Matcha Mixology

by Inga Yandell

Mixology is a craft associated most widely with cocktails, but here I encourage you to explore the alchemy without the alcohol—instead finding melodious marriages as you ‘Mix and Matcha’ various elements in the refined art of making Matcha.

The creative Matcha Mixologist sees endless potential to interpret the craft by considering not just how the tea is made or which ingredients are added, but allowing their mind to wander into which sides to serve, or in a more abstract fashion the best books to accompany ones beverage.

Matcha Mixology F.

Three Perfect Pairings for Thirsty Thinkers…

Like fine wine or coffee with their distinct undertones and unique production methods; Matcha tea varies in quality, color, taste and texture. Some teas can be ground to a fine dust, whilst others have a more robust grind. The contrast of colors can range from emerald to a pale leafy green. Mellow flavours define some blends as subtle, then there are those which pack an astringent punch. So, for the purpose of this piece I offer a trio of different teas from different providers, each with unique qualities that reflect the tone of its paired literature.

A Quiet Moment

As the title of this one-sitting digest suggests, nurturing a quiet state requires focus and ritual—it is an art one must master. But, should you dabble in silence, allowing your thoughts to cease and simply observe; a glorious expanse unfolds and the creative emerges refreshed and renewed. The book I shall recommend and the tea it compliments, both pay homage to inner sanctuary and moment-to-moment awareness.

Book: The Art of Stillness, Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer (Simon & Schuster/ TED | 96 pages | ISBN 9781476784724 | November 2014).

A follow up to Pico Iyer’s essay “The Joy of Quiet,” The Art of Stillness considers the unexpected adventure of staying put and reveals a counterintuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect, the more we seem desperate to unplug.

Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly in a room might be the ultimate adventure? Because in our madly accelerating world, our lives are crowded, chaotic and noisy. There’s never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still.

In The Art of Stillness—a TED Books release—Iyer investigate the lives of people who have made a life seeking stillness: from Matthieu Ricard, a Frenchman with a PhD in molecular biology who left a promising scientific career to become a Tibetan monk, to revered singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who traded the pleasures of the senses for several years of living the near-silent life of meditation as a Zen monk. Iyer also draws on his own experiences as a travel writer to explore why advances in technology are making us more likely to retreat. He reflects that this is perhaps the reason why many people—even those with no religious commitment—seem to be turning to yoga, or meditation, or seeking silent retreats. These aren’t New Age fads so much as ways to rediscover the wisdom of an earlier age. Growing trends like observing an “Internet Sabbath”—turning off online connections from Friday night to Monday morning—highlight how increasingly desperate many of us are to unplug and bring stillness into our lives.

The Art of Stillness paints a picture of why so many—from Marcel Proust to Mahatma Ghandi to Emily Dickinson—have found richness in stillness. Ultimately, Iyer shows that, in this age of constant movement and connectedness, perhaps staying in one place is a more exciting prospect, and a greater necessity than ever before.

In 2013, Pico Iyer gave a blockbuster TED Talk. This lyrical and inspiring book expands on a new idea, offering a way forward for all those feeling affected by the frenetic pace of our modern world.

Beverage: Zen Green Tea’s Matcha Set. Zen Green Tea’s bamboo whisk, scoop & matcha set is the perfect matcha gift or starter package. The bamboo whisk and scoop are the traditional utensils to portion and whisk your matcha powder into a beautiful, smooth tea. The bamboo whisk (also known as chasen) and scoop are hand carved, made from a single piece of bamboo and feature 100 prongs. This beautifully crafted piece has been used in traditional tea ceremony in the preparation of matcha for centuries. 100 prongs ensure the creamiest froth to ensure the finest matcha tea experience. This helps cultivate a rich sense of history but also provides the tools to perform a traditional tea ceremony invoking the sentiments of an ancient art created to unify the mind in a moment of stillness.


Step 1: Using the end of your scoop as a measure, sift your matcha through a strainer into a round bowl. You should move the scoop over the powder gently pushing it slowly through the strainer.

Step 2: Pour hot, not boiling water (approximately 100mls) into your bowl and whisk your matcha in a W pattern. You will need to whisk quickly to form a creamy froth.

Step 3: Now that the matcha is suspended evenly, you may enjoy the tea in a number of ways including:
Straight from the bowl
Poured into a mug with more hot water added
Iced in a tall glass for a refreshing tea

A Defining Moment

Should a decision loom without resolve and tired thinking depreciate your imagination and ingenuity, allow me to suggest the following.

Book: Beyond Measure, The Big Impact of Small Changes by Margaret Heffernan (Simon & Schuster/ TED | 128 pages | ISBN 9781476784908 | May 2015)

A powerful manifesto for CEOs and employees alike: Influential and award-winning business leader Margaret Heffernan reveals how organizations can build ideal workplace cultures and create seismic shifts by making deceptively small changes.

By implementing sweeping changes, businesses often think it’s possible to do better, to earn more, and have happier employees. So why does engagement prove so difficult and productivity so elusive?

In Beyond Measure, Margaret Heffernan looks back over her decades spent overseeing different organizations and comes to a counterintuitive conclusion: it’s the small shifts that have the greatest impact. Heffernan argues that building the strongest organization can be accelerated by implementing seemingly small changes, such as embracing conflict as a creative catalyst; using every mind on the team; celebrating mistakes; speaking up and listening more; and encouraging time off from work.

Packed with incredible anecdotes and startling statistics, Beyond Measure takes us on a fascinating tour across the globe, highlighting disparate businesses and revealing how they’ve managed to change themselves in big ways through incremental shifts. How did the CIA revolutionize their intelligence gathering with one simple question? How did one organization increase their revenue by $15 million by instituting a short coffee break? How can a day-long hackathon change the culture of a company? Told with wry wit and knowing humor, Heffernan proves that it’s often the small changes that make the greatest, most lasting impact.

Beverage: Ecceko Superior Matcha sourced from the Uji region of Japan using young, hand picked Tana leaves. Iridescent green, with a complex, subtle sweet flavour. These small artisan producers receive a fresh harvest fortnightly direct from their plantation in Uji, resulting in an exceptionally fresh and flavoursome matcha.

A Creative Moment

Book: The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner (Simon & Schuster/ TED | 176 pages | ISBN 9781476784922 | March 2015)

A drift with possibilities, when we dare to dream our creative potential oft surfaces in abstract ways, like the innovative structures presented in this little book on buildings.

The founder of and practicing architect draws on his unique position at the crossroads of architecture and social media to highlight 100 important buildings that embody the future of architecture.

We’re asking more of architecture than ever before; the response will define our future.

A pavilion made from paper. A building that eats smog. An inflatable concert hall. A research lab that can walk through snow. We’re entering a new age in architecture—one where we expect our buildings to deliver far more than just shelter. We want buildings that inspire us while helping the environment; buildings that delight our senses while serving the needs of a community; buildings made possible both by new technology and repurposed materials.

Like an architectural cabinet of wonders, this book collects the most innovative buildings of today and tomorrow. The buildings hail from all seven continents (to say nothing of other planets), offering a truly global perspective on what lies ahead. Each page captures the soaring confidence, the thoughtful intelligence, the space-age wonder, and at times the sheer whimsy of the world’s most inspired buildings—and the questions they provoke: Can a building breathe? Can a skyscraper be built in a day? Can we 3D-print a house? Can we live on the moon?

Filled with gorgeous imagery and witty insight, this book is an essential and delightful guide to the future being built around us—a future that matters more, and to more of us, than ever.

Beverage: Matcha Zone Highest Grade Organic Matcha. Grown using traditional Japanese farming methods without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This Certified Organic Matcha is from the first harvest of the year. A good colour with layers of flavour. This highest grade Organic Matcha (powdered Tencha green tea) is designed to prepare “usucha” (thin tea) for the Japanese tea ceremony. Packaged in a protective foil bag. Origin: Kyoto, Japan.

This beautiful Matcha observes the organic virtues of nature like the inspired structures showcased in this visually rich ‘tea table’ collectors title.

Procuring the elements for your Perfect Pairing…


Matcha Zone

Zen Green Tea

TED Books

Simon & Schuster

The following two tabs change content below.
Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Visit, View, and Subscribe to Bare Essentials Magazine

Previous post:

Next post: