12 Books. 12 Teas: #03

pearl_BlogPost3
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”  ― Robert Louis Stevenson,

For those of you that wander but are not lost, the quote above will reasonate deeply. A life without travel is much like a life without tea: tragic. Being a self-professed “flâneur” the idea of travel for travel sake are words to live by. Though the goal is to arrive at ones destination, it is the act of getting there that is part of the fun. And even when we do arrive at our chosen destination, we realize that each day offers its own micro-journey by the mere act of exploring. This applies to one who just travels their own city too, for it’s the act of moving through life and being present that matters.

If you look it up flâneur in the dictionary it will say: “An idler or lounger; from flâner “saunter, lounge” but indeed it is much more than that:

“It was French Poet Baudelaire who identified the flâneur in his essay The Painter of Modern Life (1863) as the dilettante observer. The flâneur carried a set of rich associations: the man of leisure, the idler, the urban explorer, the connoisseur of the street. Such a figure can be seen featured in may impressionist paintings.”

An even more profound explanation into understanding flâneur might be: “—the stroller, the passionate wanderer emblematic of nineteenth-century French literary culture—has always been essentially timeless; he removes himself from the world while he stands astride its heart.

How utterly delicious. As we take a first step into March let us work to make the goal to just enjoy the ride. Whatever that ride might be or wherever it might take us. Because there is value in even just that.

Sounds simple enough, but maybe not so easy living in a digital world. Thankfully we have books. And we have tea. And we have mobility, maybe a car, maybe access to a train, and maybe even the good fortune to be able to board a plane and just travel for travels sake to basically just enjoy the ride. And if you can’t do any of that, just walk… and see what crosses your path.

This brings us to this months choice for our third Book and Tea pairing. Though the book is is a few years old (2007), the tea is even older!

March 2019
• Book 3: Breakfast with Buddha
• Tea 3: Genmai Cha

Roland Merullo is an American author originally from Massachusetts. You can read a bit more about him and his novels by visiting his website. One of my favorite quotes of his which seems to aptly reveal much of who he is and why he writes what he does is this: “The problem for me is that I’m interested in everything and everybody.”  Many of his books work to explore questions like “What are we doing here on this spinning ball of stone?” and “What might await us after our time here is finished?”

Breakfast with Buddha

516i9qAnHeL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_“When Otto Ringling, a husband, father, and editor, departs on a cross-country drive from his home in a New York City suburb to the North Dakota farmhouse in which he grew up, he is a man on a no-nonsense mission: to settle the estate of his recently deceased parents. However, when his flaky sister convinces him to give a ride to her guru, a crimson-robed Skovordinian monk, Otto knows there will be a few bumps in the road.  As they venture across America, Otto and the affable, wise, irritating, and inscrutable holy man engage in a battle of wits and wisdom. Otto, a born skeptic, sees his unwanted passenger as a challenge: a man who assumes the knowledge of the ages yet walks a mortal’s path.”

 

Genmai Cha
4E982665-5BEB-412C-B156-DE39F7213751 2It wouldn’t be tea without some saga or story attached to it. The legend of Genmai Cha begins with a feudal lord sitting around drinking green tea when his man-servant accidentally spilled rice into his cup. Highly offended, the feudal lord cuts off the servants head. He then decides to taste the tea and discovers that its quite good. So, in honor of the servant, whose name was Genmai, the tea was named Genmaicha.

A more likely explanation is believed to be that Genmai Cha got its origins as a way to extended the life of tea that had gotten old. The story that is told in Japan is that it comes from a folk custom of roasting leftover kagami-mochi, a kind of rice cake that is eaten during the New Year holidays, and putting the roasted mochi into tea.

In any case, this tea is delicious! It offers a weight to green tea that isn’t often associated with it. Its nutty, earthy and yes, rice-y. It almost tastes like having a mini meal sip after sip because it leaves the body satiated with a feeling of fullness.

I hope you decided to join in, find a new book and tea to make you feel joyful and connected. If you don’t already follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter, we hope you will and share your thoughts about the book and the tea.

Tag us if you decide to post any photos of you reading the suggested book, drinking the suggested tea and be sure to use the hashtags:

#12Books12Teas
#PearlFineTeas

Lastly, please consider purchasing your book(s) from a small local independent bookshops. We have a few of these still left in DC.

March on like a lion!

Happy Reading!
Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

12 Books. 12 Teas: #03

12 Books. 12 Teas: #02

pearl_TheBookShop
“A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life, and as such it must surely be a necessary commodity.” 
― Penelope Fitzgerald

We’re 8 days into February realizing I’m 8 days late announcing the next book to read. January was lazy and seemed to go on forever and now here we are creeping up on Valentine’s Day.

After careful consideration and a lot of roaming around our 2 favorite bookstores in DC, the next book to read and the next tea to pair should be… without a doubt….

February 2019
• Book 2: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
• Tea 2: Classic Breakfast Blend

Penelope Fitzgerald was in her 60s when she first got published. A wonderful lesson in not allowing barriers including age get in the way of living out a dream. You can read a piece in the New Yorker about her here.

The book was first published in 1978, and we’re hearing more about it because it was just made into a movie starring Emily Mortimer. So before rushing to watch the moving image, perhaps read the book first which is only a mere 156 pages. Some of you might be able to plow through that in a weekend with a fully loaded pot of tea by your side. What a gorgeous thought.

The Bookshop
“Florence Green, a free-spirited widow, puts grief behind her and risks everything to open up a bookshop — the first such shop in the sleepy seaside town of Hardborough, England. But this mini social revolution soon brings her fierce enemies: she invites the hostility of the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers and also crosses Mrs. Gamart, Harborough’s vengeful, embittered alpha female who is a wannabe doyenne of the local arts scene.”

Breakfast Blend:
If you follow this blog then you already know that English Breakfast Tea really originated and was “invented” in Scotland and that it was English Merchants that rebranded it to be English Breakfast. Quite cheeky of them actually.

Our Classic Breakfast tea is smooth, aromatic and lacking smoke or bitterness. Holds up well to milk and sugar if one desires to add such things, but we drink ours straight so we don’t miss out on the amazing natural flavor. This tea is great way to welcome morning or to have sitting by your side as you plow through this months book suggestion!

I hope you decided to join in, find a new book and tea to make you feel joyful and connected. If you don’t already follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter, we hope you will and share your thoughts about the book and the tea.

Tag us if you decide to post any photos of you reading the suggested book, drinking the suggested tea and be sure to use the hashtags:

#12Books12Teas
#PearlFineTeas

Lastly, please consider purchasing your book(s) from a small local independent bookshops. We have a few of these still left in DC. (We got our copy from  Kramer Books & Afterwords in Dupont Circle.)

Let month two of nerdish delight continue!

Happy Reading!
Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

12 Books. 12 Teas: #02

12 Books. 12 Teas.

pearl_January2Image
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Is there a better way to start a new year than with a day off that isn’t on the weekend? It feels kind of… a stolen, right?

Sitting here on the first official holi-day-off of 2019 – and a Tuesday no less – it occurred to me that it might be nice for the first blog post of this year to be aspirational yet attainable and something we can do together. Something that makes us feel good and accomplished by years end. And of course, something tea related.

As I sat here today thinking about all the possibilities for 2019, the resolutions that are made, the promises to ourselves to do better, it occurred to me that it might be nice to do a book and tea pairing/recommendation each month until the end of the year.  On the 1st of each month, I’ll post a suggested book to read and a tea that might be a lovely compliment. Perhaps it might be one you’ve tried before or maybe one you’ve never had and would be willing to try. If you’ve read the book suggested, perhaps it’s timely to read it again? In any case, this is a great way to introduce ourselves to 24 new things in this new year to stimulate our minds and our senses. Let the nerdish fun begin!

January 1, 2019
• Book 1: The Alchemist
• Tea 1: Jasmine Yin Hao

The Alchemist:
“Author Paulo Coelho, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, is one of the bestselling and most influential authors in the world. The Alchemist has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 360 weeks. The Alchemist follows the journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, he asks a Romani fortune teller in a nearby town about its meaning. The woman interprets the dream as a prophecy telling the boy that he will discover a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids.”

Have you read the this book? If so, it’s another chance to re-read it for its 25th Year Anniversary. If not, you might find this book life changing. There is simply no better way to begin the new year than with a magical book like The Alchemist.

Jasmine Yin Hao:
Are you a Jasmine Tea lover? If so, Jasmine Yin Hao is one not to miss. Technically a Pouchong, it’s one of our most favorite scented Jasmine teas. Spring-harvested green tea for the base tea. The buds are handpicked, then withered and dried. The finished tea is then stored to await the blossoming of late summer jasmine. Pouchong is known as Chinese Green, however, it is only slightly fermented (10%-20%). When brewed, it produces a light yellow hue, a milder flavor than Oolong tea yet stronger than Green tea and is recognized as the finest in the world.

I hope you decide to join in, find a new book and tea to make you feel joyful and connected. If you don’t already follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, we hope you will and share your thoughts about the book and the tea.

Tag us if you decide to post any photos of you reading the suggested book, drinking the suggested tea and be sure to use the hashtags:

#12Books12Teas
#PearlFineTeas

Welcome 2019! May it expand your mind and tastebuds!

Happy Reading!
Happy Sipping!
~The Chief Leaf

 

12 Books. 12 Teas.