Growing a Tea Meetup

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One of our guiding principles here at Talking Tea is that conversations about tea and tea culture have the power to deepen our understanding and enhance our experience of tea. Today on Talking Tea we’re exploring one of the ways people are increasingly coming together to share and talk about tea: tea meetup groups. We’re joined by Roy Lamberty, founder and organizer of the New York Tea Society, a popular tea meetup in New York City.  Read the full show notes

Tea, Heart to Heart

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This week on Talking Tea we return to the Tea Institute at Penn State University to explore the evolution and burgeoning growth of interest in Japanese tea ceremony study at the Institute and beyond, and the transformative nature of tea ceremony practice. We first chat with Drew Hanson, founding instructor of the Urasenke program at the Institute. Drew talks with us about his own journey from art to tea, the history and development of the Japanese track at the Institute, and changing demographics and perspectives among students of Japanese tea ceremony.  Read the full show notes

Tea Culture/Youth Culture

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This week on Talking Tea we look at the growing popularity of tea and tea culture among youth and teens. Chatting with us (via Skype) is Connor Adlam of Tching.com, the well-known blog and online forum for tea information.   Read the full show notes

Tea, Zen, Awareness

We’re releasing this episode in between the Western new year and the Asian lunar new year, and we took this opportunity to quiet our minds, turn inward a bit, and look again at tea as a contemplative practice. Chatting with us in this exploration is Ven. Hyeonmin Prajna, a Zen teacher in the Five Mountain Zen Order based in New York City, and a student and practitioner of Japanese tea ceremony in the Dai Nihon Chado Gakkai school of 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

Tea & Relational Culture: What’s Tea Got to Do With It?

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One of the things we hear over and over again from people in the tea world is how so many great relationships have been created and nurtured through tea. But what is it in tea culture that’s so good at bringing us together?  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

The Qi of Tea: Tea’s Healing and Spiritual Qualities

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You might think we’re having an identity crisis this week on Talking Tea, since our host and guest on this week’s podcast share the same name. In this week’s show our host and producer Ken Cohen chats with renowned qigong master and author Ken Cohen, who also writes and lectures extensively about the health benefits of tea. 

Ken shares his personal tea journey with us, talks about both the health benefits and the spiritual benefits of tea from the perspectives of Western science and traditional Chinese medicine, discusses how our connection with nature and poetry influences our enjoyment of tea, and explains how the intention, heart and spirit we bring to the preparation and drinking of tea change not only our experience of tea, but also our relationship with the world.   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