Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tea Time! Part II

More tea and tea-related things! If you've seen some of these photos before, it's because I pulled them from the previous post that was too long.  

This was the matcha from my local grocery store that I'd sent home with great success! There were quite a few choices on the shelf of course, with price ranging from $5-30. I asked the store staff for a recommendation and was told this was the best-selling. It cost all of $6!

This is the konacha I'd sent home also. Konacha literally means powdered tea, but it's *not* instant and is more like "dregs" tea, the dust and crushed tea leftover from processing. Now before you turn your nose up, you should know it's the stuff they serve at sushi restaurants. It's stronger than your average green tea, and it cleans your palate well in between sushi bites. It's also great for cooking. Use it to transform the boring ol' chicken noodle soup!

On the 3rd floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, there's a tiny little shop called Lola's Apartment. The shop has some really neat stuff, but I'm most partial to their tea accessories. I'll admit most of them are kind of gimmicky, but the two tea filters below are precious.

We first encountered this type of attached filter at an afternoon tea session, I forget which. Hubby took a liking to it and so when I saw this at Lola's, I picked it up. There were 2 versions available, silver and gold, and I always go for silver.

Here's another filter I found adorable. It came with a filter rest that looks just like an espresso cup attached to the saucer ^.^ How cute is that? I bought 2 more of these as gifts for mum and aunt-in-law and they loved it!

Springtime was sakura season, of course, so I got some Japan Greentea Co. Sweet Sakura Tea in green and black tea versions from the local grocery store. Nothing special but they were fun to have at breakfast every now and then.

A while back, J. went to Hawaii for a wedding and brought back these Island Essence Pineapple Passion black tea and Lavender Earl Grey. Yum!

This chocolate stir-in was also J.'s gift from Hokkaido.

J. also brought this Sabah Tea back from Borneo. It's a full bodied black tea with a malty chocolatey taste and takes well to milk and sugar. Dessert in a cup!

Ginger Black Tea.

Finally caved and bought an overpriced tea pot from Mariage Freres and regretted it ever since. See that lid? There's no tab to secure it to the pot. See how wide the mouth of the pot is? This means pouring is a two-hand ordeal. Every. Single. Time. Unless you want the lid to drop into your tea cup and splash tea all over the place (hint: I learned the hard way). Other than the free-falling lid, the pot is totally plain. There's nothing special about it save for the stamp with Mariage's Freres on the body, and for this (made in China) honor I was charged a whopping 4,000yen! Urgh. I felt ripped off, and I still do.

Now this pot is something else. It's by Zero Japan, it's made in Japan, and hand-glazed. I got it at the Marunouchi Reading Style on the 4th floor of the Kitte Building outside of Tokyo Station. There a rainbow of colors to choose from and I was certainly drawn to some dark colors. But in the end, I went with this sunny yellow because don't like not being able to see the inside of my pot to wash it well. And of course it had matching cups. There were 2 different sizes but I chose the smaller size.

Here's what I like about this lid: it clips on and stays put! That said, this pot isn't perfect. It has one design flaw that almost made me regret the purchase: the spout is slightly higher than the actual mouth of the teapot, which means if I'm not careful when I pour, the tea will come out of the mouth first before the spout.

See my previous Tea Time! post.

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