Father's Day is June 16

After two weeks of non-stop rain, the skies have cleared, and I'm beginning to see wild flowers blossoming on my usual hike in the El Cerrito hills. The birds are chirping loudly and the dogs on the trail are certainly happy to be out after being cooped up. Certainly, spring is here, rain or shine.

This month at Umami Mart, we're waking up to spring! We'll be highlighting products like matcha and sakura (cherry blossoms) – which both signify a bright awakening after a long slumber.

Matcha is a ritual that helps to wake us up in the morning, while providing lots of antioxidants, catechins and health benefits like boosting memory and the immune system. I don't love excessive ceremony, but matcha is something that is worth taking time for and savoring.

We carry all the accouterments necessary to make matcha – the scoop, whisk, bowl, and most importantly, the matcha powder.

We are proud to sell Daily Matcha Powder by Mizuba – a company owned and operated by Lauren Danson who sources tea from Uji, Japan, is all about direct trade and transparency. The chasaku (tea scoop) is a traditional tool to use to measure matcha. 

A crucial part of making matcha is the bowl, since you want it to be wide enough to whisk the matcha to create a froth. We love our Cherry Blossom Matcha Bowls by Studio Arhoj, which are glazed by hand so no two are exactly alike!

People often ask if a matcha whisk is necessary and the answer is YES. I have tried using a stainless steel whisk for this but you won't get the froth you are looking for in the matcha. The gentle tines made of bamboo must have magical powers when interacting with matcha powder and hot water!

Follow Yoko's post from 2016 for a complete guide on how to make matcha at home. Or get an updated recipe in the Japanify All Day Zine!

For all of you in the Bay Area, there is a tea room in Berkeley called Blue Willow Teaspot where they offer tea ceremony demonstrations on the weekends. Find out more in this article!

Hope you are all invigorated by the wild flowers and spring!


Column: Spotlight


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