October 11, 2018

Finally after a year of research and a ton of paperwork, we acquited a high quality grinder from Shizuoka Japan! It has the capacity to grind  to the fineness of 20 microns. Even industrial flour mills can only grind to 70 microns, so this small grinder is pretty impre...

July 20, 2018

I am spending part of the summer in a Zen monastery and in the back of the yard near the property line is an old mulberry tree.  There were many different trees in the neighboring yard, but they were chopped down yesterday to make room for a new hermitage building, a r...

July 16, 2018

I ate in an upscale Korean restaurant in Ann Arbor Michigan the other day.  Accustomed to having my own bowl of bibimbap, I was surprised to be served instead a number of small dishes in a course menu format.  It reminded me a lot of Japanese kaiseki, a form of dining...

July 11, 2018

Master Eisai (d.1215), a Japanese monk who established the Rinzai school of Zen in Japan, is also credited with popularizing tea drinking, but mulberry may have been his real passion. 

Eisai wrote "Drink Tea to Nourish Life" (Kissa yōjōki), a text that advocated tea co...

July 8, 2018

In May and June, I had the opportunity to visit tea farms in Taiwan and Japan including some of the most famous tea growing regions that produce Chinese Oolong and Japanese matcha.  Some of the tea fields look like gardens with the tea trees shaped into perfect hedges...

July 6, 2018

Making mulberry leaf powder tea at home is easy to do.  

The first step is to remove the leaves from the branches.  Then wash and dry the leaves.

 Place a bunch of leaves on top of one of another and roll them into a cigar shape.  Cut the leaves into half inch wide strip...

May 20, 2018

Eric visited Hong Kong and Taiwan to attend an academic conference about tea.

He sent me a few pictures from a tea farm in rural Taiwan. These small farms specialize in making Oolong and black teas.

He also told me a story about one interesting tea called Imperial Concub...

May 20, 2018

An estimated 36 million trees are disappearing from US cities every year. That was the first news I read this morning in the Guardian. The trees are being replaced by roads and buildings of course. Researchers are warning of serious environmental, social, and economic...

May 20, 2018

Hydration Part 5

I get confused seeing all the kinds of water in the store -- distilled, natural spring, purified, reverse osmosis, etc.  When I looked into online sources, a lot of water connoisseurs go in depth about water. 

To make a long story short, use natural...

May 20, 2018

Hydration Part 4

It's interesting to see that there are cultural differences even when it comes to water.

Usually Americans prefer regular water versus the bubbly water that is beloved by many Europeans. When I lived in Spain in my 20’s, this was one of the most confusin...

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Lawrence, Kansas