? Many tea drinkers don’t think of those two words in the same context, but we sit down with Zach Mangan of Kettl, a Japanese tea seller based in Fukuoka, Japan and Brooklyn, New York, to sample some senchas and to look at how multifaceted this tea can be.  Read the full show notes

New Visions in Japanese Tea

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If you’ve listened to our Talkin’ Matcha episodes you’ll recognize the name of Tyas Huybrechts. Tyas has been a blogger and tea ceremony instructor based in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan, and we’re delighted to welcome Tyas back to Talking Tea to chat about his new venture, The Tea Crane, a company focused on chemical-free Japanese tea.  Read the full show notes

A Relaxed Approach to Tea & “Tea Decadence” at Montreal’s Cha Do Raku

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Today at Talking Tea we’re in Montreal beginning our exploration of this city’s vibrant tea scene. Our first stop is Cha Do Raku, a new tea house and shop in Montreal’s Plateau district. Cha Do Raku (it means “decadence of tea” in Japanese) and its owner and founder, Shiho Kanamaru, have already made a name for themselves through the highly regarded teas offered through Cha Do Raku’s online store. Today we visit Shiho in her new shop and chat about how she realized her dream of a tea space that embodies the spirit of doraku, a simple, relaxed enjoyment of tea.  Read the full show notes

Beauty in Imperfection: A Visit to the Shofuso Tea House

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This week on Talking Tea we’re back in Philadelphia at Shofuso, an authentic, and quite amazing, Japanese house and garden with a fully functioning tea house and roji, or tea garden. We’re joined by Derek Finn, Shofuso’s site and program manager, and Morgan Beard of Urasenke Philadelphia,  an organization dedicated to practicing and teaching the Japanese way of tea.   Read the full show notes

Talkin’ Matcha, Part 2: How To Make It

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Have you been wondering how to make a bowl of matcha without the ritual of a formal tea ceremony? How to get a smooth, frothy lime-green foam that looks and tastes great? Talking Tea is here to help. In Part 2 of Talkin’ Matcha, tea blogger Tyas Huybrechts explains how to make a fine bowl of matcha in a few easy steps.  Read the full show notes

Talkin’ Matcha, Part 1

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This week Talking Tea talks matcha with Tyas Huybrechts, founder and blogger at Tea Talk, a blog devoted entirely to Japanese green teas. Matcha, a powdered green tea that’s whisked into a frothy brew, is fast becoming the caffeinated drink of choice among many in the West, and Tyas tells us about matcha’s history and cultural background in Japan, how it’s grown and processed, and what to look for in buying quality matcha.   Read the full show notes