TUNES FOR NIPPON
Our good friends Cory and Kyle are putting on a concert at Felicita’s on the 30th from 8:30pm-1:00am featuring 5 bands for a minimum donation of $5. This will go toward the relief efforts in Japan and very specifically a portion will be directed toward the Kurota family (lost their home and so much by being in the epicentre, though escaped with their lives). Both a broader and very localized goal at the same time.
That being said, many of you have written in expressing concern over Miyu’s family and the Harimaen estate. Both our supply and Miyu’s family are safe and just dealing with aftershocks and the economic trauma of the crisis. The Harimaen estate is far enough from the nuclear crisis that their certification is not in trouble, but to assuage concerns they have sent us lab reports and will continue to do so. There is a frighteningly low level of batteries, bottled water, iodine pills, etc, in the country.
JAGASILK IS ON GROUPON
Less than 7 hours left in the Groupon side feature for JagaSilk. $5 will buy you $10 at the teabar and the coupon is good for a year. Many of you may be coming by regardless, and this may be redundant, but it seems that this might be a good way for you to bring friends down for some Jaga goodness. 🙂
There is another coupon for $15 that buys you a $30 coupon at the Academy of tea. You need to open the buy button up first, though.
NEW DESSERT AND FOOD ENERGY
We are now working with the amazing culinary powers of Orange Duck Icecream company to design a dessert menu at JagaSilk that includes weekly feature cakes, organic cookies, simple pairing for the flat bread, etc.
Last week features a Mango Compote Angel Cake that had Pinot Grigio, rooibos, mango, and vanilla bean in the compote. This week coming up shall be very special.
UZUKI (YEAR OF THE RABBIT) LIMITED SELECTION LOOSE TEAS
UZUKI features: Organic Jungpana Estate Darjeeling, Organic Harimaen Estate Bancha, Organic & Fair Trade Jasmine from the Shan Tuyet region of Vietnam, and an herbal blend put together by Miyu to put a spring in your step: Energy Infuser (featuring an all organic herbal blend of Oregon Peppermint, Orange Peel, and Lemongrass)
$30 per box and includes a non-leeching tea tin made in Japan.
NEW MACCHA MENU
We have redesigned our menu at the teabar to showcase a new concept: 1g or 2g maccha. So good. The attached picture was poured by the secret power barista Kanae Morioka.
For those of you have not tried the maccha cappuccino, the time is now. So freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A17-633 Courtney St
Victoria, BC, V8W 1B9
WAAAAY too much cool stuff has happened since the last JagaSpam. I think I am going to have to spread it out over multiple spams so I do not inundate everyone.
NEW YORK TIMES BLOG & MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS LOCAL BLOG
We have been featured in two really awesome blogs:
1. The New York Freaking Times!!!!!! Super brilliant word artist Jordan Michelman came by the teabar one day and then total awesomeness happened.
2. Local blogger Lisa of Minding Your Own Business, also a mighty wordsmith, does a wonderful post on the JagaSilk
TEA FESTIVAL WAS AWESOME
The 2010 Victoria Tea Festival was AWESOME! We made Masala Macchai for a kazillion people and we were completely sold out of the stuff by early on the 2nd day. The response was fantabulous. I think as far as the JagaSilk is concerned, it was our most successful Tea Festival yet! (and we have been with them since day 1 5 years ago)
The good crew over at Discovery has decided to start serving the JagaSilk Limited Offering Loose Teas at both their locations and recommend them to their wholesale customers. So cool! Every last barista came down to teh Academy of Tea at JagaSilk (20+ people over 3 nights!) and did an intensive 3 hour training session with us.
They all now have a fondation from which to build on the precise preparation of individual teas. They have 6 rotating teas and an Earl Grey in their program. Sometimes you can go there and find teas that you can’t get at the Teabar and vice versa. It is all part of the allure of the seasonal teas.
Come on down to the Teabar to see the new menu. We now have pictures… Ooooooohhhhh…. Aaaahhhhh…..
Seriously though, the menu is something I am really proud of. We now have a little 6 oz maccha cap available in any of our grades and the drink is fantastic. We have started to get really specific with our recipe and have tried to showcase that. It’s all about transparency at the Teabar though, so don’t be afraid to ask any of us to take you through the play by play on preparation.
YAYOI (YEAR OF THE RABBIT) LIMITED SELECTION LOOSE TEAS
So in the effort of making the Limited Offering boxes more about the tea, we have clouded them in mystery by renaming the months using traditional Japanese naming sytems for the months. March is thus Yayoi.
Yayoi features: High Mountain Lishan, freshly roasted Harimaen Estate Hojicha, Organic & Fair Trade Moroccon Mint, and an herbal blend put together by Miyu to help combat the cold: Potion (featuring local nettle, fresh chamomile, and rosehips)
This is probably the most expensive line-up we have ever put in. At $30 per box, this is a little bit of a steal.
THE CREW AT JAGASILK
The crew at JagaSIlk has grown.
– Jared & Miyu (of course),
– Midori (tea and coffee genius),
– Justin (the coolest cha-rista this side of the Pacific; and boy can he bake!),
– Kanae (expert tea packer and barista extraordinairre),
– Ryan (the strategist, the para-legal genius, the Jaga Spy)
– The Tea Bandit is about to make itself known
– Wine bottled ice tea?
– Jungpana Estate Darjeeling is this close to being released
– Orange Duck has their thinking cap on for designing a specialty cake program at the JagaSilk
– Maccha and cherry blossom watching… HANAMI time?
Jared and Miyu Nyberg
A17-633 Courtney St
Victoria, BC, V8W 1B9
Jagasilk Academy of Tea
You can learn a lot about tea in Victoria, British Columbia, and not just the Earl Grey variety. The city holds an annual tea festival each February and is also home to the Jagasilk Academy of Tea, a basement tea bar and education center in the city’s downtown.
Though located a tea bag’s throw from what was once the epicenter of British colonial pageantry, the place is rich with Japanese influences, from the wood-heavy interior to the selection of brews on offer — small, seasonal batches of loose leaf tea and a variety of matcha (or as the purists insist “maccha”), a Japanese green tea that has been ground into a fine powder in a small potted bowl called a chawan, then deftly mixed with hot water using a bamboo chasen whisk.
The owners, Jared and Miyuki Nyberg (the couple met while Nyberg taught English in Japan), perform their own version of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony: a five-course matcha tasting menu, with an emphasis on different “grades,” a term used to denote the fineness of powder. (Tea connoisseurs are every bit as granular in their description as aficionados of wine and coffee; Nyberg describes his “Dragonfly” matcha as “complex, with an earthen sweetness that hints at white chocolate as it cools.”)
Fortunately, the tea bar doubles as a classroom, with the Nybergs having recently introduced a series of hourlong seminars available to individuals or small groups. Students receive a crash course on brewing techniques, tea grades, regions and tastes, all the while sipping highly prized teas, including Hojicha, a roasted green tea from an award-winning estate, displaying robust flavors of cinnamon, hazelnuts and a malted roast quality reminiscent of fine coffee.
Individually packaged servings of matcha powder are sold to go, as are custom kettles, whisks, artisanal pottery and everything else you might need to make a seriously good cup of tea.
Jagasilk Academy of Tea, 633 Courtney Street, Victoria, British Columbia; jagasilk.com. The tea bar is open daily from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; the Academy of Tea is open by appointment.