The Autumn In Between

"And so we begin again"

In the grand circle of the seasons, winter returns. Summer furo season with the above ground kettle and now ro season time for indoor warmth and closed windows. So too I have been practising all summer and autumn with the ladle yet now find myself in the lead up to winter doing the more simple tea ceremony with a small kettle of water. It is this traditional "in between time" in the midst of the hustle and bustle that many tea people merely use their small kettles and refrain from using their ladles and charcoal fires until closer to the beginning of winter.

Back to the beginning, as it were. So too with any learning a martial art or a second language: We often find ourselves years later going back to the beginning to brush up on things.

One of the advantages of teaching: It keeps you in touch with the fundamentals from whence practical things arise from :
much like the steam rising from a kettle in late autumn. Therein if found Wabi Sabi: Th…

Tea Ceremony Practicing in TBay

I've begun practicing tea ceremony meditation using my sisters yoga mat. It'll be perfect for this coming spring. Coming soon to a park near you. I also have kimono sets for it as well. This winter it's practice practice along with making ladles out of scrap wood.
I'm also making tea scoops from snow broken branches but more on that later.

Through!? Consuming ! Thick and Thin : Tea via Travelling Tea Time

Well, I have started making tea savories (wagashi) here at home and have concocted a few Canadianized summer maple syrup dishes to serve up with tea as well over this summer. I'm working on a Canadian Kaiseki style tea ceremony as well : Dining with thick as well as thin tea. Although I will need to consult with some of my more culinary friends and family regarding this as I, similar to John Snow, know little of such things as my more experienced professional friends in that field.

Indeed, as my country of Canada is a fine multicultural one, I'm working to, on occasion, expand the tea ceremony to be more than merely Japanese and thus I shall consult with those who know much more that I. Cultural appropriation? I shall do some consulting to make it culturally appropriate to the particular ceremony and properly considerate. For each event via the upcoming Facebook site WhereWiskWay (Travelling Tea Time) I will post info detailing the ceremonial context of the particular upcoming…

Preparing for Summer

As it is summer now, earlier today I unpacked and placed a seasonal scroll

For summer I have put together a nodaté (野点)tea set for ceremony in the parks here in Thunder Bay. 
Nodaté is Japanese for outdoor tea ceremony and chabako is Japanese for tea box.
For my nodaté chabako I repurposed an old box of Korean tea cookies. 
I find the post colonial cultural fusion wonderfully scintillating as the set can and will be used not only for Japanese tea ceremony but also to recreate within a Canadian context the earlier Korean and also the even earlier, original Chinese green tea powder (matcha) ceremony
The thermos is kind of a more modern Canadian element I call it 'Blue Lightning' fitting for the weather we've been having off and on recently in this here Bay of Thunder by the seemingly lazy Nanabijou. 
(Oftentimes I find myself waving my hands at him like Tom Cruise in "Minority Report" but sadly to no effect. Perhaps maybe its my rather spindly pipe-cleaner like arms)....

One Lean, Mean, Green Tea Making Machine

It seems we're one step away from the Star-Trek replicator for food and beverages. We're on the verge of calling out, similar to Cpt.Picard, "Tea. Matcha-Green! -- Not too hot". 
The electronics company Sharp has produced a Matcha-Maker that grinds the tea leaves, adds water not too hot and foams it up. You can also add milk to the machine to make a green tea latte too.

More info on the Central North American / U.S version can be found here : Sharp U.S.A : Tea-Cere. Also more details here on Akihabara News.

The U.S version of it is available on :  Sharp TE-T56U-GR Tea-Cere Matcha Tea Maker, Green
And those in Japan can find it on the global Rakuten site, here : Te-TS56V-R Herushio Tea Presso among other places. Although that particular one seems to be an earlier model perhaps? As of course, this machinery can never take the place of a fine meditative Zen ceremony.  The machine made option, minus the ceremony (save for the serving and taking of tea), is of c…

A Teahouse Start : from Bexco with Love

It seems the Goryeo style tea ceremony is coming back in vogue earlier than I had expected! Korean made products are coming to the market that are for use in the powdered green tea ceremony that is known as the Japanese tea ceremony but was also the tea ceremony of old Korea during the Goreyo Dynasty. During the most recent International Tea and Craft Fair and Busan's convention center Bexco I found plenty of booths serving and selling powdered green tea each with the prominent bamboo whisk for whisking it to a froth. Below was one of the more innovative vendors : 

 as you can see in the picture above she had not only green tea powder for use in ceremony but also other green leaves used in Korean 'teas' for whisking up ! For example : in the picture above from left to right: Barley sprout powdered tea, Mugwort leaf powdered tea, Mulberry leaf powdered tea and Lotus leaf powdered tea ! All of the ingredients ground up into powdered form are from their lands in Hadong; wes…

2014 Programs : Pottery, Tea Ceremony & Tours.

I'm proctoring my final exams next week and cleaning the house in preparation for small group introductory tea ceremony classes (Japanese and Korean tea ceremonies).

Next I found a place that teaches tea ceremony classes using the tea table that is becoming accepted in Japan. Indeed you can find plenty of pictures online of Geisha in Kyoto using the Japanese tea ceremony table.

The classes are offered in September but I'm trying to get them to open a class for using the table this summer... Here's hoping.

Once this summer I shall also give a tea tour of Nampodong/Gukjae Markets.

I shall also be taking pottery classes in Busan's Jangsan area. If any of you out there are interested in any of the above text me (Matthew) @ 010-5737-6543.

I've also discovered a few tea shops in Busan's Nampodong market that sell Chabako sets (pictured above). They contain most of what you'll need to do a Japanese tea ceremony. I shall do a review on them later next month.