Jan 21, 2011

Hanabira mochi sweets for New Year

I know for many of you sweets are one of the reasons that you come to class to drink tea.   I hope you have all appreciated my poor attempts at home made wagashi. This sweet is called hanabira mochi.  It is the traditional New years' sweet of Urasenke.  I love the taste of this sweet for it mix of sweet and salty flavors.

For those of you in Seattle, there is now a professional tea sweet maker called Tokara.

Tokara is a Seattle-based confectionery that prepares only freshly made Japanese sweets known as wagashi. These traditional Kyoto-style confections are crafted to reflect the seasonal changes and the beauty of nature in color, shape, and taste. Handmade by Chef Tokara, a selection of wagashi echoing the current season of the year – be it spring, summer, fall, or winter – are offered monthly.

Chef Tokara prepares wagashi using the centuries-old Kyoto method and carefully selects only the best and freshest ingredients to ensure her confections are of the highest quality. Her dedication and meticulous attention to craft and technique produces sweets that are visually stunning and exquisitely flavorful. And for Chef Tokara, taste is most important. “It must be delicious!”

Order your sweets from  Tokara Japanese Confectionary

You can also have a bowl of sweets at the Seattle Urasenke Branch.  Contact them to schedule a visit.

You can also sample Chef Tokara's creations at
Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee
605 S. Main St., Seattle, WA 98104

FUJI BAKERY, Inc. (Friday and Saturday only)
1502 145th PL. SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
(425) 641-3889

Fresh Flours
6015 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103

851 Hiawatha Pl. S. Seattle, WA 98144

Tougo Coffee
1410 18th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

Jan 17, 2011

There is more to life

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."
  --  Mahatma Gandhi

Jan 14, 2011

Hatsugama Kaiki

Thank you to the guests who attended Issoan Tea School Hatusgama.

I enjoyed hosting you so much that I want to do it all over again.  Here are the photos from the event.

Hatsugama 2011 Kaiki
Year of the Rabbit, January 9, 2011

Rabbit bell from Minako-sensei
Kumidashi – yari ume stoneware

Tokonoma:  “Yume” Dream by Soko Daisoji, the 488th abbot of Koyasan temple at Seihoin wajo in Japan, New year display mandarin oranges, charcoal, rice
Hana: camellia
Hanaire:  shigaraki tabi makura hanging vase
Tana: “Yamazato dana” Mountain Village from the poem: 
Hana o nomi                  For those who wait
matsunan hito ni            only for flowers
yamazato no                   show them the sprig
yukima no kusa mo        of grass under the snow
Haru o misebaya            in a mountain village
Mizusashi:  Wood fire LA from Tad Kamiya
Kama:  Kashiwa ubaguchi (oakleaf design on old lady mouth shape) by Keitan Takahashi National Treasure
Kogo:  Hagi style usagi (rabbit) by Jennifer Anderson
Omogashi: Traditional Hanabira mochi
Chaire: Seto shiribukura
Shifuku: ikat made from my kimono sleeve by sempai Robert Macrae
Chashaku:  “Cha jo cha shin” Tea feeling, tea heart given to me by Jan Waldman sensei when I left for midorikai
Chawan:  Black raku “Issei”  first voice. Gift of Gary sensei named by Onozawa Kankai of Daitokuji temple in Kyoto Head abbot of Jukoin, the Sen family temple. Made by Sasaki Shoraku
Futaoki: Four seasons, four directions, four bridges, 40 years of Midorikai by Richard Milgrim
Koicha: Sayaka no mukashi from Ippodo
Natsume: Rikyu gata chu natsume, Gold leaf
Chawan: Minako sensei’s Hagi chawan
Chawan: Shino unknown artist
Usucha:  Seijo no shiro, Zabosai konomi Koyamaen
Sweet:  Wasanbon gift from Kay Snell

Jan 4, 2011

New Class Introduction to Chanoyu, The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Introduction to 
Chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony
Harmony, purity, respect and tranquility.  These are the four principles of tea ceremony distilled from Japanese culture.  In this ten week class, students will be introduced to Chado, the way of tea. The arts of Japan will be examined through the ritual preparation and drinking of matcha, Japanese ceremonial tea.   

Students will participate in at least six tea ceremonies, an incense ceremony, and kimono dressing.  Japanese architecture, gardening,ceramics, flower arranging and calligraphy will also be covered. The final class will be a formal tea gathering for friends and family at the Portland Japanese Garden authentic tea house.

New Class: Starts Wednesday, Wednesday January 12  7:00 – 8:30 pm.
3826 NE Glisan St. 
Once a week for 10 weeks
Fee: $250, materials will be available for purchase at class.

www.issoantea.com for more information.
Space is limited, call 503-645-7058 to register
Marjorie Yap, Instructor, Urasenke Tradition of Tea