July 5, 2012

Darjeeling Discovery: Junpana Tea Estate

by Yoko Kumano

“What is different about the Junpana tea estate, from all the other tea estates in Darjeeling?” I asked BM Mudgil (manager of Junpana). To that he replied, “You will find out when you go there and experience it.” I knew the bullet points: established in 1899, elevation 2,500-5,500 ft, moves 75 tons of tea a […]

June 28, 2012

Darjeeling Discovery: Goomtee Tea Estate

by Yoko Kumano

Darjeeling reminded me of Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky. It is hidden within the thick cloak of fog and has an elevation of up to 8000 feet. As you approach Darjeeling from the small, but heavily populated Bagdogra aiport, the steep hills slowly reveal themselves. Looking down to the Junpana Tea Estate from […]

December 15, 2011

Japanify: Yuzu Ginger Tea

by Yoko Kumano

It’s that time of the year, when my well-windowed apartment gets really cold and I have to bring out multiple space heaters to supplement the un-strategically placed central heater that seems to whisper lukewarm puffs of air. Luckily, my Zojirushi water boiler and warmer just arrived in the mail and I will have a steady […]

August 25, 2011

Japanify: Kuzu Matcha Kanten with Mizu Yokan

by Yoko Kumano

Although we don’t see many kudzu vines taking over large patches of land in the west, it is often referred to as the “mile-a-minute-vine” in the South. It all started in 1876 when someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce the kudzu plant from Japan to the U.S. Instead of providing some […]

August 23, 2011

Slightly Peckish: Afternoon Tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury (LDN)

by Sakura Gooneratne

Summer this year is a total washout in wet, gray and windy London, so we decided to cheer ourselves up by going    and scoffing some afternoon tea. All lady-like and dainty, of course. Not really. We prepared ourselves by skipping lunch (and I substituted a lie-in for breakfast since it was a Sunday). So we […]

May 24, 2011

Slightly Peckish: Paris in the Footsteps of Hemingway, Serge + Jane

by Sakura Gooneratne

My family and I went on a flying visit to Paris again to rendez-vous with my dad (since he managed not to get his UK visa in time–visa people suck). Last year I gave him a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s memoir of 1920s Paris, A Moveable Feast, which he raved on about until I decided […]

April 20, 2011

Happy Hour: Good Morning Heartache

by Payman Bahmani

Being out of the country for nearly a month has a tendency to adjust a person’s perspective of “home.” Home has had various meanings and geographical locations in various moments in my life. Conceptually, it means numerous–and sometimes conflicting–things at one time, and all this really came to light on my recent trip to Iran. […]

April 15, 2011

Packaging Whore: Gyokuro Tea for Intelligentsia

by Kayoko Akabori

When visiting Chicago for the first time last year, I of course had Intelligenstia Coffee as a must-go destination. Sure, they’ve got a super spiffy space in Venice (LA) now, but Intelligentsia originally hails from Chi-town, so I wanted to make sure to stop by. This is when I discovered artist Timothy Breen. I saw […]

March 10, 2011

Japanify: Oolong-Hai (Shochu Iced Tea)

by Yoko Kumano

One of my most vivid alcohol-related memories is going to Kyoto in the summer of 2003 and trying my first oolong-hai. My dad’s third wife turned me on to the oolong-hai the moment she casually ordered me a tall glass as we sat in an izakaya overlooking the Kamo river after a long day of […]

January 19, 2011

Happy Hour: The Hot Toddy

by Payman Bahmani

Last week I wrote about the Hot Buttered Rum, and how it’s a winter drink for when you’re feeling festive (and when you’ve planned far enough ahead of time and made the essential spiced rum batter). Now that we’re nearing the dead of winter, you may be interested in something more simple– a drink that doesn’t require much advanced […]