I hope everyone will have a very happy and healthy New Year filled with good friends, good tea, and good food! I am so grateful for all my tea and dance friends!
The Winter holiday season kicked off with the 2014 Advent Tea Calendar which was great fun! The alphabet theme really helped to introduce me to completely new teas and tea suppliers. Almost all of the 26 teas were fantastic and I hope many of them will find their way into my readers' own tea collections. I'm already planning for the next "Advent" theme and can't wait to begin!
It seemed appropriate to send off 2014 and to greet 2015 with exceptional teas. Since I planned to start the New Year with a 5k (ouch), I had a quiet New Year's Eve with a meal including Toshikoshi Soba (year-bridging noodles) and Obukucha (New Year lucky tea) from Yunomi/Yamane-en. This genmaicha contains ingredients considered to be lucky, including soybeans, kelp, and even gold flakes.
New Year's Day began with a bowl of matcha from DoMatcha, followed by a 5k (including a brief dip in Lake Washington) and Hatsumoude (festive 1st shrine visit of the New Year). The day ended with a warming meal of Ozoni (New Year Day soup) and Fukucha (New Year lucky tea) sencha from Tsubaki Grand Shrine America.
This week I attended my first dance lesson of the New Year (Odori Zome) where I began learning a new dance called Ume nimo Haru (Spring is coming to the plum blossoms), a short and lively furi (miming) dance. I look forward to adding this to my dance repertoire and to a year filled with hard work, improving what I know and learning new things!
It is my hope that 2015 will bring positive changes, some of which may be reflected on Hanamichi. There will certainly be more tea travels and more informative articles to share, along with new tea reviews. More on that as the year progresses!
Happy New Year!