Clearly your average Japanese Buddhist monk knows a thing or two about a thing or two. Which brings me neatly to T2.
Back in the 12th century Japanese Buddhist monks were the originators of a rather elegant and refreshing practice of taking Matcha, powdered green tea. This was a ceremonial act with cultural and spiritual aspects. The Australian tea brand T2 is now bringing the accoutrements for this very same ceremony to the streets of London. Chai chums, get ready to be converted to the green side.
T2, a rather luxurious tea retailer, celebrated the launch of its Shoreditch shop last night and the hound was lucky enough to bag an invite.
Advised by some enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, I sampled the delight that is the Matcha, green powdered tea.
It is not a straightforward bag in a cup scenario. Instead, as handed down from centuries of tradition, the powdered matcha is placed in a (very attractive and reasonably priced) bowl. This is done using a bamboo scoop called a chashaku. Then hot but not boiling water is added and the mixture is whisked using a bamboo whisk known as a chasen.
Juding by the reactions of the hipster crowd down in Shoreditch the Matcha phenomenon is going to catch on.
The taste is not particularly delicious but it does leave you with the sense that you have enhanced your immunity and possibly added a few years to your lifespan.
There is also a dizzying array of ceramics, including beautiful China teapots, cups, saucers, milk jugs, sugar pots etc.
A bit like a wine tasting event the shop also has tea-tasting stations and aroma tables encouraging people to sniff and slurp the wares. It’s rather nice to see someone giving the perennial coffee retailer a run for the money.