Like many here in the South we enjoy our coffee, in fact it's a daily ritual. We don't mind sharing that we load our Moka in the evenings with Chock-full-o'Nuts (1000 Faces in Athens, GA if it's a special occasion) and enjoy it every morning...in fact our 13 year old now also enjoys espresso con leche after rising.
You can buy the brass scoop we use in this picture from us here
Growing up, coffee was typically weak and tea was served cold over ice with lots of sugar. Warm tea was rarely served unless you were real upscale with a European influence. Not that we have anything against weak coffee and sweet tea, we just looked for something more.
Making Japanese Inspired Housewares has highlighted the Japanese tea ceremony and specifically the tea itself and utensils that are used during it. The tea is a powdered green tea, called Matcha, which is mixed with hot water and mixed with a whisk until frothy. The idea is to whisk and whisk until the tea is aerated, releasing a wonderful aroma, and a thick froth has formed on top (think cappuccino). We'll say this is not as easy as it appears. We've been reading a fascinating food blog, Lady and Pups from Mandy Lee, and she so happens to have a great short video on the whisking process. This video has also been nominated for the 9th Shorty Awards, so if you like it, give her a vote. You can see the Lady and Pups video on whisking matcha here. The flavor is actually similar to good coffee in it's rich earthiness but with a more subtle delivery and less acidity. High levels of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins are an added bonus. We have come to really enjoy drinking Matcha, not just for the flavor, but also for the process which requires that you slow down and think about the tea...and if you're lucky your mind will wander outside of work and to-do lists to a place of quite.
We buy our Organic Matcha powder from wumountaintea.
For measuring out the Matcha powder we make a simple brass scoop which you can buy here.
The bowl used to whip and also drink the matcha powder is called a Chawan and our favorites are created by Akira Satake in Swannanoa, NC. This link will take you to his Chawans but look around more as you'll be glad you did.