Friday, October 10, 2008

Green Tea Please

It's very cold already in Paris - temperatures are in the upper 40's-low 50's F, or low 10's C... To stay warm, I drink a lot of tea. Right now my favorite is Kusmi's green tea with ginger and lemon essences - a very fresh taste. It can't hurt that Kusmi's teas come in super stylish boxes.
A few days ago, at a friend's place, I also enjoyed some frothy Japanese green tea served in a delicate blue and white bowl. It reminded me of my discovery, in Taiwan, of the classic Chinese tea houses. While in mainland China in the 1960's the Cultural Revolution, targeting all things deemed "bourgeois", eradicated the ancient tradition of tea houses where intellectuals would meet to chat over some tea and treats (say, salty plums), Taiwan has retained and cherished both the buildings and the rituals, something I was delighted to discover when I visited Taipei as a teenager.
Though it can't be compared to the highly arcane Japanese tea ceremony, tea drinking in those quiet, precious wooden tea houses is still a rather codified matter; for instance you pour the water several times over the leaves, then emptying it into different bowls and then back into the teapot before thinking of having a sip... Going with a connoisseur definitely helps!

35 comments:

please sir said...

I love tea - even better on a cold day. Yum!

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Beautiful post -
I'm not a connaisseur but I love tea, preferably on a cold day, and with great company...

Anonymous said...

yes i am too am a big fan of kusmi tea...and the packaging does add to the experience, (and i do love mariage frères teas as well...). but crazy how it got so cold in paris....seems like it is colder than here (today was 19c!)...wanna trade? ;)
nancy

limonana said...

i'm an absolute tea addict. as of a year ago i replaced coffee for tea in my diet, & i've never felt better! it gives me a much better pick me up & i love the coziness of it all...:o)

Kwana said...

Lovely post. I'm going to experiment with different teas.

willow said...

I will have to give kusmi a try. Nothing like a lovely cup of hot tea on a cold day! Lovely pix!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I have been drinking both cinnamon/apple tea and ginger/lemon tea for the past couple of cooler weeks. Divine!

Hello to Benji! Handsome one!

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Japanese tea ceremony is an art by itself...Green tea is so good for us indeed. Thanks for your comment dear... would've never known you are a'punk' at heart dear...
~Charmed as usual*

A World in a PAN said...

I have often given as a gift Kusmi tea boxes. THe box is beautiful and the tea inside delicious.

Sanne said...

thank you for sharing your story, very nice. i like to have a variation of tea, so i will remember this one

Roxana said...

I don't know kusmi, but I would die without green tea - I know much more about the japanese tea ceremny because I've learned it, but the Chinese way of drinking is also fascinating. I've got also a tea-archive on my blog, of course! :-)

Anonymous said...

Oye, que rico un te verde una tarde de frio ...

d. moll, l.ac. said...

A pretty box always helps. Will keep a lookout for it on this side of the planet. Am currently drinking a rather robust Himalayan Green.

nadia said...

i lived in japan for a while and miss the ritual! not to mention how healthy i became..love your post!

Anil P said...

I haven't seen pictures of the tea houses you mention. Would be great to see how they look like.

Similarly Coffee Houses are famous in Calcutta, known as haunts for many an author and film-maker.

artycho said...

I love your description very well pictured! The tea box is lovely.

tangobaby said...

Mmmm, yummy! My friend from Paris brought me a can of Kusmi Chocolate tea. It smells so delicious that I don't want to use it up!

gracia said...

Please, can I share a little tea with you... and can it come with a side of salty plums?

My Castle in Spain said...

Beautiful packaging indeed. Last time i was in Paris, i wanted to buy some and try it and silly me reverted to classic Mariage frères tea.
Hope the sun will shine over Paris this week end...

iñaki said...

Tea is my treat on cold winter afternoons when I have to do work! Only I prefer Lady Gray!

xx

pve design said...

I have had the honor of a Japanese Tea Ceremony in Japan and loved it. I also read the book -"Three Cups of Tea" and truly believe that so much can be solved over a cup of tea. Love to have tea with you one day~

Mary-Laure said...

PAMELA - Benjy thanks you for your message and woofs back...

ROXANA - it's so wonderful that you've learned Japanese tea ceremony; I'd love to learn it too.

D.MOLL - wow, a Himalayan green sounds fabulous!

NADIA - you're lucky to have lived in Japan. I spent a summer there and just adored it.

ANIL - hmmm, I'm not sure I have pictures but I'll look in my albums to check.
I didn't know about the Calcutta coffee houses and would love to learn more bout them. I'm a huge admirer of Indian culture.

TANGOBABY - chocolate tea? That sounds just heavenly!!! I must try it.

MY CASTLE - oh but Mariages Freres is wonderful too, as so classy...

INAKI - Lady Gray? With such a name, it can only be extraordinary. Where do you get it?

PVE - that book is going straight to my reading list! Thanks for the recommendation.

mansuetude said...

ahh... every gesture is meant with intention, no? like a dance, to be so elegant in movement, to express...so different than USA hurry hurry :)

Solange said...

always interesting things, always so many nice pictures. I love how you can tell so much about a picture, very nice.

here, the cold turned to sunny and warm, so back to my raincoat and I put my wintercoat away again, stange how things change. well, enjoy your weekend!
Solange

Vanessa said...

Dear Mary-Laure,

I'm sure my comments are buried underneath the multitudes you get with each post. It's always love to be here!

Besides wonderful tea, what's interesting to do of late in Paris? I'm coming through town in the next weekend and would like to know if there's any singularly awesome thing I must not miss while there...As though being in Paris is not singularly awesome on its own...

Feel free to write me back on my blog or email. Merci beaucoup!

Besos,
V

Hila said...

I'm so jealous that you're heading into Winter on your side of the world :)

Sea Angels said...

I find gren tea really bitter made in the north of england, yet in the south the water makes a really delicious tea...I know very odd!!
I rather love the colours in your photograph, what a lovely day out you had.
Hugs Lynn xx

Alya said...

I drink green tea occasionally. But I prefer ones with flavors like Mint or Jasmine. It makes it easier (and tastier) to drink!

l'air du temps said...

i only just discovered kusmi tea, it was such a nice surprise for my birthday. it really is a delicate tea. and the green tea has the kind of caffeine that is good for us...

hope you can stay warm and cozy.

Mary-Laure said...

MANSUETUDE - what you wrote is just SO true and well phrased. It's all about the intention of the movement, its expression.

ALYA - mint and jasmine are also favorite of mine! Mint is so fresh, and jasmine so subtle.

SEA ANGLES - I also find green tea bitter if I use too much. I barely use a pinchful per cup.

billie said...

you've just inspired me to make myself some green tea... my favorite is a japanese roasted green tea with rice and corn.

knick knack said...

right now my life demands for more coffee than tea, but soon I hope to be able again to drink my cup of tea before it's cold.... ;) Once I have been sipping tea in a tea house in Chengdu, what a relaxing pastime.

Thank you for your nice comments on my blog!

Mary-Laure said...

BILLIE - Oh I just love that roasted rice taste! It's really very special and so unusual.

Joanna said...

I drink green tea nearly every day, so I'm always looking for new ones to try. I will definitely have to give Kusmi a whirl. Thanks!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

mmmmm... i love Kusmi teas! I wish i could have a cup with you again sometime!