Archive for August, 2009

How To Make Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

Match Ice CreamThis is just soooo funny, had to post it here!

It is actually a great recipe for Match Ice Cream, just taught in a very Japanese Way.

Match Ice Cream with Dog is a winner.


Impromtu Tea Tasting Zhi Tea Gallery

Last week my friend Nick stopped by the store with his bag of tricks. He suggested I take a well-deserved break and we could gung fu it for an hour or so to get my soul back on track.

Well, it definitely worked. He busted out the last remnants of a nice 1994 Aged Bao Zhong and we took it from there. I had to bust out my 2002 Aged Oolong to show off a bit as Nick was impressing me with not only his awesome tea (obtained from Hou De Tea) but his fantastic and humble execution of the gung fu tea method. I have witnessed the gung fu method of tea preparation several times, but never by someone who seemed to be connected to the process in such an unselfconscious way. It was fun and educational and very grounding, as well. We had a blast. And we got about 5 good steeps from both teas.

The Bao Zhong you could tell had lost a bit of its jinginess or freshness. That said, it still the great bao zhong qualities; the complex floral notes, misty lingering long finish, and that dark hint of granny’s attic in the background you get from some of these aged teas. I likened it to sitting in grandma’s house and she had baked a peach pie the day before, but had left the door to the attic open and the window in the attic was open and it had just started raining. Safe to say I was transported.

We followed up with the 2002 oolong. It definitely had more punch and presence; it was only 7 years old and was more highly oxidized to begin with. It was also really enjoyable. A solid roasted, round body, hints of chestnuts and spice. The next couple of steepings we were rewarded with some really nice floral richness. Very evocative. Earthy and sweet with a really long nectar finish. Very nice.

A great break from the day.

Oolong Time

Well, finally did it. Released the promised oolongs finally. It is always so much more work than you’d imagine, Photos, labels, descriptions (long and short), pricing, last minute changes, awaiting shipments…

It_was_worth_the_wait. I always do this thing where I second guess a purchase or decision, so I go back to the grindstone, recupping said tea (I did it this year with the Golden Lily (a popular oolong that varies widely in quality). Suffice to say that after an evening of recupping and talking myself out of doing it with a few others, I realized we had totally scored again this year. A little luck, some great and deepening friendships, contacts, and connections, and an unwavering focus on quality and sustainability.

So, now I need to post some photos of a tasting session and tasting notes! Also, I need to give props to my friends Brett in Seattle who manages Tea Cup. He turned me on to a solid Ali Shan that was the first of the teas we got this year. It is almost gone, and a few others are disappearing rapidly, but I expect to have some well into the year. We got near whole crops of a few select ones from tiny farms. Totally sweet.

I’ll be scheduling a tasting on my meetup page zhi tea tasting group for mid-September. it is still 100 degrees here every day and no one is here or wants to do anything.

So now I will go and fill my gaiwan with some of my new favorite, a gui fei oolong we have dubbed royal courtesan. it is to die for. Maybe I’ll feature that in the next posting.

Check them out here…