TEA IS FOR TRAVEL: Mixology Salon

WHERE: Mixology Salon, Tokyo In a city where the traditional converges with the avant-garde, Mixology Salon sits at the center and offers newfangled cocktail creations infused with a curated collection of premium teas leaves. Their star mixologist Shuzo Nagumo introduced “teatail”, which became the ne plus ultra of their menu. Using Gyokuro – regarded as the highest quality of green tea in Japan – a cocktail course is charged with three different levels of infusion so you can savor the nuance between each tea strength. As a coda, you will be served with a smoked oyster soy sauce finished with the residual Gyokuro tea leaves. If you hit the bar during the right time of the year, you might get to try their other seasonal brews such as Pear and Taiwan Oolong Cocktail. To create these innovative mixes, Mixology Salon uses a sleight of hand that is a centrifuge machine and a sous-vide technique to distill their liquor under reduced

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TEA IS FOR TRAVEL: Kou-An Glass Teahouse

WHERE: Kou-An Glass Teahouse, Tokyo Tea, since time immemorial, has been the totem of Japanese culture and philosophy. Artist Tokujin Yoshioka crystallized his reverence for his native tradition in a new form that gives the meaning of the art of tea clarity in today’s milieu. Images: Tokujin Yoshioka The minimal glass architecture forgoes the typical physical elements one would find in a teahouse, such as a tatami, Ikebana and calligraphy scroll. And it is reduced to the base of how tea ceremony is appreciated, in a way that transcends time and spatial perception – these two subjects are the quintessential preoccupation of Japanese deep-thinkers. In the open-air, observers will see the transparent installation’s poetic expression in constant flux under the moving natural light at different times of the day. Spatial cognition is thrown in sharp relief when one moves into it, as the line between nature and architecture is in absence. The traveling exhibition, which made its debut at the

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TEA IS FOR TRAVEL: Hua Shan Teahouse

WHERE: Hua Shan Teahouse, Shaan’Xi Province, China There is nothing more ceremonial than a pilgrimage to the summit of Hua Shan, China, for a fine cup of tea. If your grit is higher than the scale of the mountain – standing at 2,160 meters tall – we challenge you to hike it. The road to heaven is a surreal and vertigo-inducing experience a thrill-seeker would not want to miss. Aptly named Plank Walk in the Sky, it is paved with narrow pathways precariously bending around the edge of the mighty cliff. For those who are deterred, you can choose to take the cable car ride from the East Gate to the North Peak to catch a glimpse of the beautiful vista over the mountain valleys. At the end of the journey sits an ancient Taoist temple, a sacred sanctuary that has been converted into a tea house. Travelers will be rewarded with a warm cup of hard-earned tea and a

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TEA IS FOR TRAVEL: 29b Teahouse

WHERE: 29b Teahouse, New York This premium establishment was conceived by Tea Dealers, one of the few purveyors of pure non-blended roast teas in America. For those who are looking for a respite from the bustling city, 29b Teahouse’s ceramic-lined space can be a modern sanctuary of calm and comfort – complete with a tasting room where you can pair their curated line-up of premium teas with food items from their menu.  We recommend their Ochazuke for a light, spirit-lifting meal. A humble tea-dish featuring soy-and-wasabi-cured fish, vegetables, and ume on top of short-grain white rice, and complemented with a pour of smoky Hojicha.  DRINK: Charcoal roasted Taiwanese Oolongs, Matcha-beer Their roster of teas are continually evolving, based on owner Stefen Ramirez’s recent travels to the different tea producing countries in Asia. So expect your senses to be taken to new places every time you visit, from smooth charcoal roasted Taiwanese oolongs to the rare Korean black tea balhyo. For

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