My most wonderful birthday gift was this fantastic wabi-sabi matcha bowl from O5 Tea in Vancouver. It was hand made by Robert Stickney:
"Robert Stickney is retired professor and lifelong student of architecture, fine arts, and ceramics. His fascination for the Japanese tea bowl is expressed in the nuanced character and energy in each of his pieces. Robert fires his bowls in a wood kiln in Burnaby BC. He has no e-mail, no mobile phone, and delivers these pieces to our tea bar by bicycle."
To christen this gorgeous bowl, I'm going to try Calgary's Naked Leaf organic premium-grade matcha. Like most of Naked Leaf's Japanese teas, this matcha is from Shizuoka. The matcha powder is a cheery brilliant green with toasted green grass aroma. It sifts effortlessly, with no clumps.
The aroma is crisp and vibrant, like freshly mown grass. The taste is simultaneously bright and deep, with initial grass giving way to a hearty vegetal flavour that is smooth as silk and with lovely natural sweetness and just the slightest astringent edge to perk your tastebuds and a slightly floral and buttery aftertaste.
Premium-grade is the second highest grade of matcha (after ceremonial) and the quality really shows here - and the bowl really highlights the lovely tea!
Organic Premium Matcha at Naked Leaf and Robert Stickney's teaware at O5 Tea.