Cooking with tea traditionally

 Available on (which ships to Korea taking a month or so to get here) or from Seoul's What The Book which take about 10 days to arrive, Mistress Oriku : Stories from a Tokyo Teahouse describes the life of Mistress Oriku, owner of a teahouse in Tokyo's now famous Asakusa neighborhood.

Beomosa Monks! @ The 7th Busan International Tea Cultural Festival Day 1

7th Busan International Tea Cultural Festival

This coming Friday I'm pleased to be covering the 7th Busan International Tea Cultural Festival.
It will be held at the Busan Cultural Center (Busan Moonhwa Waygwan) This August 31st to September 2nd. A fine way for celebrating and taking the edge off after the typhoon that is hitting here rather quite soon.

Among many other things there will be booths covering Tea Incense, Tea Savories, Tea Art, Japanese Matcha Tea Ceremony, Flower Arrangements for Tea Services, Buddhist Tea Offering Ceremony...

Two Tea iPhone Apps as cool as a Geisha in glasses.

For those of you into tea and with a smartphone here are a few tea apps I've found in my forays into the world of tech.

A Fine Bowl of the Green in Someyeon

Back in the 1200s green tea was drunken in powdered form, in bowls, wisked to a froth with a bamboo wisk. This occurred in China, Korea and Japan. At the end of the 1200s the mongols invaded, somehow wiping out this tea culture. As the mongols weren't able to successfully invade Japan, it survived there, later becoming the Japanese tea ceremony.
In Japanese and English it is called Matcha, in Korean its Malcha 말차. In Busan today, there are two places that serve green tea that way, the best of which is in Someyeon at a place called DaSoul.

Tea Books Reviewed

 It's a busy week. On Sunday I went into the countryside outside of Busan to visit a real Japanese teahouse for some 말차or Matcha in English/Japanese otherwise known as powdered green tea served in the ancient way : mixed with water and you consume both powder and tea.  Much stronger taste than if infused. I'll do a blog post on it by Friday.
On Wednesday I'll be dropping by a teahouse in Someyeon that serves tea that way and also with ice cream in Affogato form. I'll be reviewing that one as well later this week.

The Rise and Fall of Green Tea in Powdered Form.

If you go far back enough in history, most of the tea was green, ground down into powder form, with small amounts tapped into a bowl and with warm water, wisked into a fine froth . Old school. This was how it was done.
Tea was served in bowls and not cups. Here in Busan it is possible to take your tea this way. Later this week I'll review the main teahouse for a bowl of powdered green located in Someyeon.
In most teastores here, powdered tea goes for about 20,000 won for a small tin. One tin will last you for a few months as you take it in small amounts. Many shops here sell the tiny scoops for the Malcha (말차) in Korean. In Japanese it is called Matcha. Many shops here also sell the bamboo wisks. I'll report on the shopping business later next month... Suffice here's the history :

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