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#matcha
fullcravings · 3 days
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Matcha Marshmallows Without Corn Syrup
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julieterbang · 12 hours
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bbang_mina_
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notpikaman · 9 hours
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kronize · 2 days
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ANA InterContinental Tokyo
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gallusrostromegalus · 6 months
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You don't think matcha is tea????
Matcha isn't a Tea in my humble Opinion.
Matcha is an experience.
The year is 2009, the place is the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in Honolulu, and I am recovering from a still-undiagnosed disease that left me with a 100+ degree for over three weeks, extreme weight loss and permanent Brain Damage.  I have signed up for an introductory Art History class because I need an additional Humanities credit.
It's called "The History and Philosophy of the Japanese Tea Ceremony", and for a class I can only sort of remember, it stands out.
So I'm in professor Roberts' Japanese Tea Ceremony  class, looking and feeling like death warmed over, but I'm genuinely interested in the subject matter and show up to every class because I have nothing better to do, and ask questions and turn in my homework, even if neither are particularly coherent at times, and rapidly become his favorite student.  The thing I learned in public school was how to show up to events even if I don't want to, analyze tests and other written materials for patterns and charm educators by holding up my end of a conversation, skills that have served me in the modern world far more than learning actual course content would have.
The Tea Ceremony, historically, takes a good month to prepare and the entire evening to carry out- the guest list is curated to create social bonds and intellectual stimulation alike, a poem is composed for the season, and a seasonal flower arrangement created to decorate the space. When the guests arrive, they must all crawl through a small door to enter the tea garden, regardless of profession or rank.  Hands are ritually washed in spring water, and there is a slow processional walk through the garden, to admire the artistry of the landscaping, and the composition of seasonal elements to create this particular night of beauty.  The entire ceremony is about appreciating both the joy of existing right now, in this time and place, and the unification of the self and the universe and the endless cycles of nature. 
The guests arrive at the tea house and meet the Tea Master, who will be making the Matcha that evening. The guests are seated in particular order, the Most Revered Guest- sometimes a high-ranking official, sometimes a visiting scholar or artist- is seated closest to the Tea Master.  The Poem is read aloud.  The Flowers are admired.  The tools for making the Matcha are taken out, examined as objects of art, and their history told.  The matcha powder itself is taken out- the case examined, the cultivation of the tea discussed, and only then does the Tea Master make the Tea. 
Matcha is not brewed- it's a fine powder made of crushed green tea leaves, and the powder is whisked together with not-quite-boiling water in a bowl to create a much more substantial and flavorful drink.  This drink is presented to the Most Revered Guest first, who is expected to take a sip and, in a moment of Zen spiritual clarity, comment on its flavor and how all the elements of the tea, art, garden and season all complement each other, and perhaps offer some sort of philosophical statement.
At least,
That's how it's supposed to go.
About a month before the spring semester is over, Professor Roberts announces that he has a surprise for his class- a good friend of his, a Professional Tea Master, will be visiting Hawai'i, and has agreed to perform a Tea Ceremony for our class!  I am very excited. The other 10 people in class are varying levels of amiably confused to distressed by having to go to An Event (TM) for a grade, but agree. One of my classmates, an astrology hoe named Jessica, pointed out that with the 11 students, Professor Roberts, and the Tea Master, there will be 13 people present, which is basically inviting disaster.
"Jessica." Sighed Professor Roberts. "It's a Tea Ceremony. What disaster could happen?"
Despite Jessica's misgivings, Preparations for the ceremony went on.  We learned about Ikebana while deciding on the Ceremonial Bouquet and tried our hands at it with what Professor Robert could get at the grocery store for $12. We learned about calligraphy and different types of poetic compositions while making the Seasonal Poem, and stain the hell out of the classroom carpet learning the brush strokes.  We learn about different types of Matcha Bowl sculpting and glazing and we are not allowed to touch the demonstration bowls or the kiln because Professor Roberts was beginning to suspect that some of his students (me)  were suffering from coordination issues. I apply myself with zeal, if not necessarily talent.  I was, at the time, an Art Major, but my professors in the art department had been grading me on a secret "this bitch almost died last semester and is re-learning how to hold a pencil" curve, and boy howdy did I stumble and break leaves and splatter ink like it.
Despite my ongoing unmonitored recovery, Professor Roberts viewed my enthusiastic class participation with rose-colored glasses, and about a week before the ceremony we had a class where he brought out the used Kimonos and Obi and other forms of japanese dress he'd borrowed from the theater department so that we would be traditionally dressed(ish) and experience the ceremony authentically(ish).  While people were trying on clothes to see what would fit, he took me aside and told me he wanted me to be in the position of Most Revered Guest, the person who makes the zen statement upon which the entire event hinges.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" I asked.
"You're the only person who doesn't fall asleep in class and you talked about how the flowers stagger their blooms to not compete for the bees- you're perfectly engaged and conscious of the seasons!" He said, blindly. "You will need different shoes though."  He indicated my flip-flops.  "I won't make you learn how to walk in Geta, but nothing with Heels. Ballet flats are fine."
"...These are the only shoes I own." I said.
Professor Roberts stared at me.
"-I used to have a pair of sneakers but I think a homeless guy stole them while I was at the beach last month."
"What?" Roberts blinked.
"He probably needed them more than I do. I'll see if I can borrow some flats."
"...I don't think I've ever met a woman with less than 10 pairs of shoes."  Said Roberts.
"I'm not a woman, I'm and undergrad." I said, still three years away from learning the term 'Nonbinary'.  "Those are Jordan's only pair of shorts, you know." I pointed at my classmate, who had been wearing the one (1) pair of basketball shorts for the entire semester.
"I WASH THEM." Jordan shouted defensively, wearing the longest Men's Kinmo the theater department had, which barely came down to the top of his calves.
"Oh God." Said Roberts, a horrifying new world opening up to him like a tub of Expired sour cream.
*
It was the day of the Ceremony.
The Seasonal Theme we'd worked on was "The Turn Of Summer", and the weather was complying maliciously. 
Normally, Tea Ceremonies are scheduled for the more temperate evening, but due to the school needing to host something in the adjoining cultural center later, we could only use the Tea Garden in the middle of the afternoon, and the summer sun was a sweltering 98 degrees and a similar level of Humidity.  The Camelias were melting.
Where Jordan had difficulty finding a Kimono that suited his ent-like proportions, I'd had the opposite problem and the only Kimono short enough to not trip my Hobbit-sized self was a Child’s size.  My roommate had helped me get into the Kimono and Obi before the ceremony, and leant me a pair of her Ballet Flats, but we discovered an issue- this Kimono was designed for a flat-chested prepubescent youth, and even though I barely scraped 5'0", I had the robust proportions of an Irish Peasant, and the only way to avoid displaying a frankly offensive amount of cleavage was to use the widest Obi we could find and sort of tuck my boobs into it. 
"Hm" I said. "Kind of hard to breathe."
"Yeah, but you're sitting for most of it, right?  It can't last more than an hour, so just like, shuffle and don't talk much?"  She suggested.
To her credit, the first forty-five minutes of the ceremony only involved shuffling through the gardens and not talking while the Tea Master lectured us on some of the finer points of the garden's design. 
But then we got to the Tea House- a small structure only barely able to accommodate the 13 of us, which was in the shade but hotter than the outside because of the roaring fire in the middle of the room, where the water for the Matcha was boiling.  The room was surrounded by a narrow sort of porch, part of which hung over the Koi pond, where several massively overfed carp blurbled expectantly for treats at the arrival of humans. I sat down, legs folded under me like Professor Roberts had insisted, and realized that this pushed the Obi UP, and now my rib cage was being compressed in all directions.
I tried to pay attention to the rest of the ceremony, but two and a half hours is an awfully long time to listen about lecturers you've already heard when your body is undergoing a sort of internal horserace to see if the heatstroke, sciatica pain and numbness, allergies or suffocation-by-compression will cause you to pass out first.  My legs had gone numb below the knee by the time we were done with the flower arrangement.  My entire legs were numb before we were done with the Poem.  By the time the Tea Utensils came out, I was seeing spots of colored light in my vision and could only breathe if I focused on it very, very hard.
But! The ceremony was genuinely interesting! and Professor Roberts was counting on me!  So I did my best not to sway or throw up from watching the Tea Master whisk the Matcha, and dutifully took the bowl with a pair of hands that felt like slabs of ham that I was attempting to puppet from another dimension, and took a sip.
They say that Smell and Taste are far more closely connected to the emotional centers of the brain than any other sense, and I believe it because the instant I inhaled both the grassy, powdery smell, and tasted the moderately viscous bubbly liquid, I experienced an intense flashbulb memory back to a previous late May-
The Year was '98, the place was my elementary school art room, and we'd been using the seasonal hot weather to paint on a massive scale as the art dried quickly- each third-grader had been given a roll of butcher paper, a cheap brush, squirts of non-toxic paint and a water cup, and allowed to go hog-wild on our murals, and the rush of creative energy and the imminent sense of freedom as the semester drew to a close truly embodied the summer of youth, carefree but with an almost psychotic fervor, where lack of care was both freeing and dangerous as you lost track of your surroundings in the act of creation-
Which isn't a bad seasonal-philosophical connection statement to make, but the actual words that came out of my mouth were:

"Wow. This tastes exactly like paint."

The first sound I heard after the moment of silence was the cartoonishly loud gasp of horror from Professor Roberts, which was almost immediately drowned out by the thunderclap of laughter from the Tea Master, slapping his thighs and wiping tears from his face, unable to stop. I desperately tried to explain the connection between the fact I might be dying of heat stroke right now, and how I ended up drinking my paint water back in Mrs. Krantz's art class because back then I was also dying of heat stroke, but mostly ended up wheezing half-formed sentences as the rest of the class took sips and offered opinions varying between "Wow, that's thick. Like a Hot smoothie." and "Oh yeah, it tastes like summer. Like how a freshly-mowed lawn smells like summer." Professor Roberts slowly melted into a pile of shame, and the Tea Master slapped him on the back, still howling with laughter.
"They're honest! Nobody else will be honest!  This is magnificent!"  he wheezed.
Eventually, everyone had their taste, and the ceremony was concluded.  The second the Tea Master had packed up his tools and stepped outside for a breath of fresh air, Professor Roberts was in my face.
"HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT?" he hissed, grabbing my arm and pulling me up. "GO APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW!"  he shoved me out onto the porch where the Tea Master was looking at the Koi, who had started bubble-begging aggressively again.
Except that my legs felt like blocks of wood that my pelvis was renting from another planet where legs hadn’t been invented yet, my vision was entirely static between the dehydration and lack of oxygen, and my vestibuar system had fucked off an hour ago, leaving me to stay upright by purely by the virtue of the over-tightened Obi.  So instead of bowing and apologizing profusely like my professor expected, what I actually did was stumble out of the room, say something like "Hsdfkf" and topple head-first into the koi pond.
Fortunately, the impact of the bottom of the pond with the top of my skull activated a sort of last-resort emergency self preservation system and I inhaled with enough force to break the Obi-Jime and probably a couple ribs from the pain that hit both my sides like lightning.  Unfortunately, the thing I was inhaling was fish-shit riddled Pond Water, so my emergency self-preservation system ordered an even harder Exhale. 
The Tea Master, to his immense credit, had immediately jumped in after me, and pulled me upright just in time for me to forcibly exhale half a gallon of rancid pond water directly into his face, then start screaming.  Screaming is an extremely appropriate reaction to have when injured, because it alerts everyone that you require medical attention, but is very unpleasant to experience from four inches away, which is probably why he then immediately dropped me.
Fortunately the pond wasn't very deep and this time I sat there, scream-gasping as my lungs reinflated, Koi fish burbling and sucking at me with tremendous excitement, until the EMT from the campus clinic arrived, a vanguard before the actual ambulance.
"Okay uh. You're bleeding." he said, cautiously wading into the pond.
I opened my eyes to find that I had apparently acquired a large and profusely bleeding head wound, which had activated some long-suppressed Shark Instincts in the Koi, which were eagerly gumming at the streams of blood and trying to suck on my forehead. "Good thing they don’t have teeth." I said in the distant bliss that only zen masters and people with serious head injuries get to experience.
"Do you want a towel?" he asked, helping me up.
"No, this is rather refreshing, actually." I said, still absolutely smashed on endorphins, Koi still enthusiastically swarming at my kneecaps.
"I mean like for your-"  the EMT Gestured Vaguely at my torso.
I looked down and realized that not only had I broken the Obi-jime, the entire Obi had come undone and was floating several feet away, and I was only wearing the Kimono, fallen completely off my shoulders and was only being prevented from performing a full Lady Godiva by the valiant efforts of the safety pin my roommate had put in to keep it folded correctly while we figured out the Obi.
"Professor Roberts?" I stood up all the way, soaking wet, bleeding from my forehead with such force as to create actual streams of blood down my face, neck and chest, tits out, and addressed the poor man standing, white-faced on the deck above the pond.  "I don't think I'm going to be in class on Monday-" I paused to fish a small Koi that had gotten trapped in the remains of the now-ruined Kimono, and tossed it back into the pond. "-Can I schedule a make-up exam for the Final?"
"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET IN THE AMBULANCE!" He screamed.
I was x-rayed for a skull fracture, but my lifelong membership to the Lactose Tolerance Club had protected me, and I happily texted my roommate to come pick me up as "They x-rayed my head and found nothing" while the doctor stitched part of my scalp back together.
The following morning, I discovered that Professor Roberts had graded my exam before I took it.  100%. Truly, the best way to get a good grade on your finals is to get a serious head injury.

So, Matcha is not a Tea, in my humble opinion.
Matcha is an Experience.
And sometimes that experience is drinking something almost exactly like paint, ruining an important cultural ceremony, traumatizing your professor,  and introducing a bunch of fish to the taste of human flesh.

***
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miscellaneousmao · 11 months
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Made a Friend Ball matcha chocolate bomb with a #001 marshmallow friend inside 🍵💚
Such a happy boi 🌱
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honeyrolls · 9 months
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Matcha Sakura Cake / Sakura Cake
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lily-archipelago · 7 months
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♡ ayk.regolith
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sorbet-sharks · 4 months
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⋆  
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quiet-academia · 2 months
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monday, october 10
working on some sociology and nutrition readings today. both of my clients at work cancelled for the holiday so it’s just me and a matcha latte against burnout🫠
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aesthetics-core · 6 months
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green
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toruedits · 4 months
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Do you like Anime food ?
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notpikaman · 9 hours
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atmeal012 · 4 months
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牛乳寒天 Milk Jelly
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dooareyastudy · 2 months
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03.10.2022 | This is not a realistic depiction of a PhD student’s life ; I repeat : this is NOT a realistic depiction of a PhD student’s life !! However, I had a very nice weekend, to prepare myself to face a HUGE month of October.
Happy October everyone :)
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laetadiscipula · 8 months
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[04182022] My parents brought my desk from home to my apartment and I'm so happy!! I love this desk (I've had it for about a decade) and the productive space that I'm cultivating in this corner is getting better and better.
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ka3l · 4 months
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[link]
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honeyrolls · 1 year
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Cozy Corner
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