Design challenge, day 29, travel to Kyoto for some tea

When I was little, my grandpa bought this movie from a discount bin called My Neighbor Totoro. If you haven’t seen it, the story starts with a family moving into a ‘new’ home. It’s old, rickety and to me, full of charm. I fell in love with the architecture, the shoji (those Japanese sliding doors covered in washi paper) and how they might make you feel like you were barely separated from what was outside.

My Neighbor Totoro led to my becoming a semi-otaku and an interest in some day visiting Japan.

On top of that, during my early twenties I became obsessed with tea so Japanese tea ceremonies are also on my list of things to experience.


Have tea in Kyoto

Photo credit:

Irish Sunrise Tea from KTeas

Irish Sunrise
I received this tea quite a while ago from Jennifer at Tea = Bliss and am finally getting around to trying it. I have to admit that I’ve been drinking 99% coffee and 1% tea for the past few months, which is why there haven’t been any reviews lately. This tea is a pretty strong replacement for morning coffee.

Irish Sunrise looks like coarsely ground coffee and was processed using the Crush-Tear-Curl (CTC) method. I’ve never tried a loose tea that was created this way and was not sure what to expect as far as flavor and strength.

Instead of the leaves being rolled as a final stage, they are passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of small sharp “teeth” that Crush, Tear, and Curl. (Crush, Tear, Curl on Wikipedia)

I brewed this with boiling water for three minutes. It’s got a bright astringency to it that just sucks the moisture from your mouth. It’s good but there’s nothing memorable about it. It’s pretty similar to bagged black teas that I would drink growing up.

See other tea reviews of Irish Sunrise tea.

Rainy Day

It’s raining here and I’ve decided to do what seems like a cold winter day kind of thing to do: knit and drink hot tea. (And for some reason I felt the need to share.)

More gardening

I’ve got a backyard full of tomatoes, oranges, limes and now, finally, some pumpkins!

John discovered them last night when he was showing off all of our gardening feats (and by our I mean Dan and I). So far I’ve seen five tiny pumpkins. I’m hoping the winter squash I planted will start making fruit pretty soon as well. We’ll see.

With all the success I’ve had with growing fruit in my oppressively hot and humid backyard, I’m wondering if I’d be able to successfully grow my own little tea plant. Has anyone else tried this?

There is a small tea garden at Epcot, with a few tea plants growing here and there. (It’s more herbs than tea, actually.) I’m guessing if they can grow tea in Florida, so can I. Who knows how much time someone spends taking care of those things, though.

Anyone know where to buy some tea seeds or a small, started plant?

My favorite tea cup

I was thinking about my collection of tea cups (mugs, really) and wondered if, like me, anyone else had a favorite in their own collection.

Numi Chocolate Puerh

This is my favorite tea cup. My mom bought this for me in the kind of shop that makes me squeal because every shelf is covered in something cute. The little reminder to “SMILE!” and the panda bear that’s on the bottom of the inside are the details on this cup that make the tea inside that much more enjoyable. It also holds a whole lot of tea–doubleplusgood!

What does your favorite tea cup look like?